Times are tough, but there is plenty to be thankful for

November 26, 2009 · Posted in Commentary 

It’s Thanksgiving Day in the United States, the official start of the Holiday Season.  We are currently fighting two wars and we are in the grips of the most severe recession since the Great Depression, so it’s easy to lose perspective on how many things we should be thankful for.

  • The true unemployment rate, which counts unemployed and underemployed people, currently stands at 17.5%.  That means 82.5% of adults enjoy full employment.
  • 3.75% of credit cards holders are at least 60 days past due.  The other 96.25% of credit card holders are current or only 30 days past due.
  • If you receive Social Security, you will not be getting a Cost of Living Adjustment in 2010.  Since inflation actually declined in 2009, Social Security recipients will have more buying power.
  • If you have money to spend, this is a great time to find bargains.
  • Over 9 in 10 mortgage payers are current.
  • The savings rate has increased after being flat or negative for many years.
  • The violent crime rate continues to decline in the U.S.
  • We have not had a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil in over 8 years.
  • Life expectancy continues to climb.
  • The stock market is off its all time highs which means this is a great time to invest.
  • Race relations are improving.  The first black president of the United States could not have been elected without the help of millions of non-black Americans.

At the risk of being redundant, I could keep adding to my list.  Thanksgiving Day is a time to be with friends and family, as well as count our blessings.  If you look at the big picture, as bad as it may seem, the glass is about 80% to 90% full right now.  If you have fallen on hard times, my analogy probably seems a bit skewed.  History tell us, and my personal experience bears this out, that life goes in cycles.  If you are at a low point, things will eventually get better.  If you’re riding the apex, you will eventually suffer a setback.  Depending on where you currently are at this point in time, you should be feeling either hope or humility.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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