Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sharron Angle: Unemployed Are "Spoiled"

Teabag whack job and Republican senatorial candidate for Nevada Sharron Angle had some words for what she thought of the unemployed yesterday. In an interview with Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston, Angle was asked how she would have voted on the bill that was intended to extend unemployment benefits. Here was Angle's response:
I would have voted no, because the truth about it is that they keep extending these unemployment benefits to the point where people are afraid to go out and get a job because the job doesn't pay as much as the unemployment benefit does. And what we really need to do is put people back to work. So if you want to ease people back into work, what we need is an unemployment benefit that pays part. You know, you go to work, you have something of a safety net, in unemployment. But just to give them full unemployment benefits and then extend those for two years or more gets them not only out of the working class but it also depreciates their skills, so they're not actually able to go out and compete in that workforce, so what we really want, is we want something that stimulates a group of people to go back into what we know as that free market.
I partially agree with Angle's response but then Ralston played an audio clip of a previous comment made by Angle regarding unemployment, in which Angle said that "we've put in so much entitlement into our government that we really have spoiled our citizenry."  This is where Angle the politician comes out to play.

Rolston called Angle out on calling the citizenry spoiled and all Angle could say is "come on."  Angle tried to explain away her previous comment stating that unemployment had spoiled the citizenry, which is different then stating the citizenry are spoiled.

I understand Angles initial response to Ralston, but I think she is over-generalizing, which tebaggers are really good at doing.  While there are probably some who are lazy, there are also some who may not be able to afford accepting just any job because the effects of losing benefits may be far more damaging then if they continued to collect.  Imagine if accepting a job that paid less meant losing one's home because they could no longer afford to pay their mortgage.  The economic impact would probably be greater then if that person remained on unemployment for a little bit longer.

Angle didn't make it better for herself either.  During the interview, Angle tried to do some damage control, claiming she doesn't think all unemployed people are lazy, but insisting that the jobs are out there and the unemployed simply aren't looking hard enough.  According to Pat Garofalo, "there are nearly five workers actively searching for work for every job available."  If that is the case, then there is only a job out there for 20% of the unemployed.  Where are the jobs for the rest of the unemployed that Angle stated were out there?

Jason Linkins summed it up best at the end of his article:
Another thing that Angle might want to get hip to is this new trend in employment, where in order to get a new job, you have to have a job already. Of course, I say that as if Angle is at all interested in fostering employment. As she famously said, "As your US Senator, I'm not in the business of creating jobs."

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