Friday, December 4, 2009

Unemployment Rates Drop, But Does It Matter?

According to the Government, the unemployment rates in the United States has dropped. How much has it dropped? The rates from the month of October were recorded at 10.2% where as the rates of unemployment are now at 10%. That leaves the U.S. with a whopping total of a 0.2% decline in employment. I'm not sure what the big fuss is about over such a small percentage of decline. The real kicker is that even with the 0.2% decline, we are still doubling unemployment rates since the beginning of the recession. President of the Economic Policy Institute, Lawrence Mishel states that our unemployment rate is the highest and longest recorded since 1948. I mean, it is kind of obvious that the rates are going to rise around the holidays. Every retailer and business is going to be hiring extra help during the month of October through the end of December. So what really matters are the rates of the unemployment after the month of January when all the seasonal help is laid off. So to me, the 0.2% decline should not even be considered. Another reason for the decline might be due to the fact that many people have used up all their unemployment benefits already. With so many people being granted extensions because they simply can not find a job, this is definitely possible. Maybe if we weren't so worried about cutting taxes, then we could probably focus on the real tasks at hand. It is so easy for the government and government officials to get excited over a 0.2% decline of unemployment because they are not living it. When the situation hits home, it's a new ball game. My fiance got laid off from work November 20, 2009. The government is not experiencing this chaos, we are. We are living with this. The truth of matter is that this recession will get worse before it gets better. With good faith and lousy unemployment checks, all we can do is hope for the best and ride it out.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Comments on "Paying to Kill"

This was a very good commentary. I agree with you when talking about the amount of tax money being spent on the execution of prisoners because it is certainly excessive, but when it comes to capital punishment, I am indifferent. It doesn't matter to me whether the death penalty is in or out. But what does matter to me are the people who make the decision to abolish capital punishment. I feel that the families of the victims and/or the actual victims should be the ultimate makers of the decision even though we all are paying money for it. I feel that it is only fair for them to make this decision due the fact that they are the ones mainly affected by the guilty criminals actions. I believe in the saying, "It's easier said than done." It's easy to say that America does not need the death penalty if you've never had a loved one murdered by a psycho. It's almost like having men voting against abortion rights. Men can not have children and never will be able to, so why should they have a say so in what women can or can't do with their bodies? What about the mothers and/or families of the innocent children that are killed in America? What do we tell them? Do we tell them that it's not fair for the killer of their child to die although their child is dead because of the killer? Is that fair? I don't think it is. When it comes down to it, if I am paying money in taxes everyday to keep my child or loved one safe and protected, then that is money well spent.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Come Home Troops!

“President Bush said it's now time for a change in Iraq and he wants them to have a Western-style democracy like ours. So right now in Iraq, the economy is collapsing, businessmen are corrupt, and Hussein wants his son to take over as president. Sounds like mission accomplished,Jay Leno.

So, what exactly is it going to take to bring our troops home? When is enough, enough? Well, the article written in USA Today, "Our view on ending the war: Obama recalibrates on Iraq, and that's as it should be," tells readers of the efforts put forth by President Barack Obama to end the war with Iraq. While some people agree by saying that President Obama has kept his campaign promise of bringing troops home, others argue that he hasn't. The argument that our President is not doing enough for this particular situation is based on his way of doing things and the time it's taking him to do it. While some may say that he is not "moving fast enough" I say that he is clearly putting more effort into this situation than others. For example, Barack Obama was one of many Democrats who were in favor of creating a times table as a way to promote peace with the Sunni's while also extracting our American soldiers from the war. While Obama as well as other Democrats were searching for ways to bring our soldiers home, President Bush was dismissing their idea and also sending more troops to Iraq. Is this the kind of "effort" we are wanting from Obama? I think not. Unfortunately, America is a tough crowd to please, not to mention spoiled too. When we want things we want it now. It's clear that Obama's participation in bringing the soldiers home was present before he even became President. America needs to realize that change is great, but it doesn't happen over night. No one else is to blame except for our United States Government for making us this way. Not even the President can make major changes over night. It takes time and effort and I certainly believe that President Obama is contributing his time and effort into bringing our troops home.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Global What?

According to, global warming is an increase in the earth's average atmospheric temperature that causes corresponding changes in climate and that may result from the greenhouse effect. Do Americans believe this to be an important issue? Is it less important than our war in Iraq, or our fight for a universal health care system, or maybe more even the recent death of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson? Global warming and the attention contributed to it is an issue that seems to be a concern to the "Political Animal" Steven Benen. Although global warming is certainly an important problem, it's level of importance seems to have declined according to a survey done by the Pew Research Center that Benen employed in his blog to prove his argument.

Benen's blog, "Public Concern Over Global Warming Fades," grants the bulk of the blame to Republicans for focusing more on other issues such as our economy, and the remaining blame is presented to the media for following the Republicans. Benen feels that what Americans see on the news is what will be followed, which is true. I agree with this because everything that is giving attention in America is lead by the media. What's on the news is what is considered as "in" for the time being, like a fad. For example, I'm almost positive that global warming was not a concern for American on October 3, 1995. Why? On October 3, 1995, almost 95 percent of America was tuned in on any and every TV station to hear the verdict of the OJ Simpson murder case. This is because every time you turned on the TV to any local or national news station, there was up to date detailed coverage on the OJ Simpson case. If the media as well as politicians drew more attention to issues like global warming, America's attention on this issue would increase and there would be more people trying to contribute to solving this problem so we will have a place to live years from now!

We all feed off of each other. Americans depend on the politicians to help "fix" America, politicians depend on the media for gaining support, and the media depends on Americans for ratings. If we could all get on the same page and focus on obstacles that really mattered, then the world would be a better place!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Liar Liar, Pants on Fire

Can you handle the truth? This is the question that author Andy Louis-Charles asks his fellow Americans that are enduring the hardships that the recession is having on them. Louis-Charles proves a valid point of how our government fibs to Americans only a daily basis about things that matter the most during these hard-times such as our spending and our homes. While uncovering little white lies, he also reveals some very helpful tips and advice on how to become more efficient with these issues, and who better to take advice from than another fellow American who's in the same boat we are in?

Louis-Charles states that the National Retail Federation supports the notion of more consumer spending will contribute to the repair of our economy. So basically, Americans are being told if we spend more money, then the days of recession will be history? Lie number one? I'm going to have to take sides with Louis-Charles on this one and say this is definitely a lie. Louis-Charles supports his statement with reports of rapid increase of the use of coupons in our grocery stores, but I'm supporting my statement by just simply saying that it is common sense. Spending less money equals saving more money and saving money is essentially what will get us out of this mess we are in.

Foreclosures is another major issue that is brought up in this article. Foreclosures are the highest now more than they have ever been. Although the government recognizes this as a problem, they casually say that "it will bounce back." Louis-Charles proves this to be lie number 2 by presenting valid statistics of the average annual investment return over the past years which turned out to be a significantly low number. I agree with him saying this is a false statement because of the high rise of unemployment rates. If anything needs to be bouncing back it would need to be America's employment. Without this, we have nothing.

With some logical thinking and a little common sense, it's obvious to see that the government cannot always be trusted. Now, I'm not saying to completely disregard anything that the government has to offer as far as advice because sometimes things are in the working man's favor, just put a little more time in effort into doing some research before making major decisions during the rough times.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Recession on Education Too?

Not only is the recession effecting our employment, it is effecting our education as well. This article by Kim Clark, "Budget Cut Takes Toll on Education," portrays the kind of boomerang effect that our declining economy is having towards our generation's education.

While the hours and raises are being cut along with our employment rates, colleges and universities are raising tuition and cutting student financial as a way cut back on their expenses. In addition to raising the cost of tuition and books, there is also a cut back on the amount of knowledge students take from courses that are filled with 200+ students with one professor. Kevin Ferguson, student of University of Arizona states, "You definitely learn less. You can't interact with the professor when you are contending with 200 to 300 other students." Not only does this effect the students, but it also effects the professor such as taking extra time to grade 200+ papers instead of putting together informative lectures for future classes or having time to answer all questions.

This article is worth reading because whats going on now, will effect us and the generations that follow. We are living examples and can relate to some of the hardships that these students are encountering. Going to school, working, and having a social life is hard. Sometimes so hard, that it's almost discouraging making a student think twice about finishing their degree and wanting to just throw in the towel. Students already have stressed times dealing with deadlines, gpa's, grades/scores, mid-terms, exams, and etc. Having to worry about how you're going to buy that $250.00 book you need for your calculus class, or how you're going to make that monthly tuition payment next month is just another burden bestowed upon us. More stress equals higher drop-out rates and everyone needs an education.


The Uninsured...

Did you know that the United States is the only country in the world that lacks a universal health care system? It's amazing how we are thought of to be one of the richest country's in the world but yet do not have a universal health care system. Health care is very important in any country and affects many things.

According to the UN Development Report, “The uninsured are less likely to have regular outpatient care, so they are more likely to be hospitalized for avoidable health problems. Once in hospital, they receive fewer services and are more likely to die in the hospital than are insured patients. They also receive less preventive care. Over 40% of the uninsured do not have a regular place to go when they are sick and over a third of the uninsured say that they or someone in their family went without needed care, including recommended treatments or prescription drugs in the last year, because of cost.”

When we think of bad health care, we do not think about the domino effect that it has on things. For instance, the amount of the debt most Americans have. Some of these unpaid debts are due to the fact that our uninsured Americans can not afford to pay out of pocket expenses for our health care. Or for another example, America's poverty level. Most of American families that are living in poverty stricken areas of the U.S. are uninsured. This could all be prevented and avoided if we had a universal health care system.

It is refreshing to see our President along with government taking a firm stand on this issue. Although, there are going to be a significant number of issues that are going to have to be worked out for this plan to fully go forward into effect, the efforts of our government officials is promising. It does not help anyone to have people arguing over a Democratic vote or a Republican vote or a "public opinion." None of this matters to me, fixing the cost of health care is what matters to me no matter how they get it done. Senator Benjamin Cardin says it best in this article. He states, "The primary goal needs to be to bring down health-care costs. If we don't do that, then the bill's not achieving our objectives," Cardin said. "If it doesn't achieve the objective, I think it would be a mistake to use reconciliation. The worst scenario is, we take responsibility and we don't get the job done."