Well, it looks like an extension of unemployment benefits will not be a part of the new budget deal. Meanwhile, the long-term structural problem with employment in this country–that of jobs getting outsourced overseas–continues. What are the unemployed to do?
There’s an obvious solution which would warm the cockles of even Paul Ryan’s bleak, Ayn Rand-infused heart. It’s about time we had a real hunger games. Except this one would involve only unemployed people. They’re takers and moochers, so their lives are not worth as much anyway. And there’s no way that any of the wealthy job creators should be risking their well-being in a competition like this. We could have a contestant from each sector of employment which has been losing jobs to other countries: manufacturing, high tech, call centers etc. Just like in the movie, this would be a reality TV show–thus, getting rid of the jobless and producing a profit at the same time! The lone survivor could get an extension of his/her unemployment benefits. Or even better, the winner could be rewarded with a job. Sure, chances are you would lose your life in the games, but if you’re not willing to do anything to get a job, you’re just not trying hard enough.
If nothing else, this would be a refreshingly honest proposal from Paul Ryan. But I doubt we’ll ever see such honesty on Capitol Hill.