Monday, October 11, 2010

Unemployment in a recession

            Probably the majority of us have been unemployed at one time of another.  We can all sympathize with those who are employable but unemployed because of the economy or other reasons.  We also understand and sympathize that during recessions it may take a long time to find employment.  However, we also understand that some will take advantage of the situation and not seriously look for employment.  This is a financial burden on everyone and we must find a way to both assist the needy while at the same time discourage those who would like a free ride. A proposal that will require the unemployed to work for additional unemployment pay is discussed below.  This proposal will not reduce the cost of aiding the unemployed however, it will require work at minimum wages for their unemployment checks, thus encouraging job-hunting for better wages and allow the Counties to accomplish tasks that might not otherwise get done by putting the unemployed to work.

The Re-employment proposal.

            This Proposal would modify or eliminate all previous Federal Acts providing Federal funds for the unemployed.  It applies solely to the healthy unemployed, those who are capable of performing work.  It does not replace any Federal Acts whose goals are to meet special needs.  Applicants will be required to certify that they are receiving no other Federal Funds.

            Within 60 days of the date of approval, unemployment payments shall extend for 26 weeks.  For Federal assistance beyond this period, the Work for Wages program as defined below will provide the only federal support for the unemployed.  Persons previously unemployed for longer than 26 weeks shall receive no further unemployment payments unless applying for the Work for Wages program.

Work for Wages Program.

General concept.

            Federal assistance to the unemployed for lengthy periods shall be provided through a work program run by his County of residence.  By having each County administer the program, two objectives will be achieved.  First, each County best knows its needs and can administer the program more efficiently and effectively.  Second, by establishing payments at the minimum wage level there will be little incentive to remain in the program when the job market can provide better jobs.  The Federal government will subsidize this program as defined below.

Participation in the Work for Wages program.

            The unemployed who wish to participate in the Work for Wages program may apply to their local County offices.  This is not a mandatory program; however, those that do not wish to participate will receive no Federal funds beyond the 26-week period described above.  Each County may only accept applicants from the unemployed who reside within their County.

            Payment for work performed shall be at the minimum wage scale in existence at the time.  Payment will be paid only for the hours worked.  Payments will not be paid for sick time or for any reason other than work performed.  For those with dependant children their payment shall be at the minimum wage plus 10 % for each child.  Only one family member may draw this dependant children 10 %.  Nothing in this proposal precludes State or County or private charities from providing further assistance.

County participation.

            Each County will organize this Payment for Wages program to fulfill needs of the County.

            Each County will receive $1000 per person currently unemployed within the County at the time of Enactment.  These funds are to be used to establish the program and provide for initial payments.  Each County will directly pay each participant depending on the level of his participation.  Payment will be at the minimum wage scale as modified above.  At the close of each month, each County will submit a request for reimbursement to the federal government based upon the money paid out plus 15 % for administrative costs.

            The Federal government will provide the funding; however, the administration of the program will be left to the counties.  Still, the government must recognizes its fiduciary responsibility and therefore require that each County prepare a quarterly report published in the local media and a copy to their Congressional representative that describes how these funds are being administered.  It will be the responsibility of that Representative and the Citizens of the County to assure that the funds are effectively used.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

One Blogger’s viewpoint

 One Blogger’s viewpoint.
          Over the weekend, I was involved in a lengthy discussion regarding postings on this blog.   Should I say, “Here is a problem within our Federal government, here are some specific examples”; then allow the commenters to explore the matter further?  Alternatively, should I say, ‘Here is a problem within our Federal government, and here are some ideas on how we can address the problem lets discuss them?”  I prefer the latter.  Many of my friends and acquaintances speak in clich├ęs when we discuss our Federal government.  They say: “We waste too much, We spend too much overseas, We need smaller government, We need to bring our military back home, We need term limits,  Washington doesn’t represent the people and on and on.  Of course, most agree on these but how do we resolve them?  One thought is we will eventually turn around Washington by more carefully picking our elected representatives.  I disagree; the odds are stacked against us.  Once elected, our House and Senate members join an exclusive club; a club where the rules and laws imposed upon the people does not apply to them.  They and their living standards are above the proletariat.  Loyalty to their party and to special interests can assure continuous membership as long as they desire to remain and even thereafter into retirement.  Even the best-intended elected officials become seduced by the club.  How often do candidates for office tell us one thing and do another when in office?  Too often!
            I have, not as frequently as I should, but, I have emailed and written to my National representatives and have received responses although granted they were probably prepared by staffers.  The most effective were when I made specific comments or suggestion.  In one case, my suggestion resulted in an open meeting on the subject when my representative visited the area. 
            When I write my postings I will try to present the problem I am addressing, suggest solutions to open discussions and comments.  Hopefully, these discussions and solutions will filter up, through mail and emails to our representatives.
            This opinion should in no way deter from others to present their posts in any form they wish it is my thought only.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Constitutional Convention

Is a constitutional convention the answer?

            Article V of the Constitution provides for a Constitutional Convention for proposing Amendments to the Constitution if two thirds of the State Legislatures call for it.  That is 34 State Legislatures.  (Article V appears at the end of this posting).  Governors of 35 States have filed suit against the Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens upon them.  It is about time that the States and people stand up and demand a Constitutional Convention amending the Constitution.  Note, although only 34 States are required to call a Convention 38 States are required to ratify any Amendments proposed by the Convention.

            Wouldn’t this be a good goal for the Tea Party movement?

            This could be a major undertaking because our Federal Government is so complex, so out of control and is failing to represent the people,  however, the Convention could select the order in which they addressed the issues selecting the clearer ones first so that they could be presented individually to the States while the Convention was still in session.   
            I would like to propose several avenues that should be examined if such a convention was formed. They are listed below.  However, I will propose in future postings specific Amendments that provide specific points of discussion.

1.     We have runaway spending by the Presidency and Congress.  Both parties are at fault.  This spending must be reined in by a better taxation system and by enacting a balanced budget amendment.
2.     Amendment 10, a part of the Bill of Rights, delegates to the States and the people all rights not prohibited by the Constitution.  This has been abused in many ways over the last 50 years or so.   New Amendments are needed to return the power to the States that has been abrogated by the Federal Government.
3.     Amendment 4, a part of the Bill of Rights, gives the right to the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects.  Again, this right has been slowly eroded over the years and needs to be restated in a manner that protects the people in view of new technology, which has the potential to spy on us even within our home.
4.     Along the same vein, many laws restrict what we can do or cannot do within our own homes these restrictions are a violation of the 4th Amendment.
5.     Congress has abused its privileged position by providing for itself  rights, perks, retirement benefits, etc, that it denies to the people.  Several Amendments or a multipurpose Amendment are required to correct these abuses.  For example, term limits and Congress shall have no benefits not available to all and retirement pay for Congress begins at 65 years and is fashioned after the Social Security system.
6.     We spend billions of dollars overseas given to other nations money that could be better used here in the United States.  This must be addressed.
7.     George H W Bush, George W Bush and Barack Obama have and are improperly using our military in Iraq Afghanistan and elsewhere.  The mission of the Military in today’s environs needs further examination.
8.     As a last point, although I suspect that others will rear their heads, for example I read today that Obama care will be forming 160 new Commissions and Bureaus. Do we need them, what will be their jobs and how many.  We need a commission to examine and recommend to the Convention changes in the size, functions, budgets and personnel levels of the entire Federal Government.
Article V
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.