The Unemployment Opportunity

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Daniel Henninger of The Wall Street Journal refrains from the cliché about a crisis being both a danger and an opportunity -- but maybe he shouldn't have. Henninger notes that young Americans face high, chronic unemployment and underemployment, to the extent that it is beginning to affect the culture:

The U.S. under Barack Obama is at the edge of the dark jobs forest Europe disappeared into in the 1970s, with our annual growth during his term down around 2% instead of over its normal 3%. Our kids are starting to look and sound like Europe's smart kids--despondent and resigned.
It doesn't have to be this way, but politicians are too busy fighting each other over nonessential "hot button" issues to exploit the underlying opportunity:
For an alert opposition, openings exist. The Young America's Foundation just did a deep polling dive into the attitudes of these voters, and one answer stands out. Asked if the "free market is mostly unfair and requires government intervention to correct," 33% agreed and 45% disagreed. And a November analysis by at Tufts University noted that younger black males (age 18-24) have never been as excited about Barack Obama as women are. Not having a job could chill enthusiasm for any president. [bold added]
Part of the problem is that too many conservatives are not truly pro-capitalist: If you don't really understand how capitalism could eliminate problems like this, you likely will not even realize that there is a chance to offer such a choice. I am glad that at least some, like this author, understand what's going on: Opportunities like this can have a short shelf life.

-- CAV

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