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When formerly middle class workers are on the streets with their children, what's the future of the "American Dream?" We talk about the human cost of long-term unemployment for millions of Americans — the causes and some potential solutions. Also, Vice President Biden tells the NAACP Mitt Romney is a "threat," and an assessment of America's longest conflict — the war in Afganistan.

Banner image: photologue_np/flickr

Anna Scott
Frances Anderton
Sonya Geis

Main Topic Long Term Unemployment and the 'American Dream'

The relentless 8.2 percent unemployment rate dominates coverage of the presidential campaign, but it's much more than a political story. It's a measure of human misery. Some 5.4 million Americans have been out of work for more than six months, and that's being called "a national emergency playing out in slow motion." As the Middle Class is being "hollowed out," companies say they can't find qualified workers. Is there a "skills gap?" Are employers too picky? Is long-term unemployment making a myth of the promise that willing work is the key to upward mobility?

Peter Goodman, New York Times / International Business Times (@petersgoodman)
Peter Cappelli, University of Pennsylvania (@wharton)
Todd Thibodeaux, Computing Technology Industry Association (@CompTIACEO)
Cecilia Conrad, Pomona College

Reporter's Notebook 'Little America' in Afghanistan

book.jpgAmerica's longest war is winding down as the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan is already underway. How have America's goals changed? Has President Obama's military "surge" been successful?  What about the civilian surge? Those and other questions are addressed in Little America: The War within the War for Afghanistan. Its author, Rajiv Chandrasekaran, is a foreign correspondent and editor for the Washington Post. His Imperial Life in the Emerald City was a scathing account of US handling of the war in Iraq.

Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Washington Post (@rajivwashpost)

Little America

Rajiv Chandrasekaran

Making News Biden Tells NAACP Mitt Romney Is a 'Threat'

Yesterday, Mitt Romney was greeted politely by the NAACP, but booed when he called for repeal of "Obamacare." Today, Vice President Joe Biden addressed the same audience with a different message and very different results. America's first black president did not address the country's oldest and largest civil rights organization in person, but he did send a video. One Republican response line: the NAACP didn't get the top dog, they got the attack dog. Reid Epstein is White House reporter for Politico.


Reid Epstein, Politico (@reidepstein)


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