We may be aware that our broken economy is creating destructive inequality; we may know the neighbor's opulence is underwritten by loans; we may understand that Brian Williams' multimillion-dollar NBC salary is uncommon; and we may appreciate that seemingly average "30 Rock" characters make above-average salaries. We may get all this, and we may even see the connection between our personal financial struggles and Census figures showing inequality at a record high. But many of us nonetheless react by more passionately insisting our economic system sows equality -- and worse, by embracing a free-market-worshiping politics aimed at halting systemic change.
This means the current crisis is deeper than we imagine. In a past recession, we could all at least concede that the challenge was "the economy, stupid." Now, though, we can't even agree on that truism. Our problem is the stupidity, stupid -- and solving that will take far more than an election.