The Eternal Optimist
OK, that won’t go on my tombstone. But, I feel I’ve been upbeat about things. These are difficult times. It is hard to be an optimist but I think I’ve at least tried. Certainly I’ve come closer than the host of reporters that populate the local news.
The thing was that I saw some rough patches. I’m a well-rusted member of the rust belt. We’ve had our share of rough patches and I saw us climb back up. They weren’t as bad as those my parents saw in the great one but I saw and stood in some lines that stretched outside the unemployment offices. I heard Jimmy Carter tell the nation that we needed to lower our expectations. I sat in the first gas lines. I saw stupid things like price controls. And we came through it and things seemed even better than they had been.
Right now things suck. It looks like the potential toward much worse keeps getting increased odds. But, folks, that’s been there before and was overcome. Yes, each time it has been a stiffer climb back. Bonehead moves seem to grow instead of shrink. There are serious reasons for lowering current outlook. That seems always part of the cycle.
The problem isn’t the economy as much as collective expectations. We’ve let government provide expectations and it is ill-suited to understanding solutions. Politicians — even tea party folks — are marching in lock-step. We don’t do that well. We are innovative solution finders. Not necessarily as a particular person but certainly as Americans. We have failures; that is expected. What we can afford is the collective failure that is brought about by government based solutions. It has repeatedly taken us time to again figure that out.
My history tells me we know how to do it. But we do need to get started. And that means rethinking everything that got us here. I feel optimistic we can again do that.