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How Bad Is It?

New Yorker – After the prime-time drama of showdowns on Capitol Hill, agita in the West Wing, and a doomsday deadline averted comes the local news, wherein bad things happen to real people. Friday’s payroll report for July showed that nearly fourteen million Americans are out of work, and more than six million of them have been jobless for more than six months.

Those figures were slightly better than expected, but that just reflects how low expectations have sunk. Arriving a day after the Dow tumbled more than five hundred points—and just hours before Standard & Poor’s took the unprecedented step of downgrading the U.S. bond rating—the figures confirmed, if further confirmation was needed, that the country is facing an immediate economic crisis.

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