The Way We Live Now: starving. For employment! Also for food, but that's a totally different issue, although kind of related to our unemployment, now that we think about it. Airfare's up. Taxes are up. Crooks are up. Us? Down.

The New York Times went and did something poignant again today when they did this whole photo essay about all the unemployed people in Rockford, Illinois, and the saddest part of it all is that this entire photo essay couldn't even fit in all the unemployed people in Rockford, Illinois. And that's just one crappy town in one crappy state, a thing we have 50 of. You do the math for us.

America has problems, there's no denying it. Airfares are rising on up along with the cost of oil. How is anyone supposed to leave Rockford, Illinois to find a new job if they can't afford to fly away, much less to drive a car or slide out on some sort of raft that emits an oil slick? It's a classic econometric quandary. Economists come at us like, "Higher state taxes won't fix deficits." And we're like "Hey, before you start talking about higher state taxes how bout you find some jobs for the thousands of unemployed folks in Rockford, Illinois? Hmm?"

Economists never even listen. That's why our economy can only be saved by photo essays. It's sad. What about the unions? Well after the union bosses doubled their salaries, the benefits for the workers were downright puny. America barely had enough left over to bet on which investment bank would have a more fabulous quarter.

It's sad, is all. For Rockford, Illinois. For Illinois in general. And even for the better states.

[Photo via]