The Social Contract

The 99ers May Be the New Tea Party

In the coming days of the shiny new 112th Congress you may see the term "99er" thrown around a lot. Not everyone knows what a 99er is. So, just so we're all up to speed, a 99er is a term for the Americans who have reached the 99th week of unemployment benefits and extensions and face complete financial abandonment. There are probably at least 6 million 99ers and, with job creation flat, more on the way.

Unemployment benefits work a little like the 5-tier opposite of the armed forces defense readiness condition (DEFCON). Whereas DEFCON 5 is the lowest state of alarm, a Tier 5 extension of unemployment [...]