Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blindness Among the Political Class

Most of America's politicians are multi-millionaires. That segment of the population has recovered nicely from the Great Recession. But there are 7 million unemployed and 14 million under-employed or dropped out of the labour force because times are bad. But this is invisible to America's political class.

Here's a post by Paul Krugman on this invisible-to-the-political-elite problem:
Third Depression Watch

Last year I warned that we seemed to be heading into the “Third Depression” — by which I meant a prolonged period of economic weakness:
Neither the Long Depression of the 19th century nor the Great Depression of the 20th was an era of nonstop decline — on the contrary, both included periods when the economy grew. But these episodes of improvement were never enough to undo the damage from the initial slump, and were followed by relapses.

We are now, I fear, in the early stages of a third depression. It will probably look more like the Long Depression than the much more severe Great Depression. But the cost — to the world economy and, above all, to the millions of lives blighted by the absence of jobs — will nonetheless be immense.
Brad DeLong points us to Macro Advisers, which has now downgraded its estimates for second-quarter growth. As Brad says, these estimates now suggest that we have now gone through a year and a half of “recovery” that has failed to make any progress toward closing the gap between what the economy should be producing and what it’s actually producing.

And nobody in power cares!
The idea the "nobody cares" comes from the fact that the millionaires have no personal experience of anybody dumpster diving or going to "rescue" missions to get their next meal, or worse, going hungry. The on-going Great Recession is invisible to the elite who have recovered their losses and find their pay packets stuffed with bonuses and quickly escalating salaries. What recession? They don't see it.

But the job of politicians is supposed to be to represent all of the people, not just their millionaire buddies.

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