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Judging from the response, many of you were troubled by last week's Point of View on the economy, thinking I was trivializing the pain that many who are currently unemployed or underemployed are experiencing.
But that wasn't my intention. While it's true, as one viewer pointed out, that I haven't missed any paychecks during the downturn, that doesn't mean I don't realize how lucky I am. Or that I don't understand how difficult it is for those who are out of work.
I never said we should ignore these problems. What I did say – and still believe – is that we do ourselves no favors by focusing solely on every negative piece of news without giving any attention to the positive developments that make it more likely we can reverse the current downtrend.
A society's economic health depends upon the confidence its citizens have in it. If all we do is fixate on how terrible everything is for a portion of the population without ever discussing what's improving in the bigger picture, we cripple our chances of re-establishing the confidence that will ultimately make things better for everyone.
I think renewed investment in our economy is what's most likely to improve everyone's fortunes in the long term. And that won't happen, or at least it will take much longer, if everyone keeps hammering home a message of pessimism instead of optimism.