Thursday, July 21, 2011

"Unemployment? Who Cares?" Revisited

Ezra Klein at Wonkbook:
With 15 million people unemployed, and more than 20 million underemployed, you’ve got a fairly large constituency for action on the jobs crisis. But it’s not a constituency that has any evident power in Washington. … 
Most policy changes with majority support didn’t become law,” (Jacob) Hacker and (Paul) Pierson write (in Winner-Take-All-Politics.) The exception was “when they were supported by those at the top. When the opinions of the poor diverged from those of the well-off, the opinions of the poor ceased to have any apparent influence: If 90 percent of poor Americans supported a policy change, it was no more likely to happen than if 10 percent did. By contrast, when more of the well-off supported a change, it was substantially more likely to happen.

If 15 million college-educated professionals were unemployed right now, the political system would care.

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