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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Class pity

I'm struck by the sympathy being shown for those who suddenly find themselves unemployed:

"These are not just numbers on a page," Obama said. "These are working men and women whose families have been disrupted and whose dreams have been put on hold. We owe it to each of them and to every single American to act with a sense of urgency and common purpose."

The thing is, there are always people unemployed, and they're not just numbers on a page, either. Anybody losing a job has to put dreams on hold and deal with disrupted families. But when unemployment is at 4 percent or lower, no one seems to make a big deal out of owing it to those out of work to act with "urgency and common purpose." It would be a little more honest to admit that there is urgency now because the numbers are big and getting scarier, not because politicians have any newly discovered empathy for the working class.