Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dr. Keith Ablow - A Fox News Shrink Evaluates the 99ers

A commenter on my blog referred me to this Fox News article that was posted today: "99 Weeks of Unemployment Compensation Causes Major Depression".

Yes, being jobless is depressing, but getting unemployment insurance doesn't cause depression. Any idiot would know that. You don't have to be an over-priced shrink practicing voodoo psychiatry to figure that out. But his article insinuates that we shouldn't give people unemployment benefits to feed their children because it might hurt their self-esteem, making them depressed... if anybody associated with Fox News ever gave a damn about the jobless, let alone their mental condition or inner circumspection and personal well-being. Fox News and the Republicans just don't want to pay jobless people unemployment insurance...or Social Security, or Medicaid, or Medicare, or food stamps, or anything else.

For 2½ years Fox News has attacked and insulted the unemployed - - - and if they are still around for the next 2½ years, Fox News will continue to do so. After all, everybody knows that Fox News doesn't really report the "news", but is really the propaganda arm of the Republican Socially Conservative Right Wing Party ran by a multi-billionaire immigrant from Australia. Bill O'Reilly kisses Rupert Murdoch's ass so he (Bill) can continue to sell his books on his program.

First of all, why is Fox News still hammering the unemployed? Haven't they suffered enough already? And the funding for extended federal unemployment benefits is set to expire just after the end of the year. The Republicans made sure of that by only funding them for 1 more year in exchange for extending the Bush tax cuts for the very rich for 2 more years. 

But Fox News and the Republicans aren't happy enough with that...they want to cut unemployment insurance off BEFORE the funding expires 6 months from now, while at the same time giving subsidies to oil companies and more tax breaks to the rich (whom they insanely insist on calling "job creators". They are too embarrassed or ashamed to use the words "uber-wealthy" or "filthy rich").

In today's Fox News article (written by that quack shrink) it says: "They can't rationalize giving up their unemployment checks and taking jobs that would pay them less (sometimes far less) than what they were used to earning."

I argue: But if you are locked in to a lease or mortgage - and a car payment - for $1,500 a month, and you receive $1,500 a month in unemployment benefits, most people will take the unemployment benefits while attempting to find work earning AT LEAST $1,500 a month. That only makes sense. Sane people wouldn't jump at the first job offering only $1,000 a month.

It's a CATCH-22 situation. While you're unemployed, you can't find a cheaper place to live because you have to have the documentation (like your last two pay stubs) to show you're gainfully employed. Landlords sometimes run credit checks and if you're behind in a mortgage or rent payment, they won't rent to you.

If you break a rental agreement, lease, or mortgage, you can be sued years later and have your future wages garnished from any new employer...and you could lose THAT job because of the wage garnishment.

And you can't just return your car to the bank and expect to refinance a less expensive car for transportation. Your credit is ruined with a REPO and finding financing for a less expensive car could be impossible.

They say people weren't living within their means, but if you had previously earned $3,000 a month before being laid off from your job, you would have been living within your means. It's usually AFTER you lose your job that you're FORCED to live above your means while attempting to maintain the status quo on those measly unemployment checks.

Yet Fox News and the Republicans want ALL working people to think that ALL unemployed people are just lazy and sit around the pool all day drinking Margaritas. Divide and conquer, an ancient military (and political) strategy. Turn the working people against the unemployed - - - those who may have worked 40 or 50 years before being laid off during The Great Recession.

The Fox News article continues: "I have often said that it would take an emotional giant to stay at home for many months--when one is used to working--and not succumb to emotional difficulties. People need to be productive."

It may take an emotional giant to stay at home for many months, but people don't voluntarily subject themselves to isolation and a self-imposed "house arrest". I know, I've been personally going through this for the last 3 years. I had no choice. 

While filling out hundreds of applications and a few psychological evaluations (and recieving rejections if one were even acknowledged), what else can one do? I was as productive as I could be. I wrote a novel, I moderated a Facebook group, I edited a few videos, I advocated for the 99ers and the unemployed on two other web sites, and I maintained this blog. This was while I emailed my resumes, sent letters, wrote and faxed members of congress, and submitted testimony to congressional hearings on the unemployed. I didn't just sit on the couch all day, staring at the TV while farting and picking my nose. 

The article continues: "I understand that folks need a safety net when the bottom falls out of the economy. But that safety net can become a web that captures them and won't let them get on with their lives. It can become a web that saps their self-esteem and encourages them to believe they are not strong and are not able to begin anew."

That is utter non-sense. I was laid off in 2008. My unemployment benefits ran out in June 2010. Here I am a year later in 2011 with NO INCOME AT ALL and subsisting on the kindness of another person for a roof over my head and food stamps for food - - - and state Medicaid for healthcare. 

I lost my car, I'm still isolated, and I'm still depressed, and I still can't replace my socks and underwear that are full of holes. Does the writer of that article think that I live like this by CHOICE? After working 40 years, one day I just DECIDED to start living like this? And that the unemployment benefits that I once received last year was the cause of my depression? The Fox News shrink that wrote that article is an idiot!!!! And he gets paid too??? Unfriggingbelievable!!!!

And the article goes on to say: "Too many people are lost in this web of 99 weeks of unemployment benefits"

That's ludicrous! Most states never even offered the maximum of 99 weeks, so most people weren't in that "evil web of mental destruction" for an entire 99 weeks. I live in a state that offered 99 weeks but for some reason (that I never got an answer to) I only received 71 weeks.

What an asinine analogy the writer makes: "Is it better psychologically for someone who once earned $100,000 to collect unemployment for 99 weeks because he or she can't find another job with a six-figure salary? Or is it better for that person to take a job for $30,000."

First of all, if I had earned $100,000 a year before being laid off, I would have had much more money in the bank. But I only earned $35,000 as a casino bartender in Las Vegas, and the national mean income in America is $43,000. There are very few jobs being offered to 14 million unemployed Americans for $30,000 a year or they would be knocking down the doors to get to them. The writer of this article has not ONE CLUE of the unemployment situation in this country, and he is just as out of touch with REAL people as are the politicians in Washington D.C.

Dr. Keith Ablow (the writer of the article) is SUPPOSED to be a psychiatrist and is member of the Fox News "Medical A-Team". I suppose the good "doctor" would propose that NO unemployed Americans receive ANY unemployment benefits, in that, although they wouldn't have the time to find another job before the whole family was evicted from their home - - - at least the former bread-winner in the house will have better self-esteem by working at McDonald's. But wait a minute....he applied at McDonalds too, and they wouldn't hire him either. Nor would Wal-Mart, Taco Bell, or U-Haul. I know, because I tried too.

More than 14 million Americans are unemployed (meaning NO JOB AT ALL), while another 30+ million Americans are "under-employed", meaning they already have one or two jobs working at places like McDonalds. They WISH they could find a job earning $30,000 a year, which Dr. Keith A-blow thinks is SO LITTLE to him, but sounds like SO MUCH to people like me. But you see, the Republicans and Fox News only represent the rich, people like Dr. Ablow, not low-lifes like me who once earned $30,000 a year but was laid off and couldn't find another job at 55 years old.

Dr. Keith Ablow goes on my long list of Republican and corporate blow-hards for practicing voodoo psychiatry.


  1. Here's another post about the blowhard Fox News shrink:

    Dr. Keith Ablow's Phony Right-Wing "Diagnosis:" Extended Unemployment Benefits Causes "Major Depression":

  2. Wonder which republican wrote the script for him?

  3. Unemployment benefits pays an average of $309 a week, or about $16,000 a year. And federal income taxes must be claimed on that. Social Security Disability would pay me about $14,000 a year. I wonder how that moron could live on that. I suppose he would be very depressed.

  4. And I forgot to mention...most people WOULD take that $30,000-a-year job because for MOST people, that's over DOUBLE what they would be getting in unemployment benefits.

  5. A great response to that idiot quack. As usual all the rich can do is blame the victim.

  6. Here's another take on Ablow.