February 17th, 2011

Professor Krusty

Good morning class.  We are missing a few people today, probably because of the weather, but I’ll award extra credit for those of you who are here.  Today’s lesson will once again examining another poorly done article by Jennifer Jacobs of the Des Moines Register.  By now, you should be familiar with her work product.

Question:  Why would Jacobs and the Register get so upset about a proposal to end unemployment benefits for people who are unemployed for a week or less?

Shelia, what do you think?

“I just love your class, and your tie with an eagle and the American flag on it looks awesome on you.”

Why thank you, but what about the question?

“Is it because the people at the Register are just looking out for those who are going though a difficult time?”


Jack, what say you?

“Great party the other night Professor Krusty, didn’t think you could run like that.  Strange what happens when the cops show up.”

All right, yeah, let’s not talk about that right now Jack.

“Is it because they are not really unemployed?”

Good answer, but that’s not it either.

You, in the back of the room with a pile of McDonalds.

“My name is Chet.”

Good for you.  What do you think?

“I don’t really have a clue. But can I ask you a question?”


“Are elected officials eligible to receive unemployment benefits if they voted out of office?”

That’s disgusting.

“I’m sorry, I’ll try not to chew with my mouth open.”

No, it’s a disgusting thought that a former elected official, say if you will a former governor, would actually file for unemployment benefits.

“Hey, I’m just asking. A man has to eat.”

OK, I can see we are getting off topic.

The reason why Jacobs and the Register are all worked up over the elimination of unemployment benefits for those who are not employed for a week or less is because the newspaper industry has a little scheme they like to play.  They furlough their employees for a week at a time so they can receive unemployment benefits.  They are basically using the unemployment system to pay employees so they can balance their books. If they would furlough employees one day a month or something like that, the workers would not be eligible to receive unemployment benefits.

The new kid in the second row, do you have your hand up?

“Yes, my name is Rick by the way.”

“Professor, since a company like the Register and its employees pay unemployment taxes, don’t they have the right to collect if they are temporary out of work?  It is unemployment insurance right?

Yes, Rick, it is insurance, so let’s just look at it in that light.

What kind of car do you drive?

“I have a 2008 Toyota Prius.  It gets 51 miles per gallon!”

Good for you, it also sounds like my golf cart.  Anyway, what happens if you get into a fender bender in your Prius?

“Well, I would take it to the dealer or body shop to get an estimate, then submit it to my insurance.”

So, will your insurance cover the entire cost of the repair?

“No, I have a $1000 deductable.”

Interesting.  So the damage to you Prius has to be to a certain level before your insurance pays. So what happens if the damage done in your fender bender only totaled $500?

“I would have to pay it out of pocket.”

That’s right Rick.  Don’t you think unemployment insurance should work in the same way?  Unemployment is there to cover significant periods of unemployment, not the week long furloughs companies like the Register use to stay in business.


“Umm, so I’ve been out of work for like a month now.  Can I collect?

Have at it.


“Why do you hate gay people?”

Class dismissed.

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About the Author

Krusty Konservative
Herschel Krustofski is the pseudonym for the anonymous author of Krusty Konservative, a blog which focuses on Iowa Politics. Created in February of 2006, Krusty Konservative is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the Iowa blogosphere. Since its conception, Krusty Konservative has never shied from tackling controversial issues, and providing insight to the inner workings of Republican politics in Iowa.

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