As of December 29th I’d be glad to work at Walmart because that’s when my federal extended unemployment benefits expire. Don't judge. I support Walmart workers and the strikes wholeheartedly. They aren’t paid a living wage. Their miserly work schedules are shameful. Their working conditions are arguably, if not actually, dangerous in some cases. But I will need a job – any job  – come December 30th.
    As MeteorBlades explained earlier this week, over 2 million long term unemployed workers will abruptly lose federal unemployment benefits on December 29th unless those EUC benefits are renewed. Another 400,000 unemployed workers will lose state benefits in January, 2013 and be left without support if federal benefits aren’t extended. By the end of March 2012, state benefits for an additional 600,000 workers will expire. By the end of 2013, 2 million more unemployed workers will exhaust their state benefits. In all, by the end of 2013 about 5 million unemployed workers will be pushed over a very real and very steep “fiscal cliff” unless federal benefits are extended. And one of the ripple effects of failing to extend benefits is the expected loss of 400,000 additional jobs due to decreased consumer spending.
    This particular financial crisis hasn’t received much attention here, in the news, or apparently in Congress. There’s not much time left to lobby before the end of the year, but a communication of your choice to the White House and/or your Congressperson would mean a lot to me and several million other people. If you are pressed for time, here's a convenient petition to multiple Congressional representatives that you can sign.