Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Dec. 19, 2012 is ARTSTRIKE — a day of action to share powerful art and music that can convince our friends that more cuts and tax breaks aren’t the answer. Artists from across the country have come together to make their voices heard. It couldn't come at a more urgent time, as Washington, D.C. nears a deal that would slash Social Security and raises taxes on the poor and middle class. Check out a few of my favorites below, and help me share them far and wide. music that can convince our friends that more cuts and tax breaks aren’t the answer. Artists from across the country have come together to make their voices heard. It couldn't come at a more urgent time, as Washington, D.C. nears a deal that would slash Social Security and raises taxes on the poor and middle class. Check out a few of my favorites below, and help me share them far and wide. 

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Without deal, unemployment checks stop Dec. 29

Without deal, unemployment checks stop Dec. 29:'
Paul Davidson, USA Today, 12/17/12

"...About 2.1 million Americans will lose their extended jobless benefits on Dec. 29, leaving many on the brink of poverty, if Washington doesn't renew them as part of a deal on the package of tax increases and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff."

An additional 930,000 people will run out of unemployment insurance in early 2013 when their 26 weeks, give or take, of state benefits end, according to the National Employment Law Project (NELP).

Although the issue is far less publicized than other parts of the fiscal cliff, such as income-tax increases and entitlement reform, an abrupt cutoff of benefits would have a far more dramatic impact on the well-being of millions of Americans."

Read rest of article

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We're Not Broke!!

We're not broke, we're not broke! We're being played for chumps. There's no "fiscal crisis." There is, however, a Destructive Political Opportunity in arguing about the so-called "fiscal crisis." 

The real crisis is the jobs and unemployment crisis. For every 1 million people that go back to work THE FEDERAL DEFICIT GOES DOWN BY $54 BILLION.

TIght labor markets -- low unemployment -- is the key for working people. MASS UNEMPLOYMENT drives down wages. If wages go up, the budget balance for Medicare and Social Security looks much better.

[30 second economic teach-in] Live better, cut the crap.

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Why Austerity Economics Hurts Low-Wage Workers the Most

by Robert Reich, 12/5/12

Cross posted from

"... What does the drama in Washington over the “fiscal cliff” have to do with strikes and work stoppages among America’s lowest-paid workers at Walmart, McDonald’s, Burger King, and Domino’s Pizza?"

"Everything.  Jobs are slowly returning to America, but most of them pay lousy wages and low if non-existent benefits.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that seven out of 10 growth occupations over the next decade will be low-wage — like serving customers at big-box retailers and fast-food chains."

"That’s why the median wage keeps dropping, especially for the 80 percent of the workforce that’s paid by the hour..."

 Read rest of article

See Robert Reich's Slideshow for his new book, Beyond Outrage

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The Forgotten Millions

The Forgotten Millions -

By Paul Krugman, 12/6/12
"...Let’s get one thing straight: America is not facing a fiscal crisis. It is, however, still very much experiencing a job crisis.  It’s easy to get confused about the fiscal thing, since everyone’s talking about the “fiscal cliff.” Indeed, one recent poll suggests that a large plurality of the public believes that the budget deficit will go up if we go off that cliff."

"In fact, of course, it’s just the opposite: The danger is that the deficit will come down too much, too fast. And the reasons that might happen are purely political; we may be about to slash spending and raise taxes not because markets demand it, but because Republicans have been using blackmail as a bargaining strategy, and the president seems ready to call their bluff..."

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Dude, Where's My Job?

If you're feeling frustrated by getting caught up in the austerity-deficit-obsession framing of the Right, Center, and Neo-Liberal-Left, don't feel bad.

You're the victim of a corporate scam, funded by the ill-gotten gains of private equity billionaire Pete Peterson, who has been generously investing in media and think tank generation of deficit hysteria, through his tax-exempt (!) foundation.

Meanwhile, the former CEO of Blackstone group pays the bargain-basement 15% tax rate on carried interest that is the relatively exclusive privilege of America's richest families and hedge fund managers.   The guy ran around leaving a trail of smashed union jobs and corporate wreckage.

We were idiots to let him get away with this, but we are insane if we treat him as a source of authority for dealing with the severe unemployment crisis this country is facing.  You know the old saying, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice....

Criticizing a "Fiscal Summit" that Peterson organized, Bob Kuttner of the American Prospect pointed out the irony of involving Peterson's hand-picked experts -- Alan Greenspan and Robert Rubin -- to pontificate about how to fix the economy they wrecked.
If the orgy of financial deregulation that led to the crash had two prime sponsors, the Democratic one was Rubin and the Republican one was Greenspan. Inviting these characters to a fiscal summit to devise a way out of the crisis is like inviting arsonists to design a seminar on fire prevention.
Peterson himself, who underwrites the work of the foundation with a billion dollar gift, made his money as one of America’s private-equity moguls. Private equity companies have been among main offenders in the world of shadow banking that helped cause the collapse, and are now lobbying against tough financial reform and regulation.
So, the next time you see Peterson, or David Walker, or one of these "Fix the Debt CEOs" running around barking economic orders, turn on your crap detector.  You want to fix the Debt, Mr. Corporate CEO?  Shut up and pay your fair share, and quit gouging the public and gouging workers with your lavish tax breaks, corporate welfare and union-smashing schemes. 

As Malcolm X said, "...Ya been had! Ya been took! Ya been hoodwinked! Bamboozled! Led astray! Run amok!"

Cross-posted from the Campaign for America's Future

What You Need To Know About Peter G. Peterson

What's Behind His Big-Money Campaign On The Federal Deficit

Related Topics:
Peter G. Peterson is an American businessman who was CEO of several prominent companies such as Bell & Howell and Lehman Brothers before founding the private equity firm Blackstone Group. He is currently most well-known for being the founder and principal financier of his Peter G. Peterson Foundation, that claims their mission is to "increase public awareness of the nature and urgency of key fiscal challenges threatening America's future and to accelerate action on them." He also served as Secretary of Commerce under President Richard Nixon.
He has been called the most influential billionaire in politics due to his spreading of his wealth throughout the political spectrum to reduce the debt.

Our Take on Peter G. Peterson

These "Fix the Debt" CEOs are the same CEOs that crashed our economy, took their bonuses, and ran, leaving the rest of America to clean up their mess. Although their calls for bipartisan cooperation hit all the right notes to the American public, we believe that the push to get a lower corporate tax rate from a bipartisan solution is the ulterior motive of these CEOs. Peterson himself has contributed almost half a billion dollars to his foundation that pushes for the reform of programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Peterson has not limited his donations to one party, but rather built a coalition of Democrats and Republicans. His efforts are complimented by his online news service, The Fiscal Times, which supports the Peterson-funded groups in his vision.

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Women's Employment Report Video

about the jobs crisis and the need for a national jobs program.  

Produced by the National Organization For Women of New York State (NOW-NYS) and Manhattan Neighborhood Network. 

More info: 

National Jobs for All Coalition:, 

National Organizaiton for Women: 

Workers Defense League: (212) 627-1931 

NY State Department of Labor:

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Robert Pollin: Back To Full Employment

More at The Real News

More at The Real News

Cross-posted from The Real News

Robert Pollin is interviewed by Paul Jay on the Real News about the jobs crisis and the opportunity to pursue economic policies that would create full employment, where everyone who wants to work could have a job.

For more information, see Bob's new book, Back to Full Employment, on MIT Press.  Here's more info from the publisher's web site.

Full employment used to be an explicit goal of economic policy in most of the industrialized world. Some countries even achieved it. In Back to Full Employment, economist Robert Pollin argues that the United States--today faced with its highest level of unemployment since the Great Depression--should put full employment back on the agenda.

There are good reasons to seek full employment, Pollin writes. Full employment will help individuals, families, and the economy as a whole, while promoting equality and social stability. Equally important, creating a full-employment economy can be joined effectively with two other fundamental policy aims: ending our dependence on fossil fuels and creating an economy powered by clean energy.

Explaining views on full employment in macroeconomic theory from Marx to Keynes to Friedman, Pollin argues that the policy was abandoned in the United States in the 1970s for the wrong reasons, and he shows how it can be achieved today despite the serious challenges of inflation and globalization.
Pollin believes the biggest obstacle to creating a full-employment economy is politics. Putting an end to the prevailing neoliberal opposition to full employment will require nothing less than an epoch-defining reallocation of political power away from the interests of big business and Wall Street and toward the middle class, working people, and the poor, while mounting a strong defense of the environment. In the end, achieving full employment will be a matter of political will: Can the United States make having a decent job a fundamental right?

About the Author

Robert Pollin is Professor of Economics and Codirector of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is the author of Contours of Descent: U.S. Economic Fractures and the Landscape of Austerity and coauthor of A Measure of Fairness: The Economics of Living Wages and Minimum Wages in the United States.

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Workers Stand for America -- Join us in Philly!!


Join Us in Philly!

11 a.m. Saturday, August 11, 2012

Eakins Oval
26th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130

America's Second Bill of Rights

We the People want to strengthen our nation, as a beacon of equality, economic opportunity and freedom for all. We hold these rights to be essential to our vision of America and believe that the principles contained therein should guide our government, business leaders, organizations and individuals in our common goal of a just and fair society.
The Right to Full Employment and a Living Wage:
All Americans willing and able to work have the right to safe, gainful employment at a fair and livable wage. We call on the public and private sectors to invest in America’s infrastructure and promote industrial development, maintaining job creation as a top policy priority.
The Right to Full Participation in the Electoral Process:
Recent initiatives to disenfranchise citizens seek to reduce the rolls of eligible voters and empower money instead of people. We believe these actions constitute an assault on our nation’s democracy and history of heroic struggle against voting restrictions based upon property ownership, religion, race and gender and call for reinforcing our fundamental right to vote.
The Right to a Voice at Work:
All workers have the right of freedom of association in the workplace, including the right to collectively bargain with their employer to improve wages, benefits and working conditions.
The Right to a Quality Education:
Education is a fundamental bedrock of our democracy, vital to America’s competitive position in the world and the principal means by which citizens empower themselves to participate in our nation's economic and political systems. Quality, affordable education should be universally available from pre-kindergarten to college level, including an expanded use of apprenticeships and specialty skills training to prepare Americans for the workplace.
The Right to a Secure, Healthy Future:
Americans have the right to a baseline level of health care, unemployment insurance and retirement security, all of which have been badly eroded by the disruption of the social compact that served the nation well for decades. We call on government and private industry together to confront the issues of declining access to health care especially for children, weakening of unemployment coverage, and inadequate pension plans that undermine the ability of working men and women to retire in dignity, even as Social Security and Medicare are under strain and threatened with cutbacks.

Endorse the Second Bill of Rights at
pdf icon
Click to Download the "Bill of Rights"in Printable PDF format
Click to Download the "Sign-up Sheet" in Printable PDF format

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

More than seven in 10 U.S. teens jobless in summer –

By Hope Yen, Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Once a rite of passage to adulthood, summer jobs for teens are disappearing.

Fewer than three in 10 American teenagers now hold jobs such as running cash registers, mowing lawns or busing restaurant tables from June to August. The decline has been particularly sharp since 2000, with employment for 16-to-19-year olds falling to the lowest level since World War II.

And teen employment may never return to pre-recession levels, suggests a projection by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

...Older workers, immigrants and debt-laden college graduates are taking away lower-skill work as they struggle to find their own jobs in the weak economy. Upper-income white teens are three times as likely to have summer jobs as poor black teens, sometimes capitalizing on their parents' social networks for help.    

Overall, more than 44% of teens who want summer jobs don't get them or work fewer hours than they prefer.

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On U.S. infrastructure, spend now, gain later

On U.S. infrastructure, spend now, gain later
Tampa Bay Times
By William L. Holahan and Charles O. Kroncke, special to the Times
Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"...When the American Society of Civil Engineers issued a report card giving D and F grades for major infrastructure assets in the United States, the group estimated that it would cost $2.2 trillion to rehabilitate them. Even though these public sector assets support the private sector of the economy, and despite the availability of cheap money, Congress has no current plans to remedy this situation.

Its reluctance to support investment in infrastructure is unfortunate because this is an opportune time to earn a better report card; presently, we can borrow at very low interest rates to upgrade our streets, roads, bridges, railroads, school buildings, Internet bandwidth and K-12 education. We have earned the trust of foreign investors, who value the safety of our financial markets and seek to loan us money through their purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds.

In the short run, infrastructure investment would stimulate business growth and employ otherwise unemployed resources of labor and equipment. In the longer run, when these assets are in good working order, they would support faster growth of the economy, a prerequisite for bringing down the national debt and putting workers back on the path to higher after-tax incomes."

Read rest of article

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Loss of government jobs could be drag on growth

Loss of government jobs could be drag on growth | Washington Examiner:
June 07, 2012
Washington Examiner

ATLANTA (AP) -- Government workers didn't lose jobs in droves like their private sector counterparts during the recession, but the jobs of thousands of Georgia teachers and postal and social service workers are now threatened, further dampening the state's tepid economic recovery.

Revenue shortfalls at the local, state and federal levels endanger Georgia's 673,100 public sector employees — 16 percent of all Georgia jobs. Any significant cuts could reverse nine months of job growth and cause Georgia's 8.9 percent unemployment rate to rise once again.

The job cuts would likely come in chunks across the state. Metro Atlanta's major school systems, for example, are threatening to cut 1,800 positions. Collectively, the loss of thousands of relatively well-paid government jobs across Georgia would hurt still-struggling restaurants, beauty salons and county tax coffers.

Read rest of article

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Cross-posted from
Posted by: Mitchell Hirsch on May 11, 2012

An estimated 236,000 long-term unemployed job-seekers will be abruptly cut-off of federal Extended Benefits (EB) this weekend (Saturday May 12), swelling the ranks of those losing the last 13-to-20 weeks of unemployment insurance to more than 400,000.  On Saturday, May 12, eight states fall off the EB program, cutting off the largest number of jobless workers to be hit so far.
California, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas, Colorado and Connecticut will no longer pay Extended Benefits under an arcane eligibility formula that Congress failed to fix when it reauthorized federal unemployment insurance earlier this year.  An estimated 95,300 recipients will be cut off in California alone.
Nineteen other states saw their EB programs end in the first four months of 2012.  The table below lists the states losing EB so far this year and estimated numbers of long-term unemployed job-seekers losing benefits.
Click on the image of the table below for a full size pdf version.
EB Cut-offs through May 2012
Read the full article

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

May 1 Jobs For All Convergence in NYC @ 4:00 PM


Dignified Work at Good Union Wages
for Everyone Who Wants a Job.

Tuesday, May 1
Converge:  UNION SQUARE @ 4:00 PM
Meet at Southwest Corner by the Dry Fountain
to join the May 1 City-Wide March

Download flyers

Dignified work at good union wages for everyone that wants a job.

We demand a democratically-controlled public works and public service program, with direct government employment, to create 25 million new jobs at good union wages.  The new jobs will be to build the facilities and provide the services needed to meet the needs of the 99%, including in education, healthcare, housing, transportation, and clean energy.  The program will be funded by raising taxes on the banks, corporations and the wealthiest 1%, and by ending all U.S. wars.  Employment in the program will be open to all, regardless of immigration status or criminal record.

Trabajo digno con sueldos buenos de escala sindical para cualquiera que quiera un trabajo.

Demandamos obras públicas y un programa de servicios públicos democráticamente controlados, con empleo directo del gobierno, para crear 25 millones de nuevos empleos con sueldos buenos de escala sindical. Los nuevos empleos serán para construir las instalaciones y proveer los servicios necesitados para satisfacer las necesidades del 99%, incluyendo en educación, cuidados de la salud, vivienda, transporte y energía limpia. El programa será financiado aumentando los impuestos a los bancos, las corporaciones y el 1% de los más ricos, y poniendo fin a todas las guerras por los Estados Unidos de América. Empleo en el programa estará disponible para todos, incluyendo a los inmigrantes y a las personas anteriormente encarceladas.

Endorsed by:

For more information, or to endorse the demand,
Para mas información, o para apoyar la demanda,


Twitter: @JobsForAllNY

Note:  We invite other Occupy, community and labor organizations and activists around the country to hold local convergences to highlight the Jobs for All demand.  Please let us know if you are doing this!  and send contact information for your group so we can stay in touch and alert the media.


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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"The Struggle for Full Employment: Not a New Idea and Not a New Struggle"
Left Forum 2012, March 17, 2012

Pace University, New York, NY

The presentation explores New Deal job creation efforts and FDR's Economic Bill of Rights that began with the right to a decent job. It discusses two major attempts to secure full employment, in the immediate post-World War II period and in the 1970s, the first ending in the defeat of full employment legislation and the second, in the failure to implement a watered-down full employment act. Full employment, the presentation shows, will take a fundamental break with neo-liberalism and a reorientation of power from big business and Wall Street to middle- and working-class people and will require the full-scale social movement that both earlier struggles lacked.


Chuck Bell: Vice Chair, National Jobs for All Coalition, co-author of "Shared Prosperity: The Drive For Decent Work" (2006). Twenty years of experience in consumer and health care advocacy, and community movements for jobs and economic justice.

Helen Ginsburg: Professor Emerita of Economics, Brooklyn College, CUNY., and co-founder of the National Jobs for All Coalition. Author of books and articles on employment policy and strategies.

Gertrude S. Goldberg: The New Deal and Social Welfare Professor of Social Policy Emerita, Adelphi University School of Social Work where she directed the Ph.D. program. Chair of the National Jobs for All Coalition. Co-chair of the Columbia Seminar on Full Employment, Social Welfare & Equity. Author/co-author and editor of six books and numerous book chapters and articles on social policy and employment.

Moderator: Sheila D. Collins, Professor of Political Science at William Paterson University and co-founder of the National Jobs for All Coalition.

Video by Rebecca Rojer,

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

If US Land Were Divided Like US Wealth...

See more posters at:

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Krugman: 'People Should Be In Jail' Because Of Financial Crisis

'People Should Be In Jail' Because Of Financial Crisis
Huffington Post, 2/17/12

"...We know, you just bought that copy of Playboy for the Paul Krugman interview.

The Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist may not be center-fold material (or maybe you're into that middle-aged bearded wonky economist sort of thing? We're not judging), but he's using the iconic magazine to discuss his views on the sexiest of topics, you guessed it: the financial crisis. Read full interview here

"It's hard for me to believe there were no crimes," Krugman told Playboy. "Given the scale of [the financial crisis], given how many corners were being cut, some people must have violated laws. I think people should be in jail."

Read more here

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Saturday, February 4, 2012


" If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right." 
                                                                       -- Jerry Seinfeld
So, if you are an editorial writer at the Wall Street Journal, it's always a good time to chop wages, fire workers and ship jobs overseas.

On Friday (2/3),  the WSJ chided Mitt Romney for trying to walk back from his blunt statements that he didn't particularly care about helping the poor.
"...If Mr. Romney wanted to help the poor and stay true to his free-market principles, he'd have cited the youth and minority jobless figures and proposed a special sub-minimum wage for teenagers. It's hardly a radical position, and it would get him back on the moral and political offensive."
Yes, that's right, the way to help young workers is by doing the opposite of what would help them.  Perhaps if the minimum wage is reduced to a dime or a nickel, Apple will open FoxConn-style assembly plants here, so teenagers can have the privilege of assembling their own iPhones.  Of course they would then hardly be able to afford an iPhone, their rent, or a meal at McDonald's (which would seem like a high-road job by comparison.)  But who knows, maybe wages and prices will fall there as well, in a veritable orgy of Dickensian capitalism.

The lineage for this counterintuitive approach goes all the way back to laissez-faire and the invisible hand.  But it really hit its stride in the 1980s, when Greed became Good, shareholder value became preeminent, and "lean and mean" became a badge of honor.

When you throw away a factory, you are ripping up social contracts and often squandering the public's co-investments in education and training, research and development, roads, bridges, and ports.

But, Earth to Wall Street Journal -- America tried your approach -- remember?  You had your enterprize zones, and your subminimum wage in the maqiladoras along the border in Mexico, and many other satellite sweatshop republics -- and most of those jobs ended up going to China anyway.

Maybe the current conditions of mass unemployment and stagnant wages are a wake-up call to start doing the opposite of what the corporate raiders and corporate business heroes have been telling us.  Why not do some things that actually help workers, like improving wages and benefits?  This isn't rocket science.  Investing in infrastructure, education, clean energy, and caregiving yields many more jobs per billion, when compared to investing in the Wall St. Journal's preferred industries -- finance, military spending, and oil and gas drilling.

Yes, let's do the opposite of what we've been told.  Guarantee the right to a job for all, and develop good jobs that will stay here in the United States.   Let's see how that turns out, for a change.

George does the Opposite (Seinfeld show script)

George : It's not working, Jerry. It's just not working.
Jerry : What is it that isn't working?
George : Why did it all turn out like this for me? I had so much promise. I was personable, I was bright. Oh, maybe not academically speaking, but ... I was perceptive. I always know when someone's uncomfortable at a party. It became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I've ever made, in my entire life, has been wrong. My life is the opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every of life, be it something to wear, something to eat ... It's all been wrong.

( A waitress comes up to George)

Waitress : Tuna on toast, coleslaw, cup of coffee.
George : Yeah. No, no, no, wait a minute, I always have tuna on toast. Nothing's ever worked out for me with tuna on toast. I want the complete opposite of tuna on toast. Chicken salad, on rye, untoasted ... and a cup of tea.
Elaine : Well, there's no telling what can happen from this.
Jerry : You know chicken salad is not the opposite of tuna, salmon is the opposite of tuna, 'cos salmon swim against the current, and the tuna swim with it.
George : Good for the tuna.

( A blonde woman looks at George )

Elaine : Ah, George, you know, that woman just looked at you.
George : So what? What am I supposed to do?
Elaine : Go talk to her.
George : Elaine, bald men, with no jobs, and no money, who live with their parents, don't approach strange women.
Jerry : Well here's your chance to try the opposite. Instead of tuna salad and being intimidated by women, chicken salad and going right up to them.
George : Yeah, I should do the opposite, I should.
Jerry : If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right.
George : Yes, I will do the opposite. I used to sit here and do nothing, and regret it for the rest of the day, so now I will do the opposite, and I will do
( He goes over to the woman )
George : Excuse me, I couldn't help but notice that you were looking in my direction.
Victoria : Oh, yes I was, you just ordered the same exact lunch as me.
( G takes a deep breath )
George : My name is George. I'm unemployed and I live with my parents.
Victoria : I'm Victoria. Hi!

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WPA Posters

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.