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September 05, 2012

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LJ, my point isn't obscure.

I don't think my point is obscure either. Making things make or break is not a 'liberal' conception of opportunity. You give people multiple chances and you try to be understanding when people don't pick up on those chances and you give them some more. And you present multiple chances because the costs of consigning people to the group of lazy slackers means that your societal base (think of it like a tax base, but all the things that keeps society running) keeps getting smaller and smaller. You want people to fulfill their full potential because society benefits. Your attitude is one of the reasons why the Republican party is going to continue to move to demographic meaninglessness and it is one of the reasons why this year's election is really a last chance for them.

As far as taking personal responsibility, damn right I do. I didn't do what I needed to do to reach that student. If I have a student that comes to every class and I cannot get it across to them what they need to do to earn a credit, and make it possible for them to do it, I've failed. (Just to be clear, there are institutional and cultural hurdles as well, and sometimes, you can't get the students to clear them. But if you are an educator, that's your job. It's not teaching to people who want to learn, it is making things relevant to people who may not realize that those things are relevant)

Education and healthcare are two areas where I think we are very poorly served by market forces. There are too many ways to make the system so that the people it serves can be blamed for what are problems within the system. If someone is lazy, should they not be eligible for education or healthcare? What 'state support' are you proposing to withhold, and who judges whether someone is not working to their golden 9/10ths effort? Those questions are ones you don't offer any answers to, yet you are willing to create a philosophical apparatus to set up the framework of judgement. It is precisely what conservatives kick and scream about when the government does it, yet somehow, your 4 level scheme is something that is self-evident.

I'm not saying that you have some sort of shriveled heart, but I am saying that you don't seem to be acknowledging any of the caveats people are raising. Perhaps it is because it is too much directed at who you are, but step back and imagine you are king of the world, and you get to set up your system for figuring out who is naughty and nice. Is there any way it would ever work? If the answer is no, it may be worthwhile figuring out why that is.

I'm just going to assume McKinney is just musing about his way of thinking rather than offering something that could be applied in a way that is particularly practical. As others have written, there's no good way to evaluate any but the most egregious of slackers and cheats.

I'd take it a step further to say that, even if you could determine people's current or recent levels of effort, punishing those who haven't tried hard enough thus far may be counterproductive, which may be what lj was getting at here:

And you present multiple chances because the costs of consigning people to the group of lazy slackers means that your societal base (think of it like a tax base, but all the things that keeps society running) keeps getting smaller and smaller.

We'd all be better off in the long run if people had greater opportunities over time to reach their potentials. What you're proposing, McKinney, I think would diminish the dynamics of society as a system over time, even if you could make accurate judgements about how hard people were trying at a given point in time, with the bar set significantly higher than "Lazy Slacker."

I'd also have to guess that there are a lot fewer >95% effort people than you think, as well as a lot fewer lazy slacker than you think. Most people are somewhere in between AFAICT. I mean, we're not talking about selecting people for PhD programs at MIT. We're talking about safety nets.

Your attitude is one of the reasons why the Republican party is going to continue to move to demographic meaninglessness and it is one of the reasons why this year's election is really a last chance for them.

First, I am not a Republican. Second, holding people accountable for how they apply themselves, i.e. personal responsibility, is hardly a conservative notion, but if I'm wrong, and it is a conservative concept, then maybe the Democratic Party is the one in trouble.

If someone is lazy, should they not be eligible for education or healthcare?

The lazy are offered education. Whether they take advantage is on them, not on anyone else. As for healthcare, are you advocating free healthcare for people who can but are not willing to work? Should people who can, but are not willing to work also get food stamps, housing assistance, maybe a monthly check?

What 'state support' are you proposing to withhold, and who judges whether someone is not working to their golden 9/10ths effort?

You are conflating two notions here: people who slack, who do what they can to get by, but no more, and who wind up unemployed for that reason will do one of two things: either maintain a steady course or learn from their mistakes. Those who are content to move in and out of unemployment can't be identified by some 'effort yardstick', but they can be identified by how often they seek assistance. Putting a two year lifetime cap on benefits seems a fair way to divide one from the other (which also answers your 'king of the world' question').

People who do not work, but are capable of working, should not receive anything from the state, assuming the decision not to work is voluntary.

People who do not work, but are capable of working, should not receive anything from the state, assuming the decision not to work is voluntary.

Let's say an electrical engineer is laid off because the firm he works for isn't doing so well. And let's say there aren't open positions easily found that are a good fit for his skills, expertise and experience. Should he spend his time looking for a good fit while getting assistance from the state for expenses over some period of time, or should he immediately take a job bagging groceries? Which is better for society and the economy in the long run? Which is better for him?

Should he spend his time looking for a good fit while getting assistance from the state for expenses over some period of time, or should he immediately take a job bagging groceries?

Many people work AND seek other employment; however, as I said, two years' worth of benefits, then that would be it.

I've no problem with limiting unemployment insurance to two years, which is pretty much the rule now.

(I would add that two years of unemployment insurance is pretty much a socialist position on today's political scale, to MckT's credit, though his MMV. The folks I argue with are the ones actually serving now with real power in the House of Reprehensibles and some in the Senescate who believe unemployment insurance should be abolished wholesale, to satisfy sundry
principles regarding the human nature of economic man, excluding their own, natch.

I would make an exception for health insurance. Is there illness after death? Don't know? Then extend subsidized insurance for eternity. A jobless slacker with brain cancer and the unpaid meter running is just as much a travesty as an uninsured guy with three jobs, brain cancer and the meter running.

Here's my feeling about hairshirt's electrical engineer.

Assuming a good-faith effort to find employment in his field (again, good faith or not, he gets medical insurance), then leave him alone to continue the quest with benefits and maybe some training and education in another field.

And how about sanctioning the slacker employer (corporations are people and prone to slack, I assume) who laid him off in the first place? Or, better, get rid of unemployment insurance benefits altogether and fine his employer double the engineer's salary if they lay him off.

Maybe sanction the slacker employers who refuse to hire him too. Or at least respond to his cover letter and resume.

In fact, reverse the job fair crapalooza too and let the unemployed set up booths inside the hall for free and let the employers stand in line around the corner in a sleet storm gripping their briefcases and I-Pads and bologna sandwiches and wait their turn to present their best faces.

"I regret to say we haven't hired anyone in two years and we're about to be cut off completely, so please come to work for us, for pity's sake, at double your last salary."

"Ummm, leave your card and phone number and my 12-year old daughter who needs braces will get back to you."

Unrealistic, you say? Welp, unemployment for the unwillingly unemployed is too.

You say the employers would just as soon as close up shop and stay home rather than live under such a regime? You'd be right, of course.

They'd give up looking for employees if their lost their benefits because they didn't hire, or else.

Kinda, sorta like the unemployed who lose their benefits because they didn't maage to get hired.

So, let's say a guy or gal is a slacker and won't work for medical insurance premium support. Are we saying that if he contracts an expensive case of brain cancer that he's going to go into deep regret and wish he'd spent more time at the office earning a living?

Or, that denying the slacker medical coverage and ostensibly, medical care as well is going to be an object lesson for all you kids out there about what happens to slackers?

Heck, if that's the case, let's burn the slackers at the stake and make a spectacle of it and sell tickets with a panel discussion afterwards to see if the kids got the point!

It was a few decades at least before anyone else slacked off after Servetus ' dog and pony show.

are you advocating free healthcare for people who can but are not willing to work?

That's an interesting question.

I guess my personal emphasis would be on the by-far more normal case these days, which is people who both can and are willing to work, but who can't find work that provides them with a living.

I'm sure there are folks who are perfectly capable of working, and who have work available to them if they would simply go and get it, and who choose instead to sit on their @sses watching TV.

I don't think, however, that there are ~15M of them, which is about the number in the category I described.

We are not currently faced with an epidemic of widespread laziness.

If there's one thing the kinds of jobs HSH brings up are known for, it's bosses with generous time-off policies for you to go on interviews elsewhere.

Gawker, btw, has had a great 7-part-and-counting series on the long-term unemployed. Everyone click over and bask in the laziness.

http://gawker.com/5939551/unemployment-stories-vol-seven-when-i-look-to-my-future-i-see-a-wall

Our government is getting so complicated that even people who work there don't understand the legislation. Let's continue driving it further in that direction, right?

Well, (1.) Government can't be understood? That is not necessarily true-why just read some Ezra Klein :); and (2.) Society itself is getting more complex, at least that is what I have witnessed over the last 60+ years. So the obvious solution is to make government simpler? This is what "coservatism" has to offer? Tell me how that makes one scintilla of sense.

We are not currently faced with an epidemic of widespread laziness.

I would agree. We are discussing, in highly charged terms no less, an insignificantly small subset of the able bodied population. Let us not waste a lot of time inventing the slackometer. Why, no doubt such an instrument would detect socially abhorrent slackitude in places like Palm Beach in heretofore unimangend staggering quantities. Such a discovery could well rend the social fabric beyond repair.

Let's find a way to get a job for everybody who wants one. Wouldn't that be much more 'productive'?

People who do not work, but are capable of working, should not receive anything from the state, assuming the decision not to work is voluntary.

So you would have people die in the streets? Or do you want to send them to labor camps? What about their children?

I note in my haste I have committed some unforced spelling errors the two entries above....that'll teach me to post while at work.

SLACKER!!!!!!!!

Apologies.

I believe it was Woody Allen that said 90% of life is just showing up, so maybe we can apply that notion to McK's standard to lighten the burden of expectations on the working-age public.

are you advocating free healthcare for people who can but are not willing to work?

yes

"Education and healthcare are two areas where I think we are very poorly served by market forces."
This Capital Account episode gives some reasons for the high cost of medical care and talks about a surgery center that uses a market based approach that reduces those costs. Interesting, the surgery center is described as being modeled on how a law practice operates.

"That article pretty much says that they don't know what Ryan has planned. Which sounds disturbingly like the healthcare bill.

Our government is getting so complicated that even people who work there don't understand the legislation. Let's continue driving it further in that direction, right?"

Nope. Republicans in Congress claimed that they couldn't vote for it because they didn'tknow what was in it which means they were too lazy to do their jobs. The content was there in the open for anyone to understand if they were so inclined.

Ryan's budget is deliberately deceptive in the way Republican budgets have to be deceptive. He promises tax cuts for the weatlhy and for corporations, proposes some overt cuts in programs which he can demonize as being for those lazy poor people, and claims that this will balance (over time)the budget by becuase of loophole closures which don't exist in writing anywhere and which he has refused repeatedly to identify. In reality the only way his budget works is if he goes after programs Republican voters like. Which of course, he can't admit.

Some traditionally Republican voters have seen through the deception, though. The national policemen's union has decided to pass on endorsing Romney.

Interesting video, charles. The section you are talking about starts at 5:40. While I disagree with all the ACA griping, etc, what he says about hospital reimbursement are points I've made here a number of times.

As for healthcare, are you advocating free healthcare for people who can but are not willing to work?

Yes. That's what the UK has: because people in the twentieth century there decided that they did not want to see the poor and feckless dying in the streets. And somehow, the vast majority of British people are still motivated to keep working.

I think we're suppsoed to be reasonably civil here, but it's hard when you see the failure of imagination that seems to characterise some on the right. They literally can't imagine that someone might not be able to work for two years out of a forty-five year working career for any good reason. Or that there might be people who can't easily work at 95% of their productive capacity. And when people point that out, they say: "Oh I don't mean them, I mean those other slackers over there".

The UK has a safety net for almost all people, and yes, it does allow some slackers and spongers and workshy to survive (although not thrive - it's very basic). But I would rather have that than the kind of society that McKinneyTexas apparently wants, and which the UK under the Conservatives is moving towards. Where the most terrifying prospect is that someone might get something they're not entitled to, and so they make the lives of the disabled, and the unemployed and the inadequate as horrible as they can, while coddling rich crooks. Because fiddle ten pounds from the state and you're a wicked benefit fraud, but raking in millions for an inadequate assessment system for the disabled is just fine.

are you advocating free healthcare for people who can but are not willing to work?

I'm with LJ and magistra. My answer here is also "yes".

Saying "no" is like saying, if you're not willing to work, we're shutting off your water. Or, your kids can't go to school. Or, we're not picking up your trash or putting out any fires that might break out at your house.

It stretches making a point about fairness to the point where it's deliberately cruel.

And, it ends up creating hazards of various kinds for everyone else.

So, yes.

are you advocating free healthcare for people who can but are not willing to work?

Absof*ckinglutely YES.

are there no workhouses?

Might I decide not to work if were given everything I can now afford at my current income? I just might. But we're not talking about providing people with a comfortable, middle class lifestyle. Along the lines of what magistra wrote, we're talking about very basic stuff here. The vast majority of people who are able to are willing to work to have something more. The very few who aren't shouldn't be the focus of our policy decisions. That would be stupid, as in just plain.

cleek, I thought about posting that sentence too but abstained because it has become a bit too common. And worse, it has begun to be taken seriously in certain circles. And let's not talk about the left out part about prisons.

it has become a bit too common

as has the ideology that Dickens was mocking.

sadly.

I'd like to comment on the suggestion to limit unemployment benefits to two years total over a lifetime.

In Canada when the cod stocks were healthy and there were lots of cod fishermen, the work was seasonal. During the off-season the fishermen would claim unemployment benefits. They couldn't go out and get another job during that time because there weren't any other jobs available in the area. I can't imagine what kind of industry would be able to absorb so many people all at once for only part of the year, anyway.

I don't know how long the season lasted but I imagine it wouldn't take long to reach that two year limit. But like russell pointed out, the work they did was certainly useful, if not strictly necessary. So it isn't that simple.

So, the cod fishing industry was being subsidized by the government at the expense of everyone else.

Should Canada have made itself dependent on foreign cod oil? ;-)

Couldn't we resolve the entire question by making a job, instead of money, available? Revive the Civil Conservation Corps! That would quite neatly distinguish the people who wanted a handout from the people who wanted a job.

So, the cod fishing industry was being subsidized by the government at the expense of everyone else.

There are a hell of a lot of industries and places that survive on seasonal jobs: agriculture, tourist places etc. Should they all close down or become ghost towns or find it harder to get staff? (Or rely on migrant workers etc?)

Part of the point of a safety net for workers is that it makes them more willing to take economically riskier jobs. Would you want to join a start-up if you knew that if it failed you wouldn't be eligible for unemployment benefit? No, you'd stay in your secure job. Why can't people who allegedly want workers to be more enterprising not see that the way to do that isn't to penalise them every time they make a mistake in their lives?

Revive the Civil Conservation Corps!

Are you being serious, Brett? I could get behind that idea, so long as people who weren't capable of working weren't left to survive on their own.

So, the cod fishing industry was being subsidized by the government at the expense of everyone else.

Yes.

Revive the Civil Conservation Corps!

Fine with me.

Part of the point of a safety net for workers is that it makes them more willing to take economically riskier jobs.

I would say a large part of the point of a safety net is recognizing that labor markets ebb and flow, and certain entire industries are prone to periods of low employment. By their nature.

We all benefit from NOT having the state try to micro-manage the labor market (on one hand) and from NOT having large numbers of people thrown into abject poverty every time the economy burps (on the other hand).

The price we pay for that benefit is the social safety net.

I'm speaking here in purely pragmatic terms, because those are the categories we are all most likely to more or less share.

We pay for a national weather service and related things so that the natural ebb and flow of atmospheric conditions doesn't bite us on the @ss too hard. Same/same.

If you want the relatively unconstrained market economy that we have, but you don't want widespread crapstorms every time the economy goes askew on treadle, you create a buffer.

Depending on which number you pick (or, in the case of Fox News, which numbers) unemployment in this country is somewhere between 8 and 16% of the workforce.

Workforce in the US is about 150M. You can do the math.

Not all of those people are lazy slackers. And when I say "not all" I mean, statistically, "vanishingly few".

or, in the case of Fox News, which numbers

This deserves a link to Fallows' This Could Be the Most Dishonest Thing Fox News Has Ever Done post.

If it were an honest comparison, here is how the figures would look:

Official unemployment: 7.8 percent in January 2009, 8.1 percent now (worse by .3 percent, not 6.9 percent)
"Real" unemployment: 14.2 percent in January 2009, 14.7 percent now (worse by .5 percent, not 6.9 percent)

Pleat and Benen each explain why the other part of the graphic, the "sitting on E-Z Street" implication of 5.1 percent unemployment for public workers, is deliberately misleading too. Short version: for the past two years, the private economy has been adding jobs, albeit too slowly; the public sector has been losing them constantly.

So, the cod fishing industry was being subsidized by the government at the expense of everyone else.

Well, maybe. It's possible that it worked out to a net win for the government after they accounted for the taxes the fishermen paid while they were working and the taxes related to processing the cod and the taxes from all the other economic activity that resulted from people having money. It certainly wasn't cheaper for the government after the cod stocks collapsed and all those people were permanently put out of work!

I should also point out that, as I understand it, there are other industries that work this way. I've been told that GM relies on their workers being able to claim unemployment benefits so that they can adjust their workforce to match demand (or something, I don't know exactly how it works). That hasn't stopped our governments from doing their best to attract GM plants to Canada so I assume that means they think it's worth it.

Either way, it has nothing to do with my point, which was that you can't decide that someone must be lazy just because that person has claimed more than two years of unemployment benefits.

Either way, it has nothing to do with my point, which was that you can't decide that someone must be lazy just because that person has claimed more than two years of unemployment benefits.

Life is funny that way, as in "it's complicated." The lure of simplicity is great, though - too great for some people to resist. Not all of those people are unreasonable, which opens up the opportunity for questions, when answered honestly, to reveal that the simple solutions they offer don't hold up to scrutiny, that the simple rules they propose are no such thing - rather, they are actually exceptions to more complicated rules. I think we may be in that space on this very thread.

I should also point out that, as I understand it, there are other industries that work this way. I've been told that GM relies on their workers being able to claim unemployment benefits so that they can adjust their workforce to match demand

Wal-Mart, famously, provides information to its employees on how to apply for food stamps and other assistance.

States are starting to restrict payment of unemployment benefits to seasonal workers:

[...]
From school bus drivers to ballet dancers to lifeguards, many workers whose jobs only last for a portion of the year have traditionally been eligible for jobless benefits. But now states across the country are starting to crack down, trying to save money and rescue insolvent jobless funds.

Federal law gives each state the option to decide whether or not to allow seasonal workers to take benefits. Now strapped for funds, many states are stripping some workers of their eligibility.
[...]

No more unemployment checks for seasonal workers

Couldn't we resolve the entire question by making a job, instead of money, available? Revive the Civil Conservation Corps! That would quite neatly distinguish the people who wanted a handout from the people who wanted a job.

Only over the dead body of the GOP as long as a Democrat sits in the White House. Actually that would not be the worst deal one could think of ;-).
Seriously, any ever so tiny attempt in that direction will instantly trigger a howl of 'socialism' and, as we have seen in the past repeatedly, the usual suspects will again claim that this is a cover to hire the brownshirt army Obama desires to crush liberty and freedom. These guys have declared the census and the hiring of workers for that a nefarious Obama plot. Even those that will not go that far would call it a waste of taxpayer money. Russell mentioned the national weather service. That one got targeted not that long ago too (just with terrible timing since a few nasty weather events arrived just int itme for the debate). And there was that volcanic activity in Alaska, shortly after national monitoring of volcanoes got ridiculed. A rational political debate is clearly not on the table at the moment (at least not where it counts).
Brett, expect a reprimand for public heresy ;-)

Wal-Mart, famously, provides information to its employees on how to apply for food stamps and other assistance.

that's no way to encourage self-reliance and independence. let the peons figure it out for themselves!

I second Franklin Delano Bellmore's suggestion for a Civilian Conservation Corps.

It's unconstitutional, but any time we can ignore the ambiguous commas in that document to relieve a little suffering, I say go for it.

Regarding cod fishermen, a couple of things. Cod are fished out along the Atlantic seaboard. There are limits now on the catch, and even Whole Foods is refusing to buy trawler-caught cod.

So cod fishermen deserve benefits because society, via government and private sector action, has decided those hard-working taxpayers should be unemployed.

In perpetuity? Ask the cod.

I am mystified how it is that even some of the people conservatives (may I generalize for a sec? No. Too bad.) were calling "hard-working taxpayers" when we were at nearly full employment before the financial crisis, became --- nearly overnight, as the pink slips began to go out --- "lazy, undeserving slacker parasites feeding at the public trough", in the eyes of the same conservatives.

It's not like these folks quit their jobs or were fired for cause and filed for unemployment, which is disallowed under current law.

They had to be escorted in some cases from their desks by security police because they didn't want to leave their jobs.

They'd of kept showing up for work for crap's sake -- without pay like even slacker Kramer showed up for work unbeknownst to his adopted employers in that one Seinfeld episode -- if someone hadn't turfed them out on their ears.

Think about this. A group of hard-working taxpayers are interrupted in their hard, taxpaying work one mid-morning and herded into a conference room (security cooling their heels along the wall at the back of the room, their two-ways crackling with cross-talk) to be told they are "let go", "outsourced", "redundant", "superfluous", "victims of economic dislocation or the new owner's decision to take the company in another direction", or if you work for some level of government, "victims of the latest failed tax or bond ballot issue" (because in this last case, the other "hard-working taxpayers" out there think you are a slacker parasite by virtue of the fact that you had a job and were paying taxes for a gummint entity), by some overpaid, dapper schwantz or schwantzett in plaid slacks and horned-rim bifocals from "Human Resources".

Then, each is escorted to their desks and watched carefully to make sure they don't abscond with a stray, goddamned f*cking company paperclip and sent out the door to the sidewalk holding their cardboard box full of personal sh*t because up till now, they had been under the mistaken impression that arraying their desk with personal sh*t made the job somehow "theirs", when in reality, in our little arrangement, there is no "personal" in a job.

You've just been gristle chewed until flavorless and then spit out by sh*theads whose taste isn't even in their mouths.

Have I left a few things out like "there but for the grace of God go I", or "call me for a recommendation as you seek new work" ... ?

Sure, but a rant has got to be choosy in its details.

So there you are, on the sidewalk holding your cardboard box full of family pictures (they aren't your family, of course, but photos cut out of magazines, because truth told, your family found you superfluous too) and it's starting to drizzle and your thinking maybe of heading down to the tavern and lining up half-a-dozen shot glasses of "well" scotch and firing THEM at a time in quick succession, if only to delay heading home and telling the wife (or hubby) you've been fired -- again (hey, it's a fluid, dynamic economy ... yippee!!) because THEY were just laid off the week before from their cod-fishing jobs and are in pretty raw moods themselves ... and now ..

... you remain standing there on the sidewalk (have you no shame?), say, until business closing time and your now former colleagues start filing out the door like so many future bite-sized dead men walking bits of Soylent Green and something is different .... not you, really, but the every-day give and take is different.

You've turned in your organization's I.D. card and in a way your identity. You are no longer Bob, the esteemed colleague, Bob, the good guy beavering away in the next cubicle or Bob, my co-project director who guided that deal through. You're now an object of vague gaze-avoiding embarrassment (that's what you get for not heading directly to the bar), even pity. Shame, no less.

And, oddly, suspicion. You're now a suspect.

Not to most of your former colleagues, who are decent people, just effing skipping home to their families to tell THEM "well, there was a bloodbath at work today, but yours truly lived to work another day. Let us pray for the dispossessed and for our own employment, no thanks to God, who couldn't give a sh*t, having been fired by Nietszche more than century ago but still collecting benefits" .... but there's always one guy or gal whose thoughts you can read.

It's usually the straight-arrow serious bloke who wears the lapel flag-pin and maybe in the break room the other week in a desultory conversation about ones' heroes, he was the guy who named maybe Grover Norquist as a great American or asked Betsy in accounting if she had seen the film version of "Atlas Shrugged" (objectivist flirting, otherwise known as "he didn't score gain") and how the elitist critics on both Left coasts had panned the movie in a media conspiracy to obscure deep truths.

To that guy, you're a suspect.

He's going to go home and blog, probably at Redclusterf*ck, about how we must decide whether you are a productive American or one those slackers who is receiving public money now for sitting on your a*s watching reruns.

One last thought. Every once in a while, some misguided sociopath is fired from his job down at the warehouse and he's so pissed off and embarrassed at not being able to work and having to beg the public titty now that he goes home and grabs his gun show purchased firearm and goes back to his employer and murders a couple of three folks, among whom is usually the officious type who fired him, but yes, probably for cause.

So this murderer, this psychopath, this loser, this whackjob, this insane person, this errant excuse for a balanced human being, this criminal ... has earned all of those monikers and will be punished if he didn't already empty the last chamber into his own head, thus saving the effing hard-working taxpayer money on criminal justice.

But there's one thing he isn't.

He's not a slacker.

He'd kill to have a job, even one in which he didn't perform up to snuff.

Faulty logic, yes.

It was probably the guy with the flag lapel pin and the Ayn Rand fetish, whose number was up.

*There's a proposal among the majority in the House of Reprehensibles to have the Dept of Labor re-classify seasonal "workers" as seasonal "slackers". It was tabled in favor of a proposal to abolish the rename the Dept of labor the Department of Slackers and then abolish it and reclassify the now fired employees as "renewable resource kindling" to keep the bonfires burning around the stake.

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