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Econ Focus cover with soliders standing at attention

June 2, 2022

Richmond Fed Looks at the Post-9/11 GI Bill

In 2008, Congress passed the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the largest expansion of federal education aid to veterans since the original GI Bill following World War II. In 2016, almost 800,000 veterans were using their benefits – but there has been a steep decline in usage since then. Is this trend a problem, or a sign of a more welcoming job market? The latest issue of the Richmond Fed’s Econ Focus magazine looks at the old and new GI Bills and the factors behind the decline.

Also in this issue:

  • Is dollar dominance in doubt? The dollar has been the global currency of choice for nearly a century, a status that has long been viewed as a significant benefit to the United States. But recent U.S.-led financial sanctions and other developments have led some to wonder whether this status will endure.
  • Fed eyes central bank digital currency. A handful of countries, most of them in the Caribbean, have launched official central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs. More than a dozen other countries have introduced pilot programs. In the U.S., policymakers are considering possible design features of a CBDC as they weigh the benefits and risks.
  • Connecting a region apart. When presidential candidate John F. Kennedy campaigned in West Virginia, the living conditions he saw convinced him of the need for government aid in Appalachia. Once elected, he took first steps toward assisting the region. In 1965, Congress continued his work by creating the Appalachian Regional Commission, which helped connect the region to the national highway system and has funded thousands of economic development programs.
  • Interview. Economist, author, and blogger Tyler Cowen of George Mason University on the perils of credentialism, the new math of causation, and the lasting economic influence of youthful experiences.
  • More. Coverage of other economic issues affecting the Fifth Federal Reserve District and the nation.

    For a free print subscription to Econ Focus, the economics magazine of the Richmond Fed, or for copies, sign up or call (800) 322-0565. Sign up for a free email subscription. The articles also are available online.


    As part of our nation’s central bank, the Richmond Fed is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks working together with the Board of Governors to support a healthy economy and deliver on our mission to foster economic stability and strength. We connect with community and business leaders across the Fifth Federal Reserve District — including the Carolinas, District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and most of West Virginia — to monitor economic conditions, address issues facing our communities, and share this information with monetary and financial policymakers. We also work with banks to ensure they are operating safely and soundly, supply financial institutions with currency that’s fit for distribution, and provide a safe and efficient way to transfer funds through our nation’s payments system.

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    Jim Strader (804) 697-8956 (804) 332-0207 (mobile)