In the absence of a strong federal response to record unemployment rates, local communities and cities like Cleveland, OH are the ones innovating to create jobs for their citizens. "To be unemployed in the US – to lose your identity as a consumer in an economy where 70 per cent of all activity is consumption – is in some way to inhabit another country. In fact, if you count all the unemployed, underemployed, and those who have given up looking for work in the US, you have a population of almost 30mn – a country about the size of Canada. Economists from both left and right are predicting that unemployment is going to remain at historic levels for years in the US – and the average length of a job search is already at an all-time high of almost eight months. The political future of Barack Obama's presidency may hinge on his ability to bring the unemployment rate down. So the question that immediately comes to mind is why he has not yet proposed a single big idea or bold plan commensurate with the scope of the crisis."