Friday, August 20, 2004

Jobless in D.C.

This article in the Post is pretty depressing, but does show some of the problem of why the unemployment rate is so high in parts of D.C. From the bad schools, where the students don't learn enough of the basics, but also apparently anything about getting a job, to an atmosphere that does not motivate young people to get jobs. Not everyone who grows up in these areas get stuck there - some do get jobs, and get out. But the problem is with the ones who don't get out, either by choice or not.

The obstacles that are in the way for people growing up in these areas are much greater than in more "normal" areas. And while the incentive to get out may also be higher, for many the obstacles are greater than can be overcome.

Of course, a lot of this is not new, and there are solutions. Obviously better schools is the first place to start, and training is crucial. There are lots of jobs in the D.C. area, and while many might suck, you have to start somewhere. The Metro system is not great, but it does provide transportation to most areas of the City, and surrounding areas.

Mayor Williams has done a good job of taking advantage of the good economic times and the obvious potential of downtown D.C. to improve the economics of the City overall. However, more needs to be done in the rest of the city. Simple hand outs won't work (as we have seen in the past), but a strong, consistent effort that looks at all of the factors that cause the unemployment problem. The benefits will go beyond just helping some people get jobs, but also reduced crime and other social ills this City has far too much of.

D.C. Slow To Reduce Its Ranks Of Jobless

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