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Your comments about this column are welcome ~ e-mail Norm at
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In the last two decades as good Americans we worked hard and invested in our homes and children. When we wanted something that cost a little more than we had in our checking accounts, we borrowed. We borrowed by using charge cards or taking second mortgages.

Businesses did the same. They expanded by taking business loans from banks.

Then something happened. We got blind-sided.

All of a sudden we found that the lending people were extending loans to people and businesses that normally couldnít qualify for credit. Many of these loans increased the interest rate after awhile and people found that they couldnít meet the principal and new interest payments. They defaulted. The banks were left holding homes and businesses they didnít want to own. People had to leave their homes and businesses started lying off employees.

On top of all this, some money traders were putting their money in these shaky loans. When the defaults began, these traders began to lose profits.

The landslide began and spread across the country and around the world.
Politicians and financial gurus looked up and were surprised. No one seemed to know how to fix the problem. A lot of blame was laid and fingers pointed.

We elected a new president and thought, or hoped, he could find the answer.
Congress decided to push out billions of dollars into all sorts of projects.

The stock market shrugged and continued its decline. People continued to lose their jobs. Businesses went bankrupt. Tax revenues diminished and states and the federal treasury didnít have the money they once had and began to cut projects. And the politicians and economists still didnít know what to do.

But we did what we were supposed to do. We worked hard and tried to get ahead.

So what to do now?

Maybe we all should take a deep breath and look at the good side. According to some, there is a lot of money sitting on the sidelines waiting for positive signals that our economy has hit bottom and is on the rebound.

Most families are getting along despite the news of the ones who are in trouble. Most businesses are making money. Most banks are solvent.

Good news doesnít sell papers or attract viewers or make interesting blogs. But maybe we should look at history that tells us America is still the strongest and most resilient country in the world. That people still want to come here to seek their dreams. That we value hard work and reward it. That despite our crooks, gangs and corrupt citizens, almost all of us are honest, fair and tolerant. That is our strength, our salvation.

Letís take pride in our country and get patriotic and fly our flag and say the pledge of allegiance in our schools and public gatherings. Some object. Let them have their say but do not let them detour us from our quest to honor and serve each other and our nation.

This may not solve all our problems right away but it is a damn site better than what we have today.
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