The fiscal cliff
The federal unemployment boost is set to expire this week — a $600 weekly bump that, combined with state benefits of $225 or so, amounted to more money than a lot of local jobless folks were making when they were working. It made things tough for the job market, but then the job market is not so hot anyway right now. And those $600 payments kept a lot of people afloat these last few months — as of July 2, US unemployment rate was 11.1 percent, more than 20 million people.
We must acknowledge that a lot of consumer spending will dry up when this bonus goes away, some rents will go unpaid and many already struggling Americans will be further encumbered by hardship. A new package is on the way, but it doesn’t look like Congress can pass something before the benefit lapses.
You want some more bad news? The NFL has canceled its preseason schedule — not that anyone cares about preseason games, but it opens the door to scrapping the entire season.
Also, the numbers kinda suck.
- North Carolina has 2,140 new cases of COVID-19 today, for 105,001 total.
- Our positive-testing rate remains at 8 percent, which is good for us right now.
- Forsyth County has 46 new cases, 4,343 total, of which 2,714 have recovered (62.49 percent) and 41 have died (.94 percent).
- Guilford County adds 151 new cases for 4,263; 2,209 have recovered (52.14 percent) and 135 have died (3.16 percent)
Why have I never heard of Private Snafu, the animated series created during World War II for American soldiers both overseas and at home? They’re training videos, ostensibly, but also highly entertaining — Frank Capra and Dr. Seuss were on the team that created them, along with a few from the Bugs Bunny team — and they were an Army secret until they were declassified and released in 2004. I’ve got them all — every single episode — in this YouTube right here. A rare and valuable find.
- Tonight’s featured image is “A Gaming Table at Devonshire House,” a drawing by Thomas Rowlandson from 1791. Taken from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s public-domain collection.
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