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Unemployment: It’s probably worse than you think

There are a lot of indicators used to assess the health of the nation’s economy. There is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is the sum of all we buy, sell, and produce. There is also industrial output, orders for durable goods, various leading economic indicators, and surveys of consumer sentiment. However, for most people, the ultimate measure of economic distress or well being is unemployment. While the other economic statistics are just that, statistics, unemployment is personal.

As Harry Truman said, “a recession is when your neighbor loses his job and a depression is

Read more: Unemployment: It’s probably worse than you think

Poverty rate increases, working poor are more squeezed

I don’t write about this topic all that often. Some readers will see it as just another bleeding heart liberal talking about what’s wrong with America. Sometimes, when this topic comes up, one that seems so intractable and seemingly so unsolvable, I can understand their point of view. Don’t we have enough problems already?

Awhile back I wrote about the group I call the “squeezed.” These are the working poor. Many of them, contrary to popular belief, work harder than most of us can imagine. They work and work hard. Welfare programs aren’t a part of their life. For some, the wolf is at

Read more: Poverty rate increases, working poor are more squeezed

Living our lives in honor of those who died on 911

Editor’s Note: Our Virginia Viewpoints columnist David Kerr was asked to make t he 911 presentation at the memorial in Aquia Harbour in Stafford. We are honored to be able to bring them to our readers this week.

I can’t deny that as I was preparing for this last night I was wondering to myself if I might have a little trouble getting through it all.  Ten years seems like a lot of time.  But it doesn’t feel that way.

Any High School history student will tell you that the bane of their existence is remembering dates.
You name it – The battle of Saratoga, the fall of Vicksburg, or the signing of the Versailles Treaty –

Read more: Living our lives in honor of those who died on 911

Governor McDonnell’s very good year

Governor Bob McDonnell has been having an exceptionally good year. While most states are still grappling with budget shortfalls, layoffs, and having to cut back on services, McDonnell was able to report that Virginia had one of its largest surpluses in years. Thanks to Virginia’s typically tight-fisted approach to government the budget year ended with $545 million still in the bank. It’s a remarkable feat.

 But that’s not all.

While unemployment, nationally, just can’t seem to get below 9%, and last month, actually went up a little, Virginia’s unemployment, which was 7.5 percent 18 months ago, is now 6.1%. That is a substantial improvement over just a year ago.  In fact, there are few states that can match that kind of improvement.  Oh, and add to that, a recent CNBC poll which showed Virginia as the most business friendly in the nation, and it leaves the Governor with a little room for a well-earned

Read more: Governor McDonnell’s very good year

Could 2012 see a third party challenger for the White House?

Campaign 2012, so far at least, is proceeding according to script. The President, as expected, is running for reelection and the GOP has begun the long and difficult process of selecting a nominee.

However, this year, the politics are far more unsettled. The voters are restless. They don’t like their choices, and most distressing, many having watched the endless gridlock in Washington, have started to lose faith in the nation’s public institutions. The

Read more: Could 2012 see a third party challenger for the White House?

The Rise of Gov. Bob McDonnell

Governor Bob McDonnell has been having an exceptionally good year. While most states are still grappling with budget shortfalls, layoffs and having to cut back on services, the Governor was able to report that Virginia had one of its largest surpluses in years. Thanks to Virginia’s typically tight fisted approach to government the budget year ended with $545 million still in the bank. It’s a remarkable feat. But that’s not all. While unemployment, nationally, just can’t seem to get below 9%, and

Read more: The Rise of Gov. Bob McDonnell

 

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