Just Extend the Damn Benefits

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Jason DeParle tells the story of Melody Bedico, a single mother in Seattle who worked as a clerk at an airport hotel until the hotel closed:

Though she immediately applied for unemployment insurance, Ms. Bedico got no help for two months. Multiple calls a day to the Washington state unemployment office went unanswered. Someone once put her on hold for two hours, then cut her off. (She cried.) When food ran short, Ms. Bedico limited herself to two meals a day to feed her 12-year-old daughter. She fell three months behind on her mortgage.

“My whole body really ached with stress, from my head to my toes,” she said.

Then $7,600 suddenly arrived for eight weeks of back benefits, including a $600 weekly bonus. Counting a stimulus payment, Ms. Bedico’s income, $15,500 for three months, is nearly 60 percent more than she would have earned at the hotel.

“I was so happy — I really needed that money,” she said.

Unless Congress extends it, this assistance will end in five weeks even though no one thinks employment will be anywhere close to normal by then. So how about if we just extend it and stop all the inane arguing about whether it keeps people from going back to work. The unemployment rate is 13 percent. 13 percent! That’s what’s keeping people from going back to work. Just extend the damn benefits because it’s the only thing that a decent society would do.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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