Friday, February 22, 2013

Greedy NC billionaire attacks NC jobless

Where the jobless suffer
Tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of North Carolinians desperate for work will be consigned to poverty because of cuts to unemployment benefits.

Gov. Pat McCrory, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch brothers Mini-me billionaire Art Pope, signed a bill earlier this week that is unmatched in its cruelty to jobless people. North Carolina now has the nation's fifth highest unemployment -- and the severest cuts to unemployment benefit.

Pope is technically McCrory's budget director, but political observers say he is really running the state. NC Policy Watch asks:
How can McCrory be Pope’s boss when it is Pope who has all the money and power? 
North Carolina is following the pattern set by the  Benedict Arnold Koch brothers, who purchased Job-killer Scott Walker in Wisconsin to launch attacks on working people. Then came  Ponzi scheme Amway heir Dick DeVos, who bought Rick Snyder and forced No Rights At Work through the Legislature. The story is the same in state after state: billionaires buy politicians to promote their gospel of greed and corporate empowerment. 

North Carolina's attack on unemployed workers is exceptionally heartless given that one in four Americans has been fired in the past four years.

The AFL-CIO reports on the savagery of North Carolina's cuts:
Beginning July 1, new claims will be reduced from $535 to $350 as the maximum benefit per week. And while current recipients can get unemployment insurance payments for 26 weeks, that number will be cut to a maximum of somewhere between 12 to 20 weeks, the duration varying depending upon the state's unemployment rate. If the maximum fell below 19 weeks, North Carolina would offer the lowest maximum number of weeks in the country. The bill also rejects extra benefits allowed under federal law, which means that 170,000 residents will lose $780 million in current weekly payments.
The National Employment Law Project condemned the cuts:
Turning the state’s back on federal aid is no badge of honor:  No other state has acted to deny unemployed job-seekers this assistance, and the move by the legislature and governor will deny federal benefits to an estimated 170,000 unemployed North Carolinians who desperately need that help. 
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the governor chose to put his signature to this bill privately, behind closed doors, mirroring the manner in which the legislation was crafted by business groups led by the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce and Republican lawmakers. 
These heartless cuts, in the state with the fifth-highest jobless rate in the nation, at 9.2 percent, show a shocking disregard for 400,000 unemployed North Carolinians and their families, many of whom will now go from struggling to barely make ends meet to outright struggling to survive.