keshaperry

Mississippi’s Outlook

In Uncategorized on September 8, 2009 at 8:26 am

Mississippi’s July unemployment rates are rather bleak. According to MDES, Mississippi’s unemployment figures (10.5 percent) outpace the national statistics (9.7 percent). The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) passed by Congress in February 2009 intended to stimulate the economy. Chief among its overall goals were to “save and create more than 3.5 million jobs over the next two years.” Mississippi has yet to feel the overall impact of the act’s intentions. There are 5 counties with unemployment rates over 20 percent–Clay, Holmes, Noxubee, Claiborne, and Jefferson counties. And there are 6 counties with unemployment rates under 9 percent–Desoto, Ranking, Madison, Scott, Lamar, and Jones.

In order to reduce unemployment and further stimulate the economy, many, like Warren Buffett have called for a second stimulus package. In a June 2009 interview with Bloomberg TV, Buffett stated that “It looks like we’re going to need more medicine, not less of it.” Buffett pointed out that the recovery will be “a slow process,” and this slow process has reared its head in Mississippi–not to mention that Mississippi’s high unemployment is also attributed to the loss of manufacturing jobs. This slow process has led Governor Barbour to calling for $171.9 million in cuts from state agencies, with majority of the cuts coming from education. In a statement released on September 3, Governor Barbour stated that “Although we struggled very hard last year to spare education from the budget axe, and were successful to a large extent, Mississippi cannot control spending without addressing the largest line item of our budget: education.” Many are feeling the pinch, and this latest crunch is testing the will and future of the state.

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  1. The loss of manufacturing jobs from Mississippi shows why we need strong labor unions. The “right-to-work” (i.e., “no right to organize”) states got the manufacturing jobs from the union states, then what happened? The capitalists picked up stake and went to even cheaper places. We need to meet them with unity and organization wherever they go.

    And cutting education is disgusting in times like these. Education is the only hope we have for the future.

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