Unemployment, Betsy Devos, and Josh Ritter

Trying to add a little lightness to the unemployment line

Woke up to rolling thunderstorms in February and a full day of rain. I’m not sure what happened to winter, but I worry about the amount of bugs that my house will include by summer. I’m hoping for a late March freeze.

My Country – Unemployment Insurance

UnemploymentIn 1932, Wisconsin became the first state to enact unemployment insurance. However, very few states followed the lead, so a national law was needed. By 1933, the unemployment rate peaked at 25% with over 18 million unemployed people. President Franklin D. Roosevelt urged a federal plan to alleviate the economic distress.

The Social Security Act of 1935 placed a tax on employers for unemployment benefits. The law allowed a credit for employers if they paid into a state unemployment system. The fund was paid to the states for distribution under their own laws.

However, many argued that the law violated the Tenth Amendment, which reserves to the states the powers not delegated to the United States. Four justices believed that the requirement did impair the rights of the states. But led by Justice Cardozo,  the Supreme Court argued that the law encouraged states to enact compensation laws, not coerce them.

Ironically, people continue to argue that unemployment insurance violates the Tenth Amendment. But no traction yet.

I am a strong federalist and do not believe that state rights go very far. The fundamental concept of a state revolves around the laboratory system. States should have the right to try new agendas and concepts, like Wisconsin did. But the federal government should be able to at any point supersede what the state wants to do if it fits within the implied powers laid out by the Constitution. In other words, if the federal government deems something necessary and proper to enact a power laid out in the Constitution, it becomes in their right.

Daily Briefing

  • Faith in country has become faith in a leader for the right, according to Jonah Goldberg, who I agree with never – except for this.
  • As we confirm an EPA director who wants to dismantle the EPA and does not want to confront climate change, here is part of Antarctica that is breaking away.
  • Putin’s top opponent who was previously poisoned is now in a coma from another poison. Yeah, Putin is a killer. Don’t defend this monster.
  • I thought they only hated illegal immigration. You mean the GOP seems to just hate immigrants and wants to reduce the number regardless? Well, that would mean that they don’t want new people here for any kind. I wonder why…
  • Betsy Devos is a corrupt, money bag who only wants to teach children about Jesus. She is the reason that progressives need to stop bickering over stupid stuff and come together.Her family has given millions to the National Organization for Marriage, so no anecdotes of her being nice to gay employees will sway anything. She wants to destroy my family – I will ensure that I destroy anything she tries to do.
  • Congressional Republicans loved to cry too much executive power, but seem to be standing off to the side. I wonder why? Partisanship is a bitter pill.
  • A twelve year old is charged with capital murder and aggravated robbery for the death of a 21 year old clerk.
  • An estimated 13,000 people were hanged in Syria by the current regime – the one being bolstered by Putin. Again, Putin is a killer.
  • Donald Trump lives in a twisted reality because he can. But the rest of us have to live in the reality he is creating. Continue to fight back because reality does not mean a damn thing to him.
  • This series looking back at the election by Nate Silver is depressing to say the least.

Daily Distraction

This week, I listened to The Moment with Brian Koppelman’s interview with Josh Ritter, a singer/songwriter I have listened to for several years. Somehow I had missed a 2015 album he put out, Sermon on the RocksHis prior album, So Runs the World, played a special role in my life in 2010 and the video for The Curse will forever play in my mind.

Sermon on the Rocks sounds incredibly different than Ritter’s prior work. He appears to have combined some different styles away from the indie-country-folk-rock sound. His lyrics remain as sharp as the previous albums, but add a weightiness that many of his prior works lack. They told great stories but did not have the emotional drive that many of the greats create. I need to listen a few more times and take notes. But I’m working hard to begin listening to more music again and finding an album from 18 months ago from one of my favorite artists makes me realize I’ve been dropping the ball.

One Sentence Story

As I woke up to the flicker of lightning, I heard the rain continue to pour off of the roof onto the sunroom’s roof onto the deck.

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