This is why the Dems probably will lose the House in November.
The median time that jobless folks have been out of work is double the previous peak some 50 years ago. Derek Thompson, economics editor at the Atlantic, who calls this "The Scariest Unemployment Graph I've Seen Yet," enumerates the many policy options for turning around the dismal jobs picture, and finds them all wanting. Why? Because the Great Recession has been uniquely horrible.
Felix Salmon, ace Reuters blogger, takes the same message from the stats. He also marvels, between the lines, that the nutty bloviator Ben Stein hasn't been captured by the men in white lab coats yet, given this classic Steinism from the current edition of the conservative American Spectator - the only roost left to Stein after he was booted by the NYT:
The people who have been laid off and cannot find work are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities. I say “generally” because there are exceptions. But in general, as I survey the ranks of those who are unemployed, I see people who have overbearing and unpleasant personalities and/or who do not know how to do a day’s work. They are people who create either little utility or negative utility on the job. Again, there are powerful exceptions and I know some, but when employers are looking to lay off, they lay off the least productive or the most negative. To assure that a worker is not one of them, he should learn how to work and how to get along -- not always easy.
Stein would be an exception to his rule, one assumes, having been abruptly retired as an NYT columnists for reasons other than the above - an assessment of the jobless being to blame for their plight I've only read in accounts of tycoons' initial reaction to the worsening conditions in the early stages of the Dirty Thirties. Amazing this view still exists, much less gains publication.