Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a “throw away” culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the “exploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers”… man is reduced to one of his needs alone: consumption.
(from Evangelii Gaudium 54)
This is especially true of the chronically unemployed (those unemployed for more than 26 weeks). Officially, that’s four million Americas, but there’s another two million at least who have fallen off the charts and so are no longer statistically counted — those beyond 52 weeks who can no longer receive unemployment benefits. Occasionally, you might seem some of these at soup kitchens and homeless shelters, but more likely you can find them in abandoned automobiles or burnt out houses or condemned buildings.