Unemployment

Overview
The recent recession has caused many Americans to face the reality that they no longer have a job. According to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, the national unemployment rate reached a peak in December of 2009 at a rate of 9.9%. Since then it has decreased slightly, touching 9.4% in December of 2010.

Unemployment has been a major political hot spot in recent years. Both Democrats and Republicans alike are trying to solve the problem and help get Americans back on their feet. There have been several suggested solutions from both parties but there has not been a proposed course of action that both sides can readily agree on. This is not uncommon due to the nature of democracy. According to Thomas Reed, in his article The Republican Opposition, "There are two major roles in the drama of democracy. One is that of the party in power, the other that of the opposition. They are equally important. The party in power proposes a program of action. The opposition attacks the weak spots in that program and suggests alternatives." Since taking office in the beginning of 2009, The Barack Administration and the Democrats have attempted to pass several laws with opposition from the Republicans.

History
Throughout the history of unemployment, there is a strong correlation between recessions and job losses. However, unemployment has never been as bad as it is in the recession we are in now." The number unemployed for at least six months is often displayed as a share of total unemployment. That share has risen well above its previous high posted in 1983, reaching 44.1% in March" (Valletta 2).

Since 2003, both parties have been discussing the issue of extending emergency unemployment benefits. Many Democrats feel that the benefits need to be extended for those that are unemployed. Senator Ted Kennedy is quoted as say "How could we in good conscience deny unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed at the same time we are considering… additional tax cuts disproportionately benefiting the wealthiest taxpayer?" (Tanner 374). In contradiction to what the Democrats feel, most Republicans want to curb national spending and focus the efforts of unemployment benefits where they will be most effective. "House Republicans have favored narrowing extensions to communities with the most severe unemployment conditions" (Tanner 364).

House Republicans are continued to convince Congress that the tax cuts of 2003 would make nearly $100 billion available to re-invest in 2003, which would help to create 140 million jobs. The Democrats urged Republicans to remember that Unemployment benefits are a form of assistance that American taxpayers have already paid for through their own contributions.

Analysis
There is no difference between what the Democratic and Republican party want to achieve in assisting the unemployed American citizens. The difference lies in how either side wants to achieve the goal. No one believes unemployment is a good thing. "Most Republicans and Democrats adhere to three traditional policies of American diplomacy: 1. The avoidance of entangling alliances in Europe. 2. The Monroe Doctrine in the Americas. 3. The open door in the Far East."(Reed 286) These three factors are things that both parties take into consideration when making decisions. The Republicans however take a more conservative approach than the Democrats when trying to identify a solution to a problem.

Most recently, House Republicans have denied the Democrats from passing a bill to extend long-term unemployment benefits. The $12.5 billion bill was supposed to extend benefits to the unemployed through the end of February 2011. The bill received a majority of votes but failed to obtain the two thirds majority needed. Rep. Jim McDermott is quoted as saying "We have never cut off benefits for out-of-work Americans where the unemployment rates have been this high. Without extensions, temporary federal extended benefits will shut down…denying benefits to two million of our fellow citizens over the holiday season" (Rubio). Republicans turned down the bill because they fell that it is the responsibility of the House to find ways to pay for the bill without adding to the national deficit and allocating the appropriate funds. According to Rep. Charlie Boustany "The fact is, we can both provide this help and pay for it by cutting less effective stimulus spending….that's what we should be debating today" (Rubio).

Resources
"Ohio Labor Market Information." Department of Job and Family Services. N.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2011.
This is a great source for anybody interested in reports and data about employment levels, unemployment rates, wages and earnings, employment projections, jobs, training resources and careers. We used this source just to get the statistics on recent unemployment percentage rates in Ohio and in the United States.

Reed, Thomas H., and Doris D. Reed "The Republican Opposition." Survey Graphic 1 May 1940: 286. Web. 22 Feb. 2011.
We used this article to get views of the Republican Party on unemployment and how they are willing to fix the problem. This article also talks about the Republican Parties position on the New Deal.

Rubio, Francis R.”GOP blocks House efforts to extend unemployment benefits." Digital Journal (18 Nov. 2010): n.pag. Web. 22 Feb. 2011.
This journal talks about how Republicans blocked a bill recently that would have extended long-term unemployment benefits for about 2 million jobless Americans. It discusses what the White House, Republicans, and the Democrats think about the unemployment bill. It also states how each of these people want to make changes in their own ways on unemployment in the United States

Tanner, Jane. "Unemployment Benefits." CQ Researcher (Apr. 2003): Columbus State Community College. Web. 22 Feb. 2011.
The CQ Researcher was a good article for understanding unemployment in the past several years. It tells us what they did in 2003 about unemployment problems, which helps us contrast the past from the present.

Valletta, Rob, and Katherine Kuang. "Extended Unemployment and UI Benefits." FRBSF Economic Letter 2010.12 (2010): 1-5. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 4 Mar. 2011.
This economic letter tells us how available UI Benefits will increase the unemployment duration.