Saturday, December 31, 2011

December 31, 2011

Is it possible that this could be remembered as the year that wasn't?

After all the upheaval throughout the world caused what seemed like daily tidal waves in our markets, the S&P 500 closed almost exactly where it began 2011.

After all the attempts by the Republican party to undermine the presidency, Obama's approval rating hovers around 50% and those looking to destroy him seem to have done as much damage to themselves.

After all the protests against the 1% and the calls for their undoing, the well-to-do are still doing very well.

After all the turmoil in our economy, the unemployment rate remained relentlessly static.

Yet, while this year concludes, at least statistically unchanged, it was as far from quiet and even as one could imagine. With the Euro-zone in upheaval, with government overthrows demonstrating time and again how elusive fundamental change can be, with the recent death of the North Korean leader and the uncertainty in an uncertain region, with China trying to define itself and its place in a new world order, with our departure from Iraq and a diminishing presence in Afghanistan and with a new disaster, man made or not, always seeming just around the corner, we watched and participated in the unfolding of events that changed the course of our destiny.

Domestically, the President has vowed in 2012 to do what he can to assist the ever shrinking middle class. After a year in which he seemed to be continually on the defensive, struggling at every turn to stop draconian cuts from being enacted, he has abandoned even the pretense of a group dynamic. He has announced that he will act alone in his quest, as he finally responds emphatically to the reality of an immutable and unrelenting opponent. It may not be the most efficient way to govern, but time has demonstrated it is the only viable option.

This is the year we will be subjected to endless rhetoric in the ever expanding election cycle. Accusations and character assassinations will be a constant. And then we will finally make a decision that could lead us into uncharted waters.

Perhaps 2012 will be different. Maybe this will be the time that all the noise, all the confusion, finally starts to dissipate. Maybe this will be the year we will see our world and ourselves with more clarity and comprehension. And maybe we can find a little peace in such unsettled and troubled times.

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