Unemployment equals bloodshed?



A story on McClatchyDC.com addresses the issue of unemployment in Iraq. U.S. officials estimate that well over half of Iraqis who want to work can't find jobs. In fact, the situation is so dire that even insurgents — called the Sons of Iraq — have agreed to turn against violence in exchange for paying jobs.

But many more Iraqis still can't find work. According to the story, they say "getting hired to most jobs — especially government jobs — usually involves sizable bribes, family connections and months of waiting." And as one member of the Iraqi parliament puts it, "When people have no income to live on, they become desperate and can quickly turn to violence."

With our own current economy crisis, it's not unlikely that the same could happen here. What about the Los Angeles man who killed his family and committed suicide because of his "dire economic situation"?

They say desperate times call for desperate measures, but wow. It's no secret that unemployment is on the rise. An article on Stateline.org states:

In North Carolina, where more people are out of jobs than ever, state employees are working overtime and on weekends to reduce a backlog of requests to verify unemployment benefits that has been as high as 17,000, compared to only a few cases a day a year ago.

Nonetheless, people are still somewhat comforted by the fact that were they to get laid off from their jobs, they could draw unemployment benefits. Well, heads up, folks. The article also reports that "the rise in joblessness is draining revenue from state treasuries and straining the governments' ability to pay for and deliver unemployment benefits in a timely way."

Did you read that right? "Straining the governments' ability to pay for and deliver unemployment benefits in a timely way." South Carolina, our very own neighbor, only has "enough money in its unemployment fund to pay benefits through the middle of January" before having to borrow from the federal government.

Times are hard, and it's likely they'll get harder before they get easier. Let's just hope that we can keep our cool until someone, anyone, digs us out of this economic mess we're in. A modern-day French Revolution would not be pretty.

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