Hey, I know its been a bit. Sorry I've been away from the blog for so long. Between being pretty sick, the weather and other issues, It has been kind of hard to focus on things. And many things have indeed been happening that require words being said. There's Obama's healthcare (joke of a title) that has so many loop-de-loops in it that even the most experienced roller coaster rider would get sick taking it all for a spin. And we find out more and more about it each passing day. And of course the liberals who decry that if its repealed, the whole country will lose everything from their right to chew gum to their grandmother's wisdom teeth. In truth, that whole thing is chock full of crap barely wrapped together by a few good things.
Then there's the bills slammed through by the "lame duckers" who couldn't get as much BAS through as they could before they were run out of town on the proverbial rail tie. And the stupid comments by people like Reid and Pelosi (who still thinks she has some kind of power left in the House).
And of course, there was the sad news of Congresswoman Giffords (D-AZ) who was shot by a lunatic, and all those who were killed by this lunatic. (We all pray for her speedy recover and for the families of those slain.) Then came the even sadder news of the mainstream media and the political slugs who would use this to make attacks on people who had nothing to do with, would not have condoned it, and gained nothing by it. The hypocrits who have used violently worded rhetoric in the past are in turn assailing people like Sarah Palin for using the same things in political speech as they have in the past. (Need I remind you of the President's own "they bring a knife, we bring a gun" comments just a few short months ago?) And hey, what the hell is the left doing attacking Palin, whom they constantly try to persuade us is of no consequence and no threat to them?
(Note - I refuse to offer up this pathetic sicko's name nor link to the story in this blog. He does not deserve any more notice than this. The real focus should be on the victim's of this heinous act.
But all that aside. What I want to first do is say "Happy New Year" to all my readers here and overseas. Thank you for making 2010 enjoyable for me, as I was able to see that people were actually reading what I was writing. And not just here, but in places such as the Netherlands, Russia and Brazil. Even China and Korea and Panama have taken a look at us. Thank you all. And I hope that not only do you have a great 2011 but that "Thinking Out Loud" continues to offer you something to read and think about.
Now, for the thing that got me to drag myself from my sick bed.
Unemployment. It is something that all of us either have experienced, have known of someone who has gone through it or it has been on our collective minds of late. Verbal sparring has gone on concerning this issue throughout the halls of Congress and onto the streets of the country. The economy and business prospects have left millions jobless and unable to pay their bills. Many ideologies have debated the need for extensions and tried to balance that with the proper path to recover from it.
At this time I am not going to add to that debate (though I assure you I will expound upon this at a later date).
The one thing that has gone both unresolved and mostly ignored, is the pitiful way many states have executed the payment to those in need.
Federal guidelines say that states must pay 87% of all claims within 21 days of filing. As outrageous as this sounds (shouldn't they require 100% of lawful claims to be paid?), most states cannot even make this mark. Save a handful, with Alaska doing a fantastic job of paying out 98.8% of their claims (info found in Jim Davenport's AP article).
But most states fall far short of this requirement. States like Georgia and North Carolina drift right around the mark at 86% and 88% respectively. While states like South Carolina went from 82% in 2009 to a miserable 65% in 2010 timely payment of initial benefits. Then there are states like Louisiana (67.2%) and the District of Columbia (whose pitiful rate is 59.9%) that just never come near the mark. Often times this means the difference between keeping a roof over your head and either homelessness or moving in with someone else.
And the thing is, for states like South Carolina, the state government is at fault. For instance, they just changed the business reporting time from seven days to 12 in reporting the reason for termination. This does not allow the state ample time to process and mail benefits to claimants. Even though many times the state agencies are slow themselves, the practice of allowing companies this much time to report is inefficient and unnecessary.
Businesses can fill out the paperwork at the time of termination with all the rest of the paperwork and file it the same day. If states made this simple change to a standard 5 days reporting time, then people will be able to get their checks on time. And they can pay bills, buy food and keep a roof over their head.
As much as I might disagree with many of the current way the government is making a nanny state acceptable, by making people MORE dependent on government, I find the practice of delaying something this important, insurance that workers actually pay into during their days of laboring, incomprehensible and reprehensible.
Agree with me or not, agree with the unemployment compensation system or not, it makes no difference. So long as I get you to think for yourself instead of just accepting what is told to you by anyone (myself included), then I have done my job. But hey, this is just me, Thinking Out Loud.
Have a great day!