Black men w/ no criminal record applying for jobs treated same as white men fresh out of prison – DailyKos

The Political Agitator response: All conscious folks ought to know this by seeing it across the nation and it didn’t just begin yesterday.

Even if a black man is never called a nigger in the job application process, racism is alive and well in today’s competitive marketplace. In a powerful editorial for the NY Times, it’s made clear that the deck is stacked firmly against African Americans in ways that are incredibly destructive.

The sociologist Devah Pager, a Harvard professor who has meticulously researched the effect of race on hiring policies, has also shown that stereotypes have a powerful effect on job possibilities. In one widely cited study, she sent carefully selected test applicants with equivalent résumés to apply for low-level jobs with hundreds of employers. Ms. Pager found that criminal convictions for black men seeking employment were virtually impossible to overcome in many contexts, partly because convictions reinforced powerful, longstanding stereotypes. (Source: Read more)

Unemployment rate falls to lowest level since 2008 – CNN Money

The U.S. economy added 236,000 jobs in February, according to a Labor Department report released Friday. That’s much stronger growth than in January, when employers hired a revised 119,000 workers.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate dipped to 7.7%, as 12 million workers were counted as unemployed.

The unemployment rate fell partly because more people said they got jobs, but also because 130,000 people dropped out of the labor force. (More)

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PRESS RELEASE: Butterfield Slams Proposed Mandate to Unemployment Benefits




For Release:  Immediate



Date:  February 3, 2012


Contact: Kezmiché "Kim" Atterbury 
Phone:  (202) 225.3101

                                                   Mobile: (202) 465.5125

Butterfield Slams Proposed Mandate to Unemployment Benefits


WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) took to the House Floor for a second time in a week to speak out against a Republican proposal in the conference committee charged with finding a way to extend the payroll tax cut through 2012.  The conferees have been at odds over a proposal that would require unemployed Americans to have a high school diploma or be enrolled in an equivalent program to receive unemployment insurance benefits.


“To require people, who would otherwise be eligible for unemployment benefits, to now either have a high school diploma or be enrolled in a G.E.D. program is discriminatory and despicable,” said Butterfield.  “Adult education might be useful, but is largely unattainable due to significant cuts to adult education and job training programs.  Creating an education mandate as a condition of eligibility to receive unemployment insurance benefits is punitive, misguided, and particularly egregious—even by current Republican standards.”


Butterfield’s floor statement is below.


Statement by Congressman G. K. Butterfield on Unemployment Benefits


Mr. Speaker.  I rise today in outrage of House and Senate Republican conferees for attempting to include an education requirement as a condition to receive unemployment insurance benefits.  To require people, who would otherwise be eligible for unemployment benefits, to now either have a high school diploma or be enrolled in a G.E.D. program is discriminatory and despicable.


Adding contingencies to this crucial relief does nothing to create jobs or address the real causes of unemployment.  It is a difficult time to be unemployed in America, but Republicans seem particularly determined to make it even more difficult by kicking the unemployed while they are down.


With less than a month to craft a long-term payroll tax measure, I urge Republican conferees to stop obstructing the process by insisting on distracting proposals that are only meant to score political points.  I am strongly opposed to any education requirement to receive unemployment benefits, and I suggest my colleagues to do the same.



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Congressman G.K. Butterfield

If not for Obama, unemployment would have been at 15 percent, Pelosi says

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday defended President Obama as the U.S. recovery maintains its sluggish pace, arguing that the country would have been in a far worse situation if the president hadn’t carried out his economic agenda.

If Obama and Congress had not acted, “we would’ve been at 15 percent unemployment,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday morning at her weekly news conference. (Read more)

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President Barack Obama

Why Are Americans So Docile? – Source: Open Salon

  Forbes magazine reported that, as of this month, the four hundred richest Americans enjoyed a combined  worth of $1.53 trillion, which figure had increased from 1.37 trillion over the previous year. Their combined  wealth was thus approximately  equivalent to the GDP of Canada. Almost simultaneously, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that the real median household income in  the  United States had declined to $49,995, or 2.3% from 2009 , while the nation’s poverty rate had increased to 43.569 million people, or 15.1 of the total population, and the number of people without health care insurance had grown to 49.9 million. (Read more)

Public Employees are Falling Behind; Unemployment is increasing; are policies working? by Jeanne Milliken Bonds

In politics, if you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles. There is no fear that when you put forth an idea, a policy, there will be criticism and there will be encouragement. But to those predisposed to criticism, I say put forth a plan and then we can talk.

Public employees have lost their jobs and for those who still have their jobs, the lack of salary increases are increasingly causing families distress. From the university housekeeper to the Corrections Officer to the retiree to the clerk at DMV to your local educators, our public employees are falling behind as food costs increase, gas prices increase and their salary dollars do  not stretch as far. In local communities, public employees’ inability to put money in the local economy is having devastating effects on small cities and rural areas which rely on this cycle. There is no doubt that smaller communities, some inner cities and rural areas are suffering from higher unemployment.

I encourage you to read the jobs plan at

SEANC’s report, "Save our State" called for closing loopholes and keeping the penny tax. I was at the Raleigh Rally where public employees called on legislators to do that. This plan says the same. Will it be heard? Will it pass? Likely no, unless you motivate people to tell them to hear it. The current leadership has said that in a year, we will be better off – just wait and see. Well, I say, I have seen enough. Unemployment is rising and many families don’t have a year of savings to "wait and see" if it gets better. If there is enough public outcry about the economy, the issue will rise to the top. And for those who say "but government doesn’t create jobs," I say government is an intricate part of the economy; government makes policies that affect the economy. So, while it does not create jobs, it has a significant impact on the entities that do. So, why are we not discussing economic policy? Why are we discussing social policy?

The budget attack on education has now led elected officials to call for suggestions to sell University assets to pay for the cuts that were made. For example, sell Rex Hospital, owned by UNC Health Systems, to pay for the cuts made to K to 12 education in the state budget. This is after-the-thought policy-making.

We need a  new process. One whereby leaders evaluate and analyze decisions before they make them so we can be assured that they make sound decisions based on the long-term and not the short term.  Hear this plan in the November session; don’t spend money on amending our Constitution. If you don’t like this plan, offer another one. But don’t just say we "promised our base no penny sales tax" and not look at any alternatives.

This is about people with jobs who are struggling, people without jobs who are growing more and more concerned, and our children who are wondering if there will be jobs when it is time for them to work.

by Jeanne Milliken Bonds on Facebook