Statistics released from the Labor Department report that over 94 million Americans are either out of work or underemployed. How can this crisis be solved and out-of-work Americans returned to the job force?

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-In the long run, the unemployment/underemployment crisis will resolve itself because Baby Boomers, the largest demographic group in the country, are retiring at an increasing rate. Their positions will be filled by younger workers as all generations after the Boomers move up a notch in the workforce.

The real crisis is in the short term—the next five years or so. Training is the big issue. New jobs are being created due to new technology, but schools can’t possibly be at the forefront of training because they are slow-moving dinosaurs with regard to responding to what employers and the marketplace want and need for job skills. Continue reading

Should Wal-Mart, Amazon.com, Fed-Ex/UPS or another large US-based company acquire the United States Postal Service?

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-Efficiency experts, business mavens, delivery brain trusts and thousands of others have for years been kicking around the idea of privatizing the United States Postal Service (USPS). Proponents point to things like charter schools, which in some instances have far outstripped the performance of their traditional public school counterparts. Continue reading

Election 2016 Round Table Discussion: With the economy and jobs being two of the hottest interrelated issues of the 2016 campaign, what will be the solutions to bolstering a stagnant economy and returning Americans to work?

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent-The solutions to bolstering a stagnant economy and returning Americans to work lie in the reestablishment of a number of institutions and policy approaches that will strengthen the economy and return Americans to work.

With the number of businesses, companies, corporations and organizations leaving America in record numbers and corporate tax rates remaining at high levels, the demand for lower waged workers, and lower priced products and services have driven significant numbers of companies and jobs overseas. In addition, jobs have disappeared or have been significantly diminished to the point that entire industrialized sectors of the American economy have been driven out of existence. Continue reading

Some members of the Congress want to allow the USPS to engage in financial services and banking. Is this really a good idea?

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent-Postal controversies have been brewing in one way or another since financial inefficiency and deficits have become part of the post office’s legacy for a number of years, so whether the USPS should be allowed to expand upon its existing financial services and possible banking services is questionable.   Continue reading

Symposium 2015: Should the United States return to the gold standard or a similar standard?

Owatanna, MN Correspondent-The United States should return to the gold standard. Going off the gold standard, along with several other changes in banking and monetary policy in the past 100 years, has led us to the financial precipice we stand upon today. Without returning to some sort of fiscal sanity embodied by a gold standard, we will likely see an unprecedented financial catastrophe in this century. Continue reading

Donald Trump has proposed a tariff on goods imported from China. Would this ultimately hurt or help the American economy?

Myrtle Beach, SC, Orlando, FL January 22, 2016

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-On the surface, the United States government imposing a tariff on a country that doesn’t play fair when it comes to trade, like China, sounds like a good thing to do. We stand up to a cheater, exert our sovereign rights, and possibly add tax revenue to the balance sheet. A tariff would prevent China from artificially cutting their prices on their exports, thereby gaining market share at the expense of US producers or producers from other countries. Continue reading

Symposium 2015: Is it time to end the current Social Security program for citizens under the age of 18?

Owatanna, MN Correspondent-According to the Social Security Administration website, “about 4.4 million children under 18 receive approximately $2.5 billion each month because one or both of their parents are disabled, retired, or deceased. Those dollars help to provide the necessities of life for family members and help to make it possible for those children to complete high school.” Continue reading

Symposium 2015: Should the federal government increase progressive taxation or the federal minimum wage as a way to address income inequality?

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-There’s a reason why Robin Hood is one of the most enduring characters in literature and film.  We all love the idea of an outlier, a third party who swoops in to balance the scales, right the wrongs and (of course) rob from the rich to give to the poor.  When I was a high school student in Texas, Gov. Mark White introduced a school funding plan that would take some funding from wealthy districts and give it to disadvantaged ones in the hopes of leveling the playing field for all. It was, of course, dubbed the “Robin Hood Plan.”  Continue reading

With the prevalence of online shopping what incentive is there to retain brick and mortar retail locations?

Myrtle Beach, SC, Orlando, FL December 25, 2015

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent-The prevalence of online shopping has put a dent in the incentive to retain a brick and mortar presence in regular shopping locales.  Actual retail locations that are not associated with major giants such as Walmart, Sears, Macy’s, Kohl’s, J. C. Penney, Nordstrom’s and others, face fewer sales, business decline, and possible closings, but there are remedies and incentives to retain brick and mortar stores in spite of increases in internet transactions. Continue reading

Does the holiday shopping frenzy do more harm than good? Are there unintended economic consequences such as health problems, missed work, lower work productivity, etc.?

Myrtle Beach, SC, Orlando, FL December 17, 2015

Owatonna, MN-As a card-carrying Libertarian, I fully support voluntary redistribution of wealth via financial transactions between two willing parties.  Therefore, I have no intrinsic problem with the holiday shopping frenzy that takes place roughly between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Continue reading