Though the official unemployment rate may not reflect it because of machinations by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Americans are hurting. The oft reported 9.6% unemployment rate is a complete fabrication, as we detailed in The Real Unemployment Rate: 21.5%.
The most clear example of this are the newly labeled 99er’s. They didn’t exist a year ago, but today, this group of individuals is becoming larger, with thousands being added to the list monthly. Though they are not “officially” counted as being in the workforce, people like Donna Faiella want to work, but simply cannot find a job in today’s marketplace:
Meeting 99ers is to tap into a deep well of anger at lives that have been knocked off course, shattering the enduring vision of the American dream that many had felt they had achieved. Just take Donna Faiella, a 53-year-old New Yorker who lives alone in Queens. She spent 28 years working in film post-production and video-editing. She was successful and had a career. Now she is desperate for a job, any job. But she cannot find one. “I will do anything. I will sweep floors. You think I look forward to collecting unemployment? It is fucking degrading,” she said, almost quivering with anger.
Faiella is in dire trouble. Joblessness has eaten away at her sense of identity. “I feel like we are worthless. We are lost in the world. I don’t know what to call myself. I don’t have a title any more. What do we do? What do we do?” she implored. Faiella has one week of benefits to go. Then her 99 weeks will be up. She will have a title again. But not one she expected. She will be a 99er. “I am petrified. Do I become homeless?” she said, adding that she has begun making inquiries at local shelters.
One of most frustrating things for people like Ms. Faiella must be that, according to the government, she doesn’t count anymore. The government says that she and others like her, though they vehemently deny it, no longer desire work, even though they’ve been searching for jobs for nearly two years.
So, when we see positive spin reports in the media about the jobless situation in America improving, and the Vice President indicating that we will create 3 millions jobs by the end of the year, think about the plight of Donna Faiella.
This is the reality on the ground – a stark difference from the millions being made on Wall Street and in Washington D.C.
While our first lady enjoys a luxurious $375,000 vacation in Spain and $3.4 million dollars is spent on construction projects to provide “eco” walk-ways for turtles in Florida, hard working Americans are populating tent cities, depending on food banks, sleeping in their cars, and fighting for government assistance.