1) High unemployment and slow growth are still the dominant features of the US economy. Growth during 2011 has been at a very slow pace. While there has been real, if modest job growth in each of the last five months, much of the drop in the official unemployment rate is due to unemployed workers giving up looking for jobs.
* 9.1% (2011 est.)
2) Voters in North Carolina approved a constitutional amendment effectively banning same-sex marriage and US President Barack Obama made clear his view that gay and lesbian couples should have the chance to wed. Obama broke from his long-claimed indecision on the issue of gay marriage to express outright support for the right of homosexual couples to marry.
* North Carolinians voted to change the state constitution Tuesday to say that the only valid "domestic legal partnership" in the state is marriage between a man and a woman. The amendment passed 61 to 39 percent, making North Carolina the 29th state with a gay marriage ban in its constitution.
1) In this market-oriented economy, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace.
* In 2008, the 441 largest private companies in the United States accounted for $1.8 trillion in revenues and employed 6.2 million people, according to Forbes. In 2005, using a substantially smaller pool size (22.7%) for comparison, the 339 companies on Forbes' survey of closely held U.S. businesses sold a trillion dollars' worth of goods and services (44%) and employed 4 million people. In 2004, the Forbes' count of privately held U.S. businesses with at least $1 billion in revenue was 305
2) In March 2010, President OBAMA signed a health insurance reform bill into law that will extend coverage to an additional 32 million American citizens by 2016, through private health insurance...