This year’s midterm elections had the Democrats losing control of the U.S. House while maintaining control of the U.S. Senate. Given the shift in power, I have three major concerns for the next two years.
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Job market and unemployment in Rhode Island
With people close to me out of work with no potential jobs in sight, I am concerned that the government is not sure how to get us out of this mess. It does seem that the job market is getting better, including recent numbers by the U.S. Department of Labor that October added more than 151,000 jobs (the most in the past six months).
While this seems positive, here in Rhode Island, there still seems to be no end in sight. With our current unemployment standing at 10.6 percent, we are well over the national average by a full percentage point. The Rhode Island general assembly and newly elected independent Gov. Lincoln Chafee have their work cut out for them.
With so many of my friends electing to pay to send their kids to private school, it is evident that our countries education system is not up to par. In Rhode Island, for example, an entire school district was fired before anyone noticed an issue.
With the recent “Race to the Top” funding, the hope is that this money will help stimulate public education in both Rhode Island and the country as a whole. Will the government be able to achieve these lofty goals? Will the state governments do enough?
Making college and graduate school more affordable
Going to law school for me means having a student loan bill out of law school of more than $100,000. This is with a scholarship. Many will say this was my choice and it was, but in today’s world and job economy, that degree does not equal more pay.
There have been a lot of promises from the Democratic government to help make college and graduate school more affordable and, therefore, more achievable. How will they fund this? Will this still be a priority in a government that is divided?
The problem here is balancing spending with progress. Right now the U.S. government is almost $14 trillion in debt and that bill keeps growing. We cannot afford to tax more but can we not afford to tax, either? How will these issues be addressed? Will anything get done with a split Congress?