Posts Tagged ‘Unemployment’

As the United States celebrates Thanksgiving this week, a lot of Americans will be asking themselves what they have to be thankful for. With record unemployment of 10.2%, 23% of Americans upside down on their mortgages and many retirees wondering what happened to their savings, it would seem that there’s a lot to be upset about.

Adding salt to the wound is the continuing debate over the astronomical bonuses that some in the financial sector continue to receive even though their companies have taken taxpayer bailout money.

So what is there to be thankful for this year?

I can’t speak for everyone, but as for me, I’m gleefully happy to say I’m still among the ranks of the employed. We didn’t get raises this year, but that’s ok. I’m also glad to be working with a great group of people who go above and beyond to give to others every year. This year they have collectively donated more than $70,000 to charity as well as providing labor to numerous organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, Relay for Life, and many more. I know I’m blessed to have such kind and generous people to work with every day.

I’m happy to have a nice, safe home in a good neighborhood that is clean and in good repair. Yes, we got slammed like everyone else did when home values plummeted. But we didn’t have plans to move anyway and are blessed that we don’t have to. My prayers are with those who haven’t been as fortunate.

We’re also blessed to have a healthy and growing family. We may not get to see each other as often as we like, but everyone is safe and happy. We’ve had our share of illness and risky situations this year – everything from swine flu to falling through ceiling from the attic – but everyone’s OK. Together we got through it and we are blessed that we have each other to depend on.

But enough about me and my family. I want to hear from you. Tell me, what are you thankful for this year? Remember, blessings come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they remain hidden for while. Look around, think about what has happened over the year, talk it over with friends and family. Then let me know. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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Republican criticism has increased lately concerning the $787 billion economic stimulus and it’s ineffectiveness in the U.S. economy. Now talk is turning to a second spending stimulus plan.

Nearly five months after Democrats used their majorities in Congress to push through the stimulus, the two-year package has had little impact. Americans have watched the country’s unemployment rate surge to 9.5 percent, and it is expected to go higher.

Although we have been asked to have patience, when you have no job, no money, no food to feed your family or a home to provide shelter, it is difficult to wait and hope for the best. Continually being asked to wait raises doubts that the first stimulus package was implemented properly and about its ability to stimulate the economy. Constitution

The Obama administration expected the U.S. unemployment rate to peak at around 8.0 percent when it pushed through the $787 billion plan. But unemployment could hit 11 percent and the country may need a second stimulus package, according to news reports.

It has been reported that only about $100 billion of the $787 billion has been spent so far, and in the coming months a more rapid pace of funds may be released. It cannot come soon enough!

Warren Buffett, the billionaire founder of Berkshire Hathaway, said in an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America that we have suffered “a shock to the system” from the economic problems in the last quarter of last year but felt we had started to rebound.

“We’re not in a free fall, but we’re not in a recovery either,” he told Good Morning America.

“I think a second one may well be called for. It is not a panacea. A stimulus is the right thing. You hope it doesn’t get watered down,” he said.

“We’re going to come out of this better than ever. The best days of America lie ahead but not next week or next month,” Buffett concluded.

Maybe we need a different approach. Maybe this second stimulus package, if selected, should be given directly to the people: you and me and every other tax-paying American. I’ve shared this before, but perhaps we should consider a simpler approach like the one described in an article in the St. Petersburg Times.

The Business Section asked readers for ideas on “How Would You Fix the Economy?” Here is one of the responses: Piggy Bank

Dear Mr. President,
Please find below my suggestion for fixing America’s economy. Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan. You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan.

There are about 40 million people over the age of 50 in the work force. Pay them $1 million each severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings – Unemployment fixed.
2) They MUST buy a new American CAR. Forty million cars ordered – Auto Industry fixed.
3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage – Housing Crisis fixed.

It can’t get any easier than that!

It might be difficult to fathom, but an epidemic of homelessness among children has gripped this country like never before. But who is listening and who really cares? Well we should! All of us! Homeless 3

Every day another child has their life turned upside down by this economy. Families displaced by foreclosures and unemployment have created tent cities everywhere. While the problem may be worse in some regions, foreclosures and job losses are taking a very harsh toll on families nationwide, and creating a growing issue with implications for a “damaged” future generation.

The number of homeless people in the U.S. is the subject of much debate and disagreement. But many experts agree we are approaching or have exceeded one million homeless Americans, and more than 40 percent of those are children. Homeless 4

Research has shown us that homelessness often hinders a child’s ability to socialize and learn. Not only do they suffer from hunger, stress, insecurity and exhaustion, but they also have a hard time performing in school and are confronted with traumatic experiences that keep nearly half of homeless children from graduating with their peers.

Because of their environment, many homeless kids tend to have learning difficulties, emotional problems and delays in their development.

With the challenges of transportation, supplies and food, and with the threat of imminent cutbacks, school districts are overburdened and overwhelmed with the need, unable to be truly effective. School districts say they are seeing more students from middle-class, working-class and working-poor families being pushed into homelessness.

Many families that desperately need help are unwilling to acknowledge their living situation and therefore do not receive assistance from schools or communities. Families with children living in emergency shelters, pop-up campers, cars and tents can be charged with neglect by Child Protective Services workers, and are afraid to speak up or reach out for assistance.

So, what can we do? How can you help? If you do have reason to believe that a child is homeless, make sure to look for signs with every child that possibly could be in peril. Donate to shelters and assist wherever possible to ease the pain by giving and donating food, articles of clothing, school supplies and money.

Even though times are difficult … if we all do our part we can get through this crisis together. Let’s all make a difference!