The Poverty Harbinger

It's easy to forget about jobs. Amid headlines of Iranian sanction lifting, millions of Americans losing their health insurance, political malfeasance and the cover-ups they trigger, the grand backstory shaping these stories is the fundamental transformation of what it means to labor in America. The decline and fall of jobs in our time has been a largely inaccessible story. For the past decade we have seen both apocalyptic and salvific headlines containing similar measures of job growth and loss. Unemployment rates have "skyrocketed" to 6.2% (September 2008) and "unexpectedly fallen" to 8.6% (November 2011.) With these hyperemotional explanations, the American people, writ large, have become intellectually and empathetically severed from our devolving economy of employment. The convulsions of the market reflected in incrementally ticking numbers has been a sedative for the American psyche. Next month's unemployment number, be it up to 8.2%, down 6.9% or an unfathomable 31.6% would...(Read Full Article)