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Out of work? Filled with rage? Engage!

Friday’s newly released jobs report, as per usual, reflects poorly on the Obama administration.  7.9% of Americans are unemployed.  When you look at other indicators like the labor force participation rate—the percentage of people either working or at least looking for a job—the picture looks even worse.  In reality, as much as 15% are unemployed or have given up looking for work.  The picture looks worse still for recent college grads.

A recent article in The Atlantic—no paragon of conservative thought these days—has it that a jaw dropping 53% of recent college graduates are either unemployed or working in jobs that do not require a college education.  From bachelors back to coffee shop barista is the trend of our times.  The article is breathlessly titled “53% of Recent College Grads Are Jobless or Underemployed—How?”  Short answer to their rhetorical question: Obamanomics.

But fear not.  “Children” up to age 26 can now remain on their parent’s insurance thanks to el presidente.  That is doubly convenient since as many as 85% of new college graduates are moving back in with mom and dad.  It is a good racket that President Obama is running.  His economic approach hinders growth and employment but he has just the big government prescription to cure what ails you.  On rolls the cycle of dependence.

If you’re anything like me, you’re mad as hell and you’re not going to take it anymore.  But of course, many of us college educated types live in solidly blue cities and states.  While it is our civic duty to vote, our ballot would have just as much practical meaning if we lit it on fire.  So what’s an easy way to make a difference in neighboring swing states?

Enter a new political website called Engage America which encourages and rewards you for making a difference in the national discourse on economics.  Their new software allows you to log the comments you make on internet articles.  Engage America encourage users to make thoughtful, fact based comments on articles—generally not hard for those of us with a pro-growth understanding of economics—and to focus on newspapers and publications in swing states.

The twist is that they offer a free market incentive for doing so.  The Engage America software tracks how many replies, upvotes, and downvotes each comment receives.  Posters whose comments receive the most responses can win monthly and weekly prizes—gift certificates to retailers like Amazon.com and the Apple Store.  I have been beta testing the site and used my take to buy a Kindle.

Engage America’s efforts will be just as important—even more so, perhaps—after the election.  If President Obama wins, we can use it as a tool to remind our blue state brethren that the continuing economic backslide can be attributed to the president and perhaps inculcate them with some better sense.  If Governor Romney wins, we can use it as a platform to defend sensible economic policies.  Remember, Romney has a potentially dangerous bit of a “progressive” streak and it is always useful to goose popular support for the right policies.

If you’re going to be crashing on your parents couch for a while, you might as well earn a few gift certificates while arguing for positive change.  I hope some of you will join me by signing up with Engage America.

Bill Zeiser is a communications consultant living in New York City and a 2012 Publius Fellow of the Claremont Institute.  Follow him on Twitter @BillZeiser.

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