Krugman predicts “unfocused public outrage” will add to ongoing apathy over unemployment:
Two years from now unemployment will still be extremely high, quite possibly higher than it is now. But instead of taking responsibility for fixing the situation, politicians and Fed officials alike will declare that high unemployment is structural, beyond their control. And as I said, over time these excuses may turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy, as the long-term unemployed lose their skills and their connections with the work force, and become unemployable.
I’d like to imagine that public outrage will prevent this outcome. But while Americans are indeed angry, their anger is unfocused. And so I worry that our governing elite, which just isn’t all that into the unemployed, will allow the jobs slump to go on and on and on.
What do the unemployed need to do? ORGANIZE.
What’s happening now, with the increase in duration of unemployment, is that you’re starting to get large numbers of people with good organisational skills and lots and lots of time on their hands. And they’re spending enough time without jobs that they are beginning to self-identify as unemployed, and to form bonds with others in the same situation. This is a phenomenon that I don’t think has been seen in America since Martin Luther King’s marches against poverty in the 1960s, if not since the Depression, and it will be interesting to see what comes of it.