That’s what the state gave me - 245 days of unemployment.
That comes out to 35 weeks, a little more than the 26 weeks that many states offer.
March 16 to November 16. Got the letter in the mail from the Department of Labor yesterday that my weekly payments were now at an end.
I suspect most Montanans on the dole will have received the same this week, or will soon.
I applied for unemployment right when this mess started, right when the government forced my employer to close and therefore lay me off. Lasted 101 days before I was allowed back.
This is a huge deal, mainly for all the small businesses that are relying on extra sales going into this holiday season.
There just aren’t going to be a lot of people like me spending money, however...people that have seen their income fall by 75% or more, their hours cut by 85%.
No, we’re not spending any money. If we still have any, we’re saving it...hoping it’ll buy us a few more months of rent and other bills.
And then what?
In some states, even if you wanted to go back to work (or find a new job), a whole new set of lockdowns is starting, some of which are lasting up to six weeks.
What are laid-off people supposed to do during that time, when neither the state nor the feds are giving them unemployment money?
I dunno...and I don’t think anyone else does either.
The huge rally on Wall Street on Monday? Yeah, that faded away by this morning. Yesterday the market was up by about 500...and today it was down by about 500.
On top of this, retail sales in October were way down from the previous month. People aren’t buying as much because they know the economy is walking on broken glass.
It’s not rocket science.
Nine months ago we had record employment and employers were struggling to find workers. Now that’s been turned on its head, and workers are watching their savings dwindle.
Let me give you an idea of what this looks like in Montana.
I didn’t get any unemployment in March as the system was getting set up for all the new people. In April, however, I received $2,289 in combination from the state and the feds.
In May I got $3,052 and then in June it was $2,289. July netted me $3,037.
After that the federal money started to run out. In August I got $2,209. In September I received $1,142 and in October I got $579.
So far in November I’ve been sent $163. My paycheck this month was $38, due to the drastic cut in hours I’ve been forced to take since the second round of Missoula restrictions went into effect on October 29.
Still got the rent due in two weeks, though. You think I’m gonna go out and spend that in the local community with some business?
The dole is over, unemployment is done. I’m personally not counting on Congress to pass another stimulus, and honestly, I don’t want them to.
We can’t afford it. My kids can’t afford it. Their kids can’t afford it.
Because that’s how long we’d be paying it off...until 2100 or something, if the country even exists by then, which chances are good it will not.
You can’t keep debasing your currency by printing money. In the old days, emperors would shave the silver off the coins in circulation. Today they rely on the printing press. Either way, it’s a sure sign a society is on the brink.
The sad thing is that this is a self-inflicted wound, and one that we could heal at anytime...simply by opening up.
Old people and the sick are staying home already for the most part. Why does everyone else have to suffer?
Ask the retirees that, while they get their social security. Ask the bureaucrats as they collect the pay that you give them via your taxable earnings. Ask the politicians, if you’re able to find them deep down in the corporation’s pockets.
Just don’t ask the common workers, because they’re not going to have an answer for you.
And don’t be surprised when they don’t spend/waste a lot of money this holiday season buying cheap, plastic crap from China at the nearest big box store.
Don’t be surprised if this drags the markets down further, and with it many small businesses, and perhaps key industries.
Of course, all of this could change tomorrow if we’d just open up. But what are the chances of that?
One group of experts says we can open and lockdowns are harming us; another group says we can’t open and lockdowns are saving lives.
Who’s right...who’s wrong?
Does it even matter anymore?
At this point, we’re arguing over who fired the gunshot that’s killing us. While both sides yell at each other, we’re lying on the street with our lifeblood pooling all around us.
When will it end?
I don’t think it will.
What’s the incentive to end it, and who does that benefit?
What’s the incentive to keep it going, and who does that benefit?
In 10 days it’ll be Black Friday.
I wholly suspect it’ll be more subdued this year, with fewer stores opening at dawn and fewer people rushing down aisles to tear huge flatscreen TVs out of other, unsuspecting shoppers’ hands.
This is going to hit retailers hard, and in turn the markets and in turn people’s retirement accounts.
Oh well. At least they have retirement.
The people that you want propping up those accounts, though? Well, you allowed the corporate media to play you for fools, and that cost most of the young people their jobs.
They’re not paying into the system; indeed, for months they’ve been taking out of it.
But now that’s gone, and this is going to have a monumental ripple effect in the economy.
We saw it today.
Dow up 500 yesterday, down 500 today.
Enjoy that pension, while it lasts.