I’m with Atrios on this one. Last night, I heard a story on Marketplace about a guy who was long-term unemployed, and then got a job writing for Mad Men. The end. It was a wholly unfulfilling story, essentially saying nothing other than “This guy found a way.” Nothing on how, or what is happening to those who aren’t as lucky. Incidentally, this is not really surprising for Marketplace of late: last week I heard somebody say “Not paying your mortgage is a moral choice” and I wanted to smash the radio.
These stories are far more common than the guy who came out all right. People who did the right thing, who went to college, who had good jobs, who saved some money, and now can’t find a job to save their lives, literally. Sure, it’s easy to poke holes in each individual story, saying “Maybe you should have gone to a cheaper school” or “Maybe you shouldn’t have bought that house”, but let’s be honest: these are the decisions that we all make in our lives, and there is nothing wrong with them. Except when the economy falls apart and we collectively let it.
There are millions of people who can contribute to society and are unable to right now. This is not only an economic disaster, it’s a human one. Productivity is being lost that will never, ever return. Years of making, innovating, and creating are being lost. This is a national emergency and nobody in power is doing anything about it.
PoliticsEconomicsFebruary 06, 2013