The extra help unemployed people got during the Great Recession has emboldened states to mistreat them.
When the next recession comes, many people who lose their jobs will have a harder time getting unemployment insurance, an important lifeline for most Americans. In several states, these people could have to pee in cups just to qualify.
Those who don’t get benefits will have to settle for the sort of fake jobs our economy produces in abundance — a contract job in an Amazon fulfillment center, say, or a gig delivering groceries to people who still have careers.
Talk of a recession is in the air again after the recent wobble in the stock market. It’s highly likely the next recession will occur in the coming three years, while President Donald Trump is still in office. Maybe it’ll happen as a result of his inflation-baiting tax bill. Maybe it’ll have something to do with excessive consumer debt. We don’t know what the cause will be, but we do have some idea of how Americans will experience the next sustained economic slump. Since the Great Recession, during which the GOP repeatedly if grudgingly went along with former President Barack Obama to extend unemployment insurance, Republicans on both the state and federal level have pushed to make benefits less generous and harder to get.