The Forgotten Millions on Desperation Row

Thom Shellabarger |

When I read Paul Krugman's column in today's New York Times about the "forgotten millions" I immediately thought about the Republicans, who haven't only forgotten about the unemployed but are putting even more people out of work with their misguided policies.

My brother has been out of work for nearly three years, picking up small contract jobs to make ends meet. For too many politicians, the short-term deficits are more important than the workers struggling to compete for too few jobs. "So be it," says the speaker of the House.

Isn't it amazing that Washington politicos express concern for the well-being of children yet refuse to do anything to employ their parents? As Krugman argues, "the clear and present danger to the prospects of young Americans isn't the deficit. It's the absence of jobs."

This isn't just about young children either. Those graduating this year from college will face the worst job market in more than 50 years, even worse than in 1982 and 1983 when jobs were so scarce.

I believe that for these politicians, who have forgotten the millions who are unemployed, it's most likely because they know few low-wage workers and don't know anyone out of work.

I also recommend this moving post from the Unemployed Workers website -- it paints a bracing picture of

lives in the balance, as the painfully slow recovery fails to reach those most in need and millions of jobless workers face the exhaustion of unemployment insurance benefits.