Economic reports for the West Michigan market area showed improvement at the beginning of this month, and public companies in this area expected the fourth quarter would pave the way for a steady launch of 2002. And so it should be.
In this year consumers have shown their confidence in business’s ability to regroup and strengthen bottom lines, riding the market roller coaster. While economists expressed surprise at continued confidence, corporate expectations have begun to provide new impetus for such consumer attitudes.
Make no mistake: A new example of endurance was given in the events of last week. While bearing the tremendous shock and grief of terrorist attacks, Americans stood shoulder-to-shoulder in every color and creed to rescue, pray and rebuild. The image of three individuals acting in concert at the end of their lives to thwart what fate the terrorists thought they had sealed is our “monument,” and it lies in the fields of Pennsylvania.
The attack last week on the U.S. economy failed. The creativity and ability of entrepreneurs here and throughout the country may have been represented in the World Trade Center towers, but it is only a representation. The heart and soul of American ingenuity is, in fact, everywhere.
The Wall Street Journal in its editorial last Thursday noted that the strength of a free market is its independence: “… A network, a constellation of prices reflecting hundreds of billions of free decisions.” Our independence would seem an oxymoron to the collective spirit of a nation acting in concert as one — but only to those who do not know us. The freaks of the world’s society, like bullies, have dared us but are mistaken in their perception of us.
The market reopens this week as President Bush considers defense and answers to our provokers. This battle can be fought with more than the muddy boots of previous “engagements.” This “new enemy” of no particular place requires new battle plans. One of those answers will lie in the technology sector, which was this year pounded and reshaped just in time. The creativity and ability of these companies — including those in West Michigan — will be required. This campaign of terror likely anticipates that it could spur or lure us to predictable action upon which traps already are laid. There have been headaches and complaints about the rapid advancements in technology, but now it cannot be fast enough.
The grief of so many co-workers, executives and families will be allayed by rebuilding in their names.
It appears Americans want the world to know it.