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Florida Cuts Unemployment Benefits To Pay For Corporate Tax Cut

ThinkProgress -- Florida Cuts Unemployment Benefits To Pay For Corporate Tax Cut
In the last few months, conservatives in several states have moved to limit unemployment benefits, even with the national unemployment rate at 9 percent and more than 40 percent of the unemployed having been out of work for six months or more. Conservative lawmakers in Utah falsely claimed that cutting jobless benefits would be “motivation for people to get back to work,” while Michigan gutted its unemployment insurance system despite having one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. Florida Republicans this weekend also succeeded in reducing their state’s unemployment benefits, sending a bill to Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) for his signature: A bill that would establish some of the deepest and most far-reaching cuts in unemployment benefits in the nation is heading for the desk of Gov. Rick Scott…The legislation would cut maximum state benefits to 23 weeks from 26 when the jobless rate is 10.5 percent or higher. If lower, the maximum would decline on a sliding scale until bottoming at 12 weeks if the jobless rate was 5 percent or less. As the National Employment Law Project pointed out, with this bill, Florida will “go further than any other state in dismantling its unemployment insurance system.” The Republican sponsor of the bill, state Sen. Nancy Detert (R), relied on the same false assumption as the lawmakers in Utah, saying that cutting benefits “encourages people to get back into the job market.” Research by the San Francisco Federal Reserve has found that workers who qualify for unemployment benefits stay unemployed just 1.6 weeks longer than those who do not qualify for such benefits.

May 08, 2011

Graduate School is a Suicide Mission

50 percent of graduate students fail to find work in their field. Most that do are "contingent labor" -- non-tenured, forever. The highest-paid and only growing sectors of universities are the upper administration and the athletic departments. Graduate school is a suicide mission, and the next time my BS adviser asks me what MS I am considering I will forward this article. Faulty Towers: The Crisis in Higher Education | The Nation
If you’re tenured, of course, life is still quite good (at least until the new provost decides to shut down your entire department). In fact, the revolution in the structure of academic work has come about in large measure to protect the senior professoriate. The faculty have steadily grayed in recent decades; by 1998 more than half were 50 or older. Mandatory retirement was abolished in 1986, exacerbating the problem. Departments became “tenured in,” with a large bolus of highly compensated senior professors and room, increasingly squeezed in many cases, for just a few junior members—another reason jobs have been so hard to find. Contingent labor is desirable above all because it saves money for senior salaries (as well as relieving the tenure track of the disagreeable business of teaching low-level courses). By 2004, while pay for assistant and associate professors still stood more or less where it had in 1970, that for full professors was about 10 percent higher. What we have in academia, in other words, is a microcosm of the American economy as a whole: a self-enriching aristocracy, a swelling and increasingly immiserated proletariat, and a shrinking middle class. The same devil’s bargain stabilizes the system: the middle, or at least the upper middle, the tenured professoriate, is allowed to retain its prerogatives—its comfortable compensation packages, its workplace autonomy and its job security—in return for acquiescing to the exploitation of the bottom by the top, and indirectly, the betrayal of the future of the entire enterprise.

May 07, 2011

Stable market strategies for lap dancers

Probably it'll never come up, ladies, but on the off...