99 And Counting Tales From the Un-Funny Papers

Terrance Heath

Let’s face it. Nothing about the economic crisis is funny. Nothing about America’s 9% unemployment rate, 14.8 million unemployed,
or 6.2 million long-term employed is funny. And there’s nothing mildly amusing about the 2 million Americans whose unemployment benefits began running out yesterday,
after the GOP blocked another extension of unemployment benefits. (Especially if you figure that, given the current rate of job creation, millions more Americans will be in the same position.)

So why a comic strip?

Because I think maybe the story of how the economic crisis is devastating millions of Americans, while Washington does precious little about it, needs to be told in as many different ways as possible to reach more people.

I spend my days reading news articles about the economy, the plight of the jobless, and the seemingly abstruse reasoning behind economic policy. I call them "the un-funny papers." So, I created comic strip, which I’ve title "99 and Counting…"

Sure, now we’re hearing from policymakers that "getting unemployment down is of incredible importance." But everywhere you look in Washington — from Congress, to the White House, and beyond — legislators and policymakers seem stuck on ideas that haven’t worked and won’t work; like tax cuts for the wealthy, and salary freezes for federal workers.

It’s not really a funny story, or it would be if only it wasn’t the reality of millions of Americans. But regardless, it’s a story that needs to be told, and — along with the statistics and data that provide the backdrop — shared with as many people as possible.

So, as often as possible, I’ll be producing these strips and introducing characters to help tell the story of the economic crisis and the unemployment crisis from the perspective of millions of Americans who are living it every day. And with each comic, I’ll include links to relevant articles and reports that tell the rest of the story.

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