The Census Bureau recently shook up the nation with its report that the poverty rate for 2009 had increased dramatically over that of the previous year. The federal government considers one to be impoverished if one’s income is $10,830 or less, or $22,050 for a family of four.
Many Internet users look at websites that share aerial imaging technology as a novelty, a fun way to see what their house and community look like from the air. Little do they know that various levels of government around the world are using it for less amusing means. Sites like Google Earth and Bing Maps are being used as a tool to find so-called "tax cheats" and individuals and businesses that willingly or unwillingly sneaked past the building permit process.
The biggest issue weighing on the minds of Americans is the economy. Recent decreases in factory orders and consumer confidence, coupled with unemployment/underemployment nearing 16 percent, have many of those fortunate to have a job once again questioning their job security and financial well-being while those who cannot find a job fret over their long-term prospects after more than two years of economic malaise.
The June jobs report issued by the Labor Department noted that total employment was down by 125,000 jobs for the month and that the 83,000-worker growth in the private sector was much smaller than expected. Despite the drop in employment, the unemployment rate dropped as well, to 9.5 percent.
Since his days as a U.S. Senator, Barack Obama has trumpeted renewable energy as the catalyst for the future growth of America’s economy. He believes to this day that investments in wind, solar, and ethanol energy will excite the marketplace and put Americans back to work.
Following the OPEC Summit in November of 2007, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shook things up when he said the U.S. dollar was “a worthless piece of paper.” He had expressed concern over the dollar’s decreasing value and wondered aloud if the global marketplace should use another currency in the trading of oil. At the time, the world scoffed at the concept and looked at Ahmadinejad as a mad man.
Last week marked the one-year anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the subsequent beginning of the demise of the U.S .and global economies. That unofficial start to the end of economic normalcy as we once knew it represents one of the greatest mistruths of the past quarter-century, ranking right up there with the Bush administration's initial reasons for the invasion of Iraq.
On September 9, the federal government sent out a press release that said, “The Maritime Administration today issued an advisory to mariners and ship operators that piracy is likely to increase off the Horn of Africa and in the Indian Ocean now that monsoon season has ended.”
It can be said with certainty that the ever-expanding global economy, and our nation’s weakened position in it, is of America’s doing. Many Americans have grown to accept — and even demand — that they are consumers and recipients of government services.
As the recession continues to advance, many Americans have been hoping and praying that the Obama Administration and Congress can make things — good things — happen in our economy.