By James Gregory
The Great Recession has been accompanied by a great silence. We read statistics about the unemployed but don't see faces or hear voices of the jobless. This at a time when unemployment places a greater burden on families and on society than at any point since the Great Depression.
Why do we not learn their stories and see their faces in newspapers and on television? The unemployed have never been so hidden.
In the Great Depression, it took a while for unemployed workers to find their voices. People found it embarrassing and confusing to be out of work. Joblessness led to social hibernation then, as it does now.
But two to three years into the Depression the jobless were speaking out, forming organizations, seeking solutions. and demanding that politicians pay attention. In city after city, unemployed men and women became vocal and visible, reshaping elections and ultimately the American economy.