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Those purchases, in turn, stimulate demand across the American economy and create the need for new employees.

Young people, already burdened by student loans and unable to find work amid a shrinking number of jobs, are less likely to create the relative security that drives demand in the economy.

Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve chair, faces the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday and the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Thursday. Members of Congress and Ms. Yellen should focus on the impact of America’s foundering economy on people struggling to start careers and form households.

How are young people supposed to pay for health care and save for retirement if they decline to enter the workforce?

If it is time to let interest rates rise, can we find ways to cushion negative effects of rising rates on the youth segment?

Politicians in both parties better start asking and answering tough questions about the bipartisan economic failure wrought upon all Americans, plainly evident since January 2007.

Otherwise, the political establishment and the financial establishment that feeds gargantuan excess are likely to be the only ones to enjoy the full benefit of a “liberation” they foolishly try to sell to an awakening public.

Even a rich comic such as Mr. Leno understands that losing a job before the traditional retirement age of 65 is not “liberating.” But having to wait years to join the workforce is senseless.

Charles Ortel serves as managing director of Newport Value Partners (, which provides economic research to executives and to investment firms.