As of last week, 36.5 million workers had filed unemployment claims, but most are waiting to see the funds appear. The viral hashtag #PendingPurgatory explains what it’s been like for working people: a living hell, waiting for help while our lives fall apart.
Most states aren’t recording or releasing the numbers of payments they have made. (Perhaps they are taking a leaf out of Trump’s book – if they don’t keep track of it, maybe they won’t have a problem?) Despite the millions who are waiting for unemployment payments, it’s estimated that only 60% of them have received any payments since mid-March. Of 12 million new workers with unemployment claims in March, only 14% of them actually received any payments. In April, $80 billion was owed to unemployment claims, but only $48 billion was paid out by the Treasury. This is only increasing in May.
Out of the government’s trillions in stimulus packages, the overwhelming majority has appeared in corporate coffers, for banks, and on the stock market. The government is making every attempt to save the economy for the bosses. It’s as close to heaven as the bosses can get. And we know that if we settle for what the government has in store for us, we’ll be waiting in purgatory for a long time.
Working people make all the wealth in society. It’s absolutely insane that we’re put through hell just trying to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table! The amount of suffering in this pandemic is of biblical proportions, but we know there’s no prophet who is going to come save us. The banks and corporations, and the politicians who serve them, will keep us waiting for as long as they can. We have to start organizing now if we ever want to expect a different result.
Featured image credit: Creative Commons / Mike Licht