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America has very serious unemployment problems now.|
America has very seriuos unemployment problems in the economy today. Much of the employment gains of recent years have been made by people filling in for those serving in the military in Iraq as National Guardsmen. These soldiers have jobs back home (mostly, I actually have a friend who sold his business and then had his unit activated!), and someone has to fill in for them. There are also many, many people who are working as contractors in Iraq and working in Iraq-related jobs, like making armor for Humvees and such.
Meanwhile things are going badly with regular employment too. General Motors just announced a huge layoff and restructuring plan, and also another immediate round of white collar (executive) layoffs. The airlines are in a shambles and many are attempting to hand off their pension obligations to the federal government. Wal-Mart seems to be hiring, and people want to get on board there. They know the jobs and benefits aren't as good as those in auto manufacturing, but they believe that Wal-Mart will be around for a while, and will likely continue to grow.
People are frightened in America. The congress is going to make it a felony for a Hispanic to be in the USA without permission, and therefore anyone who helps or employes an illegal worker will be guilty of assisting a felon in the commission of a crime, which is also a felony.
America will eventually re-instate the military draft. In fact, babies born this week will see military service in Iraq, Iran, and other countries in the Middle East too. It takes a little while for America to mobilize into a war-ifghting society, but it is on its way.
Each night, the CBS Evening News honors a hero from Iraq, sometimes living, sometimes postumously (dead). It reminds everyone that war is hell and claims the lives of people in their finest years, but it also reminds young people that America values its soldiers.