On Sunday, The Nation editor Katrina Vanden Heuvel appeared on This Week with George Stephanopoulos and while arguing that the war in Afghanistan was drawing Obama’s attention away from his reform agenda, admitted a pretty serious thing on the jobs numbers. She said (emphasis mine):
You know, President Obama is at risk of losing part of his coalition. I’m deeply saddened by [the Afghan] speech, because the facts on the ground don’t lend itself to this policy. At a time of true unemployment of 17 percent, we’re sending — we’re sending 30,000 troops for 100,000 force at $100 billion when his own national security adviser said there was no vital interest at stake.
It’s an interesting shift, seeing the left begin to use that pesky number 17–a number which combines the currently unemployed together with those underemployed (taking a job for which you are overqualified and underpaid) and those who have stopped looking all together.
As Katrina said, the “true” unemployement number.