Thomas Perez delivers remarks after President Barack Obama announced Perez as his nominee for Labor Secretary, in the East Room of the White House, March 18, 2013.
Labor Secretary Thomas Perez
Labor Secretary Tom Perez has a very reasonable response to politicians blaming jobless people for being unemployed when there aren't enough jobs to go around:
"When I hear people on Capitol Hill say the long-term unemployed are unemployed by choice, I wanna punch 'em," Perez said Tuesday during a meeting with reporters.

Perez paused and smiled. The reporters laughed. Perez said he felt strongly about the hardship of unemployment because as a youngster in Buffalo, New York, he'd witnessed his surrogate father struggle after a layoff -- and because of his conversations with unemployed people today.

"The thing they say that angers them as much as anything is when politicians suggest they're unemployed by choice, they're just sitting at home eating bonbons," Perez said. (He didn't cite a specific example of a politician alleging bonbon consumption by unemployed people.)

Perez more or less speaks for me on that one, that's for sure. Especially when you consider the actual picture of unemployed people vs. available jobs:

Chart of number of unemployed people and job openings, by industry, showing that there are far more unemployed people than job openings across the board.

Click to enlarge

The blame belongs with the finance industry that crashed our economy, the Republicans in Congress who have time and time again stood in the way of job creation bills, the corporations hoarding massive piles of cash rather than hiring workers. Certainly not with the people sending out application after application, desperately looking for work despite facing long odds and discrimination. And it's truly offensive when the people who helped cause and prolong high unemployment get all smug and blame the victims.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 12:46 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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