The right’s astounding hypocrisy on unemployment

Sometimes, you really do have to wonder how the folks over in the Pope Empire manage to look themselves in the mirror every morning. Perhaps it has something to do with some kind of split personal syndrome in which they alternate realities and public personae depending on the day of the week (and whether they’re trying to influence an election or a policy proposal). Lately, it’s been going something like this:

Monday: “The Obama administration’s economic policies have been a disaster. Unemployment rates continue to skyrocket and they’re actually higher than reported. Things are so bad that millions of people have given up looking for work.”

Tuesday: “The problem in our economy is all the lazy workers who aren’t trying hard enough to find a job.”

This is really not an exaggeration. The Locke Foundation website is full of stories from recent months — especially prior to the presidential election — in which staffers are lamenting the fact that the economy is a shambles and that workers have no chance. To see an example, check out this recent (pre-election) column by the Locke Foundation “President and CEO” entitled “Worse than it appears.”

Now, flash forward to this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer in which a Locke spokesperson is quoted on the impending end to unemployment insurance benefits for 100,000 North Carolinians at month’s end:

A looming deadline ‘really kicks people into gear for finding a job,” said Mitch Kokai, a spokesman for the John Locke Foundation, a conservative Raleigh think tank. “When you have the unemployment benefits continue to be extended, that gives people more time to procrastinate … They basically can say, ‘I have more time to hold out for something I really want.’”

Got it? When the right wants to influence elections and defeat incumbent Democrats, unemployment is terrible and people are justifiably desperate; when it wants to actually influence the policy debate (i.e. give voice to what the plutocrats who fund the movement really believe) unemployment is the result of lazy workers who aren’t trying hard enough.


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