Ordinary people in America have probably noticed that over the past three years, the economy has been, for the lack of a better term, "FUBAR." Even if you haven't noticed the market turmoil, or the anemic growth, or the periodic absence of confidence in our economic fundamentals, it's hard to not notice the massive unemployment crisis that has unfolded since then. U6 unemployment has steadfastly stuck around 15%, which means one in six Americans are either unemployed, underemployed, or have given up on finding a job in an environment where there are five job seekers for every job opening. And anyone lucky enough to have a job today still, in all likelihood, knows someone -- a loved one -- who finds themselves in these dire straits.
And as they've struggled to adjust to a new and unforgiving economic environment, most Americans have noticed that their elected officials haven't been providing much leadership. What used to be bog standard partisan bickering has become an exercise in self-indulgence. The obstruction has grown so intense that we just recently had an argument in which one side actually threatened to blow up the global economy if it didn't get what it wanted. Polls indicate that the public has grown sick to death of Congress, and -- amazingly -- Congress basically agrees: lawmakers are actually now telling us that they need to invent a super committee to deal with America's problems.
All the while, the media didn't seem to notice. Dire economic conditions were nothing more than the backdrop against which they documented the horserace between affluent politicians. And government dysfunction was just an exciting new point of view! And it may have remained that way, had it not been for Standard & Poor's, who last week decided to downgrade the United States' debt. Suddenly, the media caught wind of the fact that everything is going terribly for the ordinary humans who populate America. And so, they took to their televisions to report that they had received, at long last, a "wake up call."
And, as this new video from Ben Craw, Sara Kenigsberg, and myself shows, they said this over and over and over again. Maybe this time it will sink in! (We kind of doubt it.)