Last week’s disappointing job reports, with unemployment rising above 9%, only reinforced an emerging reality that few politicians, in either party, are ready to address. American society is becoming feudalized, with increasingly impregnable walls between the classes. This is ironic for a nation largely defined by its opportunity for upward mobility and fluid class structure.
According to the latest data, the current unemployment rate is the highest it has been so deep into a recovery since the 1940s. Even more troubling, over 6 million Americans have been unemployed for more than six months — the largest number since the feds have begun tracking this number decades ago.
That’s not the worst of it. The pool of “missing workers” — those who are unemployed but are not counted as such — has soared to over 4.4 million. And under the first African-American president the employment rate for black men now sits at a record low since the government started measuring the statistic four decades ago.