There is good and bad news when it comes to the latest government figures on poverty in America. The good news is that the poverty rate has more or less stabilized for the first time in three years, while the bad news is that the number of people living in poverty in the St. Louis area is well above the national average. Join host Don Marsh for a discussion about poverty and its ripple effects in the region.
Updated 1:45 p.m.Lock 27 reopened this morning at 3:30 a.m. after being closed for 5 days. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, it may take up to 72 hours to push through the 63 vessels and 455 barges, some from as far as New Orleans, that backed up during the closure. The Corps estimated that the closure cost nearly $3 million per day . Lock 27 underwent major rehab in the past few years and was damaged due to low water levels.
When the French explorer Père Marquette traveled down the Illinois River in 1673, his journal tells of encounters with “monstrous fish” so large they nearly overturned his canoe.
In all likelihood the fish Marquette was talking about were channel catfish, but nearly 340 years later fisherman Josh Havens says it’s bighead carp... and silver carp which now harass boaters on the Illinois (silver carp are the jumpers).
The issue of keeping Asian carp out of the Great Lakes has implications for a variety of industries. Midwest officials are weighing a range of options, including severing the connection between the Mississippi River and Great Lakes basins. This last option comes with a list of potential economic implications for the shipping and manufacturing industry.
For instance, the 70-mile stretch of Mississippi River at St. Louis is one of the busiest inland ports in America—a place where grain, aggregate and steel are loaded and shipped up and down the river.
The U.S. population is growing. In normal times, the labor force — working or not — would be growing too. But these are not normal times, and the labor force is actually smaller than it was four years ago, meaning millions of people who should be there aren't.
The reasons people drop out of the workforce are myriad. People go back to school. Others have health issues or family priorities that keep them from looking for work. But some stop looking because they are discouraged.
It's been four years since the U.S. launched a massive bailout of the financial system and the auto industry. While much of the bailout money has been paid back, the government still owns large shares in companies such as AIG and GM, and has yet to recoup some $200 billion in bailouts.