I've been trying to figure out how it is our political system can be so unresponsive to such a sever economic downturn. It seems to defy the laws of physics. Sure, Congressional Republicans decided to engage in an unprecedented campaign of obstruction at nearly all possible opportunities, but I thought the imperative to "do something" would lead to extremely creative attempts to circumvent such obstruction. I'm less surprised by the Federal Reserve, an institution that has always been by, of, and for the financial sector, despite occasional symbolic nods to a larger public mission. But I thought the need to deliver prosperity to the broad public would light a fire under the collective derriere's of our elected officials.
But as is often the case, the folks most likely to face financial hardship are the least likely to vote. In case you weren't convinced, here's another chart demonstrating the phenomenon:
You see a certain amount of commentary complaining that the young people involved in the Occupy Wall Street protests should put down their signs carping about student loans and big banks and go get a job. What the commentators don't say is that no one is willing to hire them. The economy has now been so bad for so long that a big chunk of the youth population who tried to ride out the recession are leaving school with huge debt and a job market that is even more unforgiving than when they started school. And it appears to be specifically unforgiving to young people. When you combine this phenomenon with the huge disparity in employment based on education levels, for those who try to find a job straight out of high school or a two-year associates degree, we're probably not that far Great Depression-era levels of employment.