What’s happening in the US — with no significant relief in prospect — is unparalleled in the the nation’s history.
Unemployment, growing poverty, food insecurity, and overall deprivation are growing, not easing — while politicians in Washington prioritize war-making and self-interest over essential aid to needy households, small businesses, as well as cash-strapped states and local communities.
Both right wings of the US one-party state are guilty of crimes against humanity at home and worldwide.
Whatever the outcome of November 3 elections, nothing fundamental will change — unacceptable continuity assured like nearly always before.
On Thursday, another 898,000 jobless Americans filed new claims for unemployment insurance (UI).
Another 373,000 applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) — the federal program for workers ineligible for regular UI.
If not renewed, PUA will expire at yearend.
For the past 30 weeks, numbers of jobless US workers filing for unemployment benefits were double or more the highest ever single week total in US history.
What should make regular headlines gets short shrift at best.
The NYT gave the latest report scant attention, nothing on its front page about what should have been top-featured.
Separately, brief Times coverage of the latest filings for unemployment benefits published the wrong total.
Instead of 898,000 applying for UI, it reported 885,000 — omitting PUA filings.
Its business section published the correct number of UI filings, including mention of PUA ones.
WaPo was also dismissive about another 1.3 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits — burying the news in a related report, saying the following:
“The number of new unemployment claims jumped last week, the Labor Department reported on Thursday.”
No further elaboration was given, nothing about unprecedented numbers of jobless workers in need of federal aid to survive.
WaPo’s business section gave the news more attention, calling rising UI filings “a sign that recovery (sic) could be stalling.”
You’d think that when 1.3 million or more unemployed Americans file UI claims for 30 straight weeks it would be headline news — not in the US by most establishment media.
The Wall Street Journal gave the news prominent, but incomplete, coverage.
Its report omitted PUA claims, failing to explain that another 1.3 million jobless US workers filed for unemployment benefits in the latest week — not 898,000 alone.
To its credit, the Journal’s report explained the dismal state of the US jobs market in detail.
Federally funded $600 in weekly benefits expired at end of July.
Congress and the White House failed to agree on extending what’s vitally needed.
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader McConnell said the body will consider a small relief bill next week.
During the greatest ever US Great Depression that’s likely to be long-lasting, things worsening before improving at an unknown time ahead, small isn’t good enough when large-scale help is essential — now.
Before economic crisis happened this year, growing poverty in the US was the new normal
Today after economic collapse occurred, a grimmer new normal faces growing millions of Americans.
Without jobs and federal aid, when unemployment benefits end in the coming weeks, they’ll be no income without substantial federal help.
Today, millions of Americans are hard-pressed to pay rent, service mortgages, feed family members, afford medical care, and be able to have other essentials to life, health and well-being.
According to FoodPolitics.com, numbers of Americans “who say they cannot always afford enough food hit the highest level on record,” notably “among families with young children.”
Black households are hit hardest. They’re twice as likely as their white counterparts to face food insecurity. Latino households are nearly as hard hit.
Food, Research and Action Center president Luis Guardia said Covid related lockdowns “wreaked havoc on so many things: on public health, on economic stability and obviously on food insecurity.”
According to a Northwestern University report, food insecurity doubled because of economic crisis conditions — affecting about one in four households.
About 30% of US households with children are food insecure, the report explained.
Feeding America estimates that around 54 million people “face hunger and food insecurity every day” in 2020.
According to data reported by Axios.com, 103 million working-age Americans are considered “not in the labor force,” not unemployed.
It’s why official Labor Department reports distort reality.
Based on how calculated pre-1990, real US unemployment is 26.9% — not the phony BLS 7.86% figure, an affront to tens of millions of Americans who want work but can’t find it for lack of jobs.
Layoffs are rising, not falling. Greater numbers of furloughed workers lost jobs permanently.
Looking ahead to 2021 — regardless of November election results — hard times in the US are likely to get harder.
A weak economy at year’s end 2019 collapsed because of unacceptable Covid-related shutdown.
The toll from this policy has been infinitely more harmful to countless millions of Americans and the economy overall than public health concerns over
In late August, Biden said the following:
“I would be prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives (sic). We cannot get the country moving until we control the virus (sic).”
Civid is an illness, not a virus, a somewhat more contagious version of seasonal flu/influenza.
The latter is an annual occurrence in the US and most other countries — unaccompanied by fear-mongering induced mass hysteria and destructive shutdowns.
Asked if he’d shut down US economic activity if advised to take this step by “scientists,” Biden said: “I would shut it down.”
If he defeats Trump in November, his domestic agenda may worsen economic crisis conditions.
Trump is wrong on countless issues — his opposition to another shutdown, not one of them.
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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Featured image is from The Falling Darkness