It's a particularly nice juxtaposition in this case, because one traditional American value is not listening to what European intellectuals say. ;-)
(For those who've never heard of Karl May, he wrote a bunch of Westerns that are very popular in Europe. He had never been to America - and it shows in the books. But they are popular.)
I've actually seen this claim made a lot, both in the media and on blogs. The basis for that claim is that the speaker believes U6 rather than U3 should be the official unemployment rate, and U6 is typically about double U3.
[edit: See joe_the_user's post, which was submitted as I was writing this.]
The Shadow Government Statics site seems to put the current rate at about 23%.
And sgs altogether makes a fairly plausibly argument... unlike parent article...
But it is somehow OK, since he writes it for the European audience who also doesn't live in America.
I guess it would be possible to build a system of perceived American values from abroad. Perhaps with so much information and so much exported American culture (via Hollywood movies for example), it would be possible to get a fairly accurate idea of what American values would be !?
But then again, an expert is an expert if there are enough people calling him that, so as long as there are others who share the same (possibly skewed) interpretation, the author will probably be considered now a local expert on Americanism.
We don't see that sort of complaint when Europeans give other kinds of advice to America.