The people's voice of reason

Tears & Laughter: The IRS may hire 87,000 new agents, but do not worry

In Camden…poor little small Camden, we have limited restaurants of any kind. Fried chicken is widely available. There are more places to buy fried chicken than there are gas stations or red lights, but still the number is limited.

Add to that the fact that Wilcox County has never not had the highest unemployment in the state. So there are people who evidently need jobs, but restaurants here are never fully staffed. They are always hiring.

The staff shortage is so severe that it is no longer unusual for one of the owners to make a post on social media explaining that they are having to close for the day, or the evening, because there are simply not enough employees to open. One in particular often has to close on Saturday nights, and it only requires three people to operate.

This is not limited to Camden. Restaurants all over the nation are struggling to find help.

There is also a teacher shortage. The teacher shortage is so severe that schools are getting creative with ways to handle it. Some states have allowed uncertified teachers to fill the vacant positions. Some schools have moved to four day school weeks. Some have enrolled students into community college classes. Others have gone virtual.

There is a school bus driver shortage to accompany the teacher shortage.

There is a shortage of truck drivers across the country.

And pilots.

There is a shortage of nurses, doctors, and medical specialists – even with sign-on bonuses being offered.

And of course understandably, there is a shortage of police officers.

There have never been fewer people enlisting in the armed forces. There have never been fewer people in the physical condition to join the armed forces either, but that is another column for another day.

There were so few life guards this summer that there were pools that did not open. Beachgoers were advised to swim at their own risk.

The state’s casinos are hiring – all locations, positions, and shifts.

All sectors of skilled trades – mechanics, welders, plumbers, electricians – are having trouble finding qualified help. Builders and contractors can’t find workers who can read a standard Stanley measuring tape or show up on time.

I was at one of Alabama’s State Parks last week. It is a fine facility, but there are not enough staff to run it adequately. I will spare them an honest review out of respect, but it was poor on several levels…and the office employees who weren’t haughty, were apologetic. The desk clerk explained they were having trouble hiring people, that the week before they had hired a grounds maintenance person who quit the first day because he did not realize he would be working outside. He said it was too hot.

As part of the Inflation Reduction Act, the IRS is set to potentially hire 87,000 new agents over the next decade. Be honest with your taxes – render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. Strive for honesty in all things – as genuine happiness can only be found in truth. But try not to worry too much about the IRS hiring 87,000 new agents. It may take a while.

Amanda Walker is a columnist and contributor with, The Birmingham News, Selma Times Journal, Thomasville Times, West Alabama Watchman, and Alabama Gazette. Contact her at or at


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