DENNIS SEID: Here’s to a better New Year

By DENNIS SEID / NEMS Daily Journal

Christmas was yesterday and the new year is less than a week away.
So in the spirit of the season, I’ll offer this little saying: “Gung hay fat choy!”
In the Cantonese dialect of Chinese, the rough English translation is “may prosperity be with you.”
And for you Mandarin speakers, it’s “Xin nian kuai le!”
Now go boil some cabbage, cook some beans, throw salt over the shoulder and all the other things you need to do to ensure a good 2011.
We could all use one, that’s for sure.
I’m often asked what I think will happen with the economy. Quite frankly, I have no idea. Your guess is as good as mine.
And the old adage rings true: If you ask 100 economists what they think, you’ll get 100 opinions.
Folks like the geniuses at the Fed keep their nose to the grindstone, hoping their moves keep the economy on track.
Washington thinks it has the answers, too. But since they can’t agree on much of anything, the rest of us hope they don’t screw up any worse than they have.
The Great Recession certainly has loosened its death grip on the economy, but that doesn’t mean our problems are over.
Look at the unemployment rate across the country – still near 10 percent. In Northeast Mississippi, it’s even higher, at more than 11 percent.
The stock market may be looking good, but the employment picture is still too murky.
Certainly, other signs are starting to point in the right direction. Retailers are enjoying a good holiday selling season. We’ve seen glimmers of hope with several companies expanding and Toyota and some suppliers starting to hire. We’ve read and seen reports that business leaders feel better about the coming months.
But there’s still a nagging feeling of doubt and uncertainty about what exactly is in store for the economy.
It goes back to jobs. There are still too many unemployed and underemployed. And wages are still stagnant even as some prices continue to rise. And let’s not get into deficits, both here and abroad.
Most kids, including my son, don’t have to worry about all that right now. We parents can do the worrying for them for the time being.
Yesterday, kids around the world woke up early, ripped opened boxes and packages with abandon and delighted in what was under and around the tree. And those of us who were fortunate enough also celebrated with them.
For a brief moment, all the cares and worries were forgotten, lost in the revelry that was Christmas Day.
Here’s hoping you and yours had a wonderful day as well.
As we move to the end of 2010 and head into a new year, here’s to a truly prosperous and happy new year.
But how good will it be? As good as it can be, we hope.
And as Abraham Lincoln said, “With high hope for the future, no prediction is ventured.”
No translation needed.

Contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or dennis.seid@djournal.com.