7 Proposals to solve the Unemployment ProblemWritten by Virginia Bola, PsyD
The subject is constantly in news and may decide next national elections – infamous jobless recovery. More than 8 million Americans are out of work with another 4 million underemployed or no longer looking for work. Good manufacturing, technical and services jobs are being shipped to India, Asia, and other developing countries. The mood of middle and working class becomes more pessimistic, outlook for their immediate future more grim. Politicians debate solutions: abrogating current trade treaties, providing protection for various industries, investment in retraining programs, wishful thinking that lower taxes will turn everything around, promise of a labor shortage within 15 years. Meanwhile, population grows, demanding creation of 150,000 new jobs per month just to stay even. Where are more than 2 million 2004 jobs promised by Council of Economic Advisers? They will come when government truly invests in social and financial welfare of working public. Historically, U.S. has looked at employment only in times of crisis – recession or alarming unemployment figures. Rather than “quick fixes,” we need a national long-range policy on employment which addresses issue, in good times and bad, with sustained interest, analysis, and support. Here are seven proposals: 1. Create a National Office of Employment to develop long term strategies and oversight of U.S. labor market in order to track trends, analyze data, research emerging problems, and prepare early interventions.
Pray Before You VoteWritten by Kathy Simcox
I was hesitant to share these words out of a concern of turning them into a religious sermon or political plight. But then I decided to share them anyway because, thanks to President George W. Bush, I am still free to speak my mind way I choose.
I consider myself to be a woman of very strong faith. Being actively involved in a wonderful Lutheran church, I can not think of a better way to spend my Sunday mornings. But despite my religious convictions, I am human, after all, prone to wander, make wrong choices, and be, well, human. But it is my faith that carries me through those oh-too-often human moments in my life. It is that wondrous Amazing Grace that finds me each time I am lost and that same Amazing Grace will eventually carry me home.
It is within this strong faith that I find my peace, whether I'm singing with my church choir, kayaking down a lazy river as mist rises from water, hiking alone among sweet-smelling pine trees of some forest, or doing something so simple as playing with my cat Sophie. I look around me and marvel at God's miraculous creations and I realize how fortunate I am to be an American, free to enjoy everything this beautiful life has to offer.
As my sense of peace grows, so does my spiritual maturity, again, despite my imperfections. As more years stretch out behind me, more I seem to understand how God works. I don't profess to know how Something, or Someone, so profound as God thinks; no, that is a feat left for academia to ponder. But evidence of how He works can be seen in His people. I don't mean to narrow this down to Christian God; indeed, God of all religions has something special to share with world and all do so in His own unique way. But because I am a Christian, there is, and will be, no other God before me. Which is why I must say this:
I do not care what happened on that fateful election night in year 2000. I don't care what was counted, how many times it was counted, what was not counted, or who did counting. By very convictions of my own faith and with every ounce of my heart I believe that God was looking out for America that night. He chose right man at right time. If anyone else had been chosen, it is true that we might not be at war right now. No one likes war, whether they have tremendous responsibility of declaring war or actually fighting in one. It's ugly business. But to not go to war would've been gravest mistake in American history; indeed, in world history. Why? Because it is never a mistake to protect freedoms within God's creation - not just American freedoms, but those of entire world. Regardless of what God a person worships, I guarantee that that God wishes everyone in His creation could praise his name without fear, fear of torture, prison, deadly gases, or even death. Freedom from fear is what this war is all about. And again, thanks to President Bush and our superior military forces, one of world's worst initiators of this fear left his power buried in a little spider hole.