In Utah, a largely desert land, we have endured many flash floods. One that hit in 2012 destroyed a dam which severely damaged my home and 65 of my neighbors’ as well. Within an hour volunteers showed up at my home to shovel, clean and tear down that which was destroyed. The community help was massive, touching, and desperately needed. They unselfishly came with a “We’re in this together” attitude, and worked hard to help us through those tough days. After the initial cleanup was complete, the volunteers left, the charities took down their tents, and the city went back to its business. It was then we realized we would have to face the long process of rebuilding largely on our own.
In that flood crisis, and in our current national crisis, there is a tendency to expect government to fix all problems. Government is neither capable of, nor responsible for, righting all wrongs or saving us from all disasters. Government may provide support and some direction, but in the end, it is dependent on individual Americans to rise to the task of rebuilding. That process begins with not getting bogged down in fear or self-pity. Those natural human reactions to a crisis serve no good purpose. I felt both while looking at my flooded house, but neither one helped put the house back together.
In the Covid crisis I find some similarity to the energy crisis of 1979. Americans were deeply discouraged and fearful. Our entire way of life was being threatened by an outside force we could not control. (A political virus you might say) In the midst of the crisis, President Carter gave a gloomy speech, later known as his “Malaise” speech, wherein he largely blamed Americans for the problem. Reagan seized on Carter’s pessimism and declared that America remained a “City on a Hill” whose light still shone. Reagan’s optimism led to his landslide victory and subsequent 3.6% annual economic growth over the next eight years. He believed America had a great future and he inspired Americans with his attitude.
Rebuilding America today will require that same spirit. It will require Americans individually to decide we cannot wait for this problem to solve itself. We must move forward and solve it ourselves. The solutions will take ingenuity, creativity and courage. It will require Americans to realize that despite what Washington does, 70% of our economy is in the hands of the American consumer. If that consumer displays confidence, the economy will rebound with great strength.
After the cleanup crews left our severely damaged home, Launa and I put together a game plan. We couldn’t do everything at once, but each day we could do something. We took full responsibility for our own destiny. My plan for rebuilding America is based on the same principle. It requires individual American families to make the decision that it’s time to move forward. Rather than worry about what we can’t do, let’s focus on what we can do. Washington politicians can print money, but only hard working Americans can create real wealth. Let’s go out there and do it! Again.
Hi, I'm Dan. I'm a CFP® Professional.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®.
Member www.finra.org / www.sipc.org , a Registered Investment Advisor. Wyson Financial, 375 E Riverside Dr, St. George, UT 84790
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