As I’ve said before, I love reading news stories on Google News—the categories are neat and tidy and I can click on “business” and skip the Hollywood drama that seems to flash on other search engine sites.
This last day of 2011, I once again turned to my trusted source to see what business experts were predicting for 2012. One story in Wane.com by Andy Russell seemed to have an engaging title—“Financial New Year: 1st Day Saturday” with a teaser to match:
“How big will Europe play a role in the world's economy in 2012? Will the 2012 presidential election affect the economy at all? Should we expect the same roller coaster between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to our national debt? A financial advisor from Hefty Wealth helps answer some of those questions.”
I was eager and full of anticipation! I wanted to find out what this “financial advisor” had to say about the economy in 2012. Unfortunately, not much. The advisor pointed out we should expect mostly the same for 2012 but did focus on the importance of the U.S. digging a little deeper into the wealth or lack of wealth in other countries because after all, we know the global economy is here to stay.
Big business, as it seems, won’t change much at all. We’ll still be cash strapped, broke, looking for a job, losing our homes and businesses and oh yes, there’s that pesky election coming up. We all know whoever does get the nod for the Oval Office won’t be able to change the economy alone—no one has that sort of power unless we change to a communistic society and that’s just not our goal in America—never has been.
I mention Big Business because that’s really what rules our economy, not elected officials although Big Biz may help them achieve the political offices they long for. I surely wish this could change, but I don’t foresee it in my lifetime.
I want to hear something new and fresh for 2012! I want to leave 2012 on a bang, not a whimper of the same don’t you?
I found another Google News story from Reuters by John D. Stoll: “Insight: Dark Holiday in Detroit as Church Downsizes.” Here, Stoll reports the Catholic Diocese has decided to shut down many of their churches in the area due to the economy—the 79 that exist will be cut to 59 in the city of Detroit.
Churches are big business too and as a Catholic, I can’t help wondering if some of those at the top could cut back a bit on the hoopla and save the donated dollars to keep local churches open, especially those with soup kitchens for the hungry and homeless. But alas, that’s not going to happen in Detroit and many who use the services of the 120-year old Detroit church mentioned, St. Leo, must look for other avenues literally—take the trek on bus or foot to another avenue to find a church not included in the downsizing—that’s a little depressing for New Year’s Eve isn’t it?
Another story was hopeful from the Washington Post by Beth Jinks: “Amazon Kindle Sold at Amazing Pace at 1 Million a Week in December.” Good news for Amazon and Kindle lovers everywhere. Unfortunately, however, the Kindle is an American favorite, but not made in the U.S. of A. The e-paper display technology seems to be an expertise of the Asian market and hopes for any future manufacturing of the e-reader (any kind) in the U.S. seems glim—we just don’t have that market. Actually, we don’t have any market—what do we make here? Levis? Nike shoes? Football helmets? I’m not really sure and on this last day of December 2011, I don’t feel like searching for a list of products made in America.
So, I thought about how I could make a bang at midnight this year. I thought long and hard, what one thing could I do that would be truly American? Something that would encourage me to look forward to a brighter 2012? I really couldn’t think of anything special, other than helping out at a soup kitchen, so my husband and I decided to do that for the lunch shift and then head back home to hide within the walls of our safe house when the midnight hour strikes in fear of those shooting off pistols into the air. What ever happened to banging pots and pans, ringing a bell or just shouting out “Happy New Year!” into the streets? Hmmm…
The soup kitchen helped and it made me feel better to listen to the stories of the poor, lonely and homeless and be thankful I had a home to go back to. I was one of the lucky ones indeed.
So, we settled in and popped open some champagne and revisited our same old tradition of playing the board game Risk—again. We have done this now on New Year’s Eve for 10 years and I have never, ever won so why I keep trying is beyond me—my husband is more strategic than I, but oh boy could I beat him in Scrabble if he’d only play!
I starting humming that old song, “Constantinople” while we played—you know that song with the lyrics “You can’t go back to Constantinople cause it’s Istanbul.” I then thought of a co-worker who says he’s Persian, but other than the cats, where is Persia? Hmmmm… I don't think you can go back there either.
It finally hit me, the big bang—and it wasn’t pretty. What if my grandchild’s children someday sing a song about “You can't go back to America because it’s China?” Are we headed in that direction? Does the global economy mean if we don’t open our gates and allow the flow of what we don’t make in will leave America in last place? Are we too lazy to try? Our colleges and universities certainly don’t mind taking tuition money from foreigners studying abroad and then using their new found knowledge in their homelands.
My goal for 2012 is to look further into American companies, promote them, blog about them, and write historical perspectives on how they are staying afloat. I love America, I just fear someday, it won’t be America and as I said before, you can’t go back to Constantinople—let’s just hope it never happens like that here where from sea to shining sea, we do fight the good fight and rise higher and stronger than ever before. Only this time, let’s skip the chant, “Yes we can.”
Happy New Year folks!