One thing that needs to be noted, and which makes it easier to understand McConnell's utter lack of concern for the unemployed, is that unemployment has not been distributed equally throughout the economy. The unemployed didn't vote Republican even before they were unemployed.
The unemployment rate of men has increased more than the unemployment rate of women, but the devastation that has been visited upon black men is unparalleled. The unemployment rate for white women has increased by about 4%. For white men it increased by about 7%. For black women, the unemployment rate also increased by about 7% and is still increasing. But the unemployment rate of black men jumped by over 10%.
The only group that has seen any improvement since the crash has been white men. In case you were wondering, 95% of black votes in the 2008 election went to Barack Obama. So, no, Mitch McConnell is not awfully concerned about the unemployed.
Education is the other factor where unemployment has had a terribly unkind effect that doesn't bother Mitch McConnell that much.
The unemployment rate among people with a bachelors degree or higher has only just barely ever topped 5%. The unemployment rate for people who never attended college jumped by almost 7% and has been making some very slow progress back. But people who didn't finish high school suffered a jump in unemployment of well over 10% at the worst of things and, even now, suffer with unemployment of 13%.
While it is true that the more educated a person is, the more likely it is that he or she will vote for Democrats, it is also true that the ratio of Republican voters with college educations to those without is higher than the same ratio for Democrats.
Far more union members don't have a college degree than do, and their well being is certainly the farthest consideration on Senator McConnell's mind.
The sad truth is that with education as with race, the people who have been hit hardest by unemployment are people who tended to vote more for Democrats than Republicans. Their suffering does not keep Senator McConnell awake at night.
Louisville.com's The Arena section features opinions from active participants in the city's politics. Their viewpoints are not those of Louisville.com (a website is an inanimate object and, as such, has no opinions).
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