Psychologists say that you should give the bad news first, thus allowing the good news to provide a boost for the psyche.
So let's start with the downside of 2009. First of course is the economy. Record unemployment seems to be the root of the problem. Until employment recovers the recession is likely to continue because, sadly, our economy is largely based on consumer spending. I don't know how to fix that, but I do know that until I feel secure that my hours at work won't be cut to the bone I'm not going to go into debt to buy that car that I'd like to have but don't actually need just yet.
Also on the downside is that The Army Corps of Engineers has said that our plan for flood control does not meet the cost-benefit ratio. In simple terms, that means that the cost of the flood control measures is higher than the cost of potential future flood damage. The key word there is "potential". Nobody, including the Corps, expected the flood of 2008. We're talking about people who lost everything. Our downtown and numerous neighborhoods near the river were devastated. Are we now to decide that this part of downtown or that neighborhood will be protected but another won't? To quote a home owner,"It feels like another slap in the face." I could not agree more. We all know that this is going to be a 10-15 year project. We're Iowans. We're resilient. All we're asking for is the help that we need, just as was done for Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina.
On the upside, FEMA has agreed to pay most of the cost of rebuilding the public library. Now the only question is where to build downtown. Wherever they build I'm looking forward to the opportunity to while away an afternoon at the library on my day off.
Also on a good note is that I know few people who have lost their jobs. I've been there, and it sucks. For a workaholic like me, there's no better way to suck your self image right down the drain. Okay, maybe that wasn't such a good note. But all indications are that the situation is turning around, and I pray that all who need work will find it in this new year and enjoy good health as well.
For now, good night.
- ► 2009 (17)
- ► 2008 (20)