Archives for posts with tag: jobs

I was weeding the garden (a never-ending task) when I heard the little critter: the unmistakable high-pitched whine of a mosquito. It was early morning and mosquitos are notorious at that hour in our garden plot. I looked at my exposed skin but didn’t see any skeeters settling in for breakfast. So back to work, silently cursing that I hadn’t spritzed myself with bug spray.

The buzz was insistent, and I kept looking for mosquitos to no avail. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something aloft about 50 yards away. It was a small drone, being flown by remote control by a man while his delighted young daughter chased it around.

Curious, I walked over and asked him a few questions. It had a wing span of 38 inches, he said, and could hold a 5-pound camera. He bought it online, and uses it to take video for television ads. He was practicing with a new remote control.Gadget Show

I found the drone online – it sells for $1,300. Amazing. I know drones are an exciting prospect for law enforcement and for commerce. The FAA has projected as many as 7,500 commercial drones may be in use by 2018, and the drone industry hypes that more than 100,000 drone-related jobs will be created in the next decade.

What began as a weapon of war, costing taxpayers $90 million for each of the most sophisticated killer drones, has morphed into an airborne videocam with unlimited domestic potential. I suppose we should be grateful to the military industrial complex for its ingenuity. But I can’t help but worry that if a guy can buzz my garden plot with such ease, what could a criminal or terrorist pull off?

Sandy Johnson is a journalist and a gardener, equally passionate about both. She lives in Alexandria, VA.  Visit her on her blog, Grassroots & Gardening.

I was slowly skimming the Washington Post this morning when some numbers caught my eye in the GOP convention tab.

Unemployment:

  • July 2008 5.8 percent
  • July 2012 8.3 percent

Unemployment, 2008-2012

This pretty much sums up the campaign, folks. As Ronald Reagan put it, “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?”For a lot of people, the answer is a resounding no. And if you dig into the BLS data, which I’ve been doing in recent months, the unemployment picture gets even more alarming.

For the long-term jobless, which the government defines as more than six months of looking for work, the jobless rate remains stubbornly north of 40 percent. For those fortunate enough to find another job, more than half were being paid less than their previous position.

The economy is emphatically not getting better. Wonder how many of the 12.8 million unemployed Americans vote?

Sandy Johnson is a journalist and a gardener, equally passionate about both. She lives in Alexandria, VA.  Visit her on her blog, Grassroots & Gardening.