Monday, December 19, 2011

Come January Michigan Will Slash Unemployment Benefits by 30%

The grand re-experiment to see if society can be improved by kicking the shit out of the unemployed continues in the Great State of Michigan. And believe me, we know unemployment. We're experts. EXPERTS in unemployment. As The Onion once said back in 2007:

"LANSING, MI—In another devastating blow to the state's already fragile economy, the Unemployment Insurance Agency of the state of Michigan permanently shuttered its nine branch offices Monday, leaving more than 8,500 unemployment employees unemployed."


"People from all over the state used to come just to visit our unemployment office," Ayers, 52, said. "Just like Detroit, Ypsilanti, Novi, and most other Michigan cities, Flint's an unemployment town. Has been as long as I can remember."

This State, being no stranger to unemployment, seems to have voted itself into office a bunch of folks who think the remedy to chronically high unemployment is to slash the time allotment for unemployment benefits by 30%, from 26 weeks to 20 weeks.

Starting this January, the new rules go into effect and folks freshly dropped from their livelihoods only get 5 months to look for more work. But not just that. Heck no....

The measures require some unemployed workers to take new jobs after 10 weeks of benefits even if the available work is outside their previous experience or pays lower wages than they were making before. They also make it harder for someone to collect jobless benefits if they're fired for cause or leave a job voluntarily.

The goal here is to either:

1. Punish the unemployed as motivation to be Not Unemployed.


2. Chase the unemployed the hell out of Michigan.


3. To screw workers in order to cut unemployment insurance costs for Michigan businesses and repay the Federal government the unemployment money lent to it because MICHIGAN HAS BEEN SCREWED for so long, exhausting the unemployment insurance coffers... in NOW is the worst possible time to kick the unmployed to the curb.

The new laws also allow the state to sell bonds through which Michigan employers can repay the $3 billion owed the federal government for loans made to cover unemployment benefits from 2007 until now. The proceeds from the bonds will be used to pay off the debt, eliminating hefty penalties and interest employers now are paying the federal government.

Employers will repay the bonds and the state will get back $38 million borrowed from the general fund to cover the payments.

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce said the bonds will save employers penalties and interest, even though some will see their payments go up to repay their share of the bonds. Wendy Block of the chamber said the overall legislation will reform the insolvent unemployment insurance system to address many of the problems that created the funding crisis.


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