After reading Christmas cards reviewing the past year it seems fitting to look ahead to 2011. What can we expect?
- Continued, slow growth
- High unemployment despite economic gains
- Political partisanship
- National pessimism
These combine to suggest that companies will continue to hire as they have this year. Which is to follow company growth, but almost against their will as they demonstrate little confidence in economic recovery. This is despite strong profits among many businesses, but in line with increasing distaste with political gridlock.
When speaking with other professionals, most point to the economy as cause for their pessimism. But, given that our economy is moving in the right direction, our national mood seems to reflect the political environment more than economic. Not that the economy is great, but the political gridlock continues to be a genuine reason for concern. Politicians have become so good arguing theirs is the only way to salvation, and that any other opinion can only lead to apocalypse, that every issue is divisive. Combine this attitude with truly important issues and politics have become more about drama for the sake of securing power, not governing effectively. This is stressful on a national scale, and makes it hard to be optimistic.
In truth, the economy is growing. What we need is movement toward working together. Some are waking to the fact that devout partisanship is the problem – not the solution, and that effective government is about finding ways to work together on behalf of the public. With respect to different opinions as how best to achieve this, it is rarely achieved through obstruction. We pay these folks to govern, not stop government. And if they can’t work with others – especially those with different opinions – they cannot govern effectively and should be replaced.
My resolution for 2011 is to view the economy through my own eyes, not the doomsday politicos, and to evaluate my political candidates on whether they can play well with others. Of course, I want my representatives to share my views, but if they can’t work with others, I can’t afford to have them in office. None of us can.