Paul Pierson is the John Gross Professor of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley. Their book Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class was published in 2010. (September 2012)
Five years after the onset of the financial crisis that badly damaged the US economy, the nation remains mired in chronic joblessness. Many millions have given up looking for work and no longer figure in the statistics. Long-term unemployment remains at levels unseen since the Great Depression. Young Americans are entering the worst job market in at least a half-century. We have all lost, and continue to lose, from the prolonged mass idleness of potentially productive workers.