John Oliver took a deep dive into America’s unemployment systems, a mess of state-run programs with different rules and standards but with largely one thing in common: They’re badly broken.
“How did our system get this shitty?” Oliver asked on Sunday.
The “Last Week Tonight” segment included a woman who stood in a lengthy line at a “pop-up unemployment office” just days after giving birth because her calls, emails and other attempts to obtain aid had failed.
“Holy shit,” Oliver said. “Waiting in line for unemployment just after giving birth is already appalling, but the very phrase ‘pop-up unemployment office’ is truly alarming. Much like ‘emergency crematorium’ or ‘elephant forceps,’ it suggests things have gone terribly wrong and are about to get significantly worse.”
Oliver looked at how the job loss caused by the coronavirus pandemic exposed many of the flaws that had been in the system for years ― and some, he said were put in to deliberately make it harder for people to obtain the help they’re entitled to, especially in states like Florida.
But he also had some suggestions on how to fix it:
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