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Felix Salmon:

The length of time the average unemployed person has been without a job has been hitting new record highs for a while; it’s now managed to pass the 6-month mark. That’s much higher than any previous peak in this data series. And I fear that the only way it’s likely to come down any time soon is as these people become so demoralized that they take themselves out of the labor force altogether.

The overwhelming majority of the working population will never be able to prepare themselves for a period of unemployment lasting more than six months. As financial-market types worry about possible inflation in a few years’ time, tens of millions of Americans are finding themselves in a very real personal financial crisis to which there is no visible solution. Given the Fed’s dual mandate, it makes sense to keep interest rates low for the foreseeable future. Inflation is possible; unemployment is catastrophically real.

But isn't it great that we didn't lose our houses because of HOLC? Oh, wait... But isn't it great that we have jobs from a 21st century WPA? Oh, wait... But isn't it great that we don't lose health care even when we lose our jobs? Oh, wait... And isn't it great that we've reined in the banksters so they don't do the same thing all over again? Oh, wait...

Thank gawd we have a Democrat in the White House!

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gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

...feeling good about "our"selves?

Really, I know unemployed people and they sure as hell don't give a damn about feeling hopey. Not anymore, at any rate.

Six months is a long time. If you are unemployed over six months, you get behind and ruin your credit. And bad credit can prevent you from getting a job. And extended periods of unemployment doesn't look good either. People are stuck in a vicious cycle and its only getting worse. That Wall street is making more and more while people's lives are ruined isn't going to end well.

But "we" did get a Nobel Prize!