Just a comment about the unemployment situation. It was announced today that the overall rate for October rose to 10.2%, higher than the 9.9% that was forecast and the highest since 1983. One telling statistic is that the unemployment rate among teenagers rose 1.8% to a dismal 27.6%. This disproportionate rise is a direct result of the ever increasing minimum wage, which was raised to $7.25/hr from $6.55/hr in July. (And it's scheduled to rise again next year to $8.25/hr). Less than three years ago it was $5.15/hr. Efforts to guarantee all American workers a "living wage" is instead providing many with the absolute minimum wage, $0.00/hr.
Of course, Democrats push for higher minimum wages not to improve the lives of low income workers but to reward the party's union benefactors. (And to appear compassionate). Unions like higher minimum wages not because it increases the wages of its members - most union members already earn wages well above the minimum - but to reduce competition for unskilled and low skilled labor. Republicans (like President Bush) support higher minimum wages because to oppose them appears "mean", when in fact the opposite is true.