Yup, it’s July 4, 2021 and we made it. Looking back at where we were a year ago, I wasn’t so sure.
We were in a state of quarantine due to the Covid virus. Businesses were under orders to shut down, many would never reopen. Rioters were burning and tearing down anything and everything that ‘offended’ them. Law enforcement was under attack. Our nations ‘historical hero’s’ were under attack and their statues were torn down. It was definitely a low point in US history.
Later in the summer and into Fall the uproar continued. The November elections did nothing to calm things down and in some cases even exacerbated the unrest. The new President wasn’t/isn’t a communicator so we’re frequently left scratching our head wondering what he has in mind for the nation. Things became so exaggerated it became more and more difficult to figure out what was even real.
While thousands entered our country illegally, we’re assured there’s not a problem. Five months after the inauguration the border issue still isn’t really on the radar for the administration. Billions of dollars were passed out by the government resulting in bank accounts swelling to record levels. As we watch shortages of common goods and rising prices for things like food and fuel, we’re told inflation isn’t a problem. (checked the price of a new car lately? If you can find one) After years at the mercy of OPEC, we had achieved energy independence that was undone with executive orders from the new President. Now we watch gas prices go up daily. What in the world is the ultimate goal?
The good news
With people benefitting from the ‘free’ cash from the government, it’s given a lot of people options. Many people paid off bills. Online businesses had a banner year as folks stuck were shopping from home with surplus discretionary income.
Across the country, businesses were forced to close their doors due to Covid. A lot of folks found themselves laid off or out of a job. This resulted in some people putting their skills to use in new startup business ventures. In fact, in 2020, 1 in 6 new businesses opened under Black ownership. According to the Kaufmann Foundation that’s one of the largest increases we’ve ever seen.
As the politicians called for the need to raise the minimum wage to $10/hr, good old supply and demand capitalism is taking care of the problem. Our local WalMart was recently advertising $20/hr for help in the Deli Department. A pizza restaurant in NE Minnesota was advertising for help at $20\hr. The job requirements were that you showed up for work, they’ll train. There are very few jobs in our town of 8,000 paying less than $10/hr. Sometimes it’s best to take a step back and let nature take its course.
The REALLY good news
The really good news is that the past year has caused an increasing number of people to question what’s going on and where are we going as a country. It’s easy to get complacent when things are going along pretty good. Every now and then we need a reality check to see if we’re on the right course. You don’t think about putting sunblock on until you get a good sunburn. If you get a little uncomfortable with a situation, you start asking questions and changing behavior. That’s a good thing.
This is a Great 4th of July!
I really believe this could be one of the best 4th of July’s in a long time. In our part of the world the weather is gonna be great. Sunny and hot. Already on Friday people are moving about like we haven’t seen in over a year. You can almost feel the excitement in the air. The golf course was crowded this morning. The beach in town is starting to fill up and the weekend hasn’t officially started.
But we’re not only celebrating a National Holiday, we’re also celebrating the country’s first big outing in over a year. As we put Covid behind us, we start a return to normalcy. It’s a year when we celebrate who we are as a nation and how we got to be THE place that people from around the world want to live. More importantly we need to consider how we preserve that freedom.
And, we have come a long way since July 4, 1776. The cost has been high in treasure, human sacrifice and its a never ending battle. I sincerely hope you all have an incredible July 4, 2021!!!