November 22, 2012

There's much to be thankful for

In this week of thanks, there are so many reasons to be grateful.

As I write, we have enjoyed a week of wonderful weather, with temperatures peaking into the 50s and the sun shining brightly. We are in the tail end of November, with winter solstice just a month away. Yet, Lake Champlain is a few degrees warmer than normal, and there have been some surprise days that allow us to finish those outside projects we have delayed. Such a luxury is truly a blessing.

I am grateful my job allows me to teach and conduct research in finance and economics, and to pursue economic development in my community. I am grateful we can grow grapes. I sometimes feel I am too fortunate, given that one in six of our labor force remains unemployed or underemployed.

We can be grateful for our loved ones, and remain hopeful they will have a good year next year. I wish this upon our entire nation. In my 53 years, I have never experienced a nation so divided. I’m not even sure that the 1960s were as divided as we are now. At least then, there seemed to remain hope for a brighter future, and there was a tradition in Congress to work together, even if visions may have diverged wildly. We do see some sprouts of cooperation, following a divisive election. Let us keep our fingers crossed.

And let us be thankful that the dreadful election is finally over. I can’t imagine anybody enjoying that spectacle. I am grateful that the North Country campaigns were respectful and focused on issues, even if some outside groups did not.

Our region has remained quite resilient. We can be thankful for the spirit of hard work that rural economies often enjoy. Our economy is strategically linked to Canada’s, an economy that has remained one of the strongest of the developed nations in the world.

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