Went to my local gormet supermarket this afternoon—an overpriced place where the cakes look amazing and only the milk and eggs seem reasonable. I met Pat, the clerk. She was probably 50, with saggy eyes and thin lips. I asked how the supermarket was going.

“OK,” she said. “It’s a job.”

I nodded.

“I was out of work for three years,” she continued. “I worked at a chemical factory forever, but it closed and I couldn’t find work. Believe me, I tried and tried.”

How long did you collect unemployment for, I asked.

“The maximum—99 weeks,” she said. “Then it ended. I’m not married. I had to ask my family for help. Do you know what that feels like?”

I don’t. But I know this—we’re in the middle of a political campaign, and, literally, billions of dollars will be spent on advertising, on organization, on … getting someone elected. Meanwhile, people like Pat are everywhere, struggling to make a dime as millionaires joust.