Labor Day signals the end of summer, the real start of school, the beginning of football season, and the last long weekend to get projects done around the house. This year, though, the holiday has unusual significance to us all, as many Americans find little to celebrate, with jobs lost, unpaid furloughs, and greater financial burdens with less money to meet them. Many people would dearly love to be working this Monday because they have bills to pay but no job and little indication that their employment situation will change soon.
The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics certainly demonstrate that we are still in difficult times. In our congressional district, Chattanooga was listed as having lost 7,600 jobs between July 2008-July 2009. Our neighbors in Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis lost even more. The U.S. unemployment rate has hit a new 26-year high, and it is affecting our families, friends and neighbors.
Taxpayers are nervous – and frankly, we have every right to be anxious because a majority of our federal leaders continue to find ways to put this nation deeper in debt as they search for opportunities to “stimulate” the national economy. But I do believe we can turn the economy around with the right leaders making the right decisions in Washington.
We need people with business experience and success – and cooler heads and steadier hands – to guide our nation back to prosperity.
One thing that struck me about the statistics in this area: many more “prosperous” areas are actually doing worse.