Getting Back On Track? Let’s Hope So

Getting Back On Track? Let’s Hope So


These are very emotional times we live in today. Just mention U.S. politics in the next conversation you're in and you'll see what I mean. Very prickly topic lately.

While this is certainly not the proper space for an editorial on the current state of politics in this country, I did want to sound the bell for a return to sanity in the coming year out of D.C. Maybe it's me, but it seems like the current agenda in Washington is more about posturing than it is about problem solving…and it needs to stop.

As all of us begin turning our attention to business matters in the coming new year, prospects still appear rather cloudy. While it certainly seems the worst of the recession is over, we keep eying reports the U.S. economic recovery will remain slow deep into next year and perhaps beyond. The “recovery,” it appears, will continue to be held back by shoppers reluctant to spend and employers hesitant to hire. A very complicated situation comes down to that very simple equation.

Well it's also being held back, to a degree, by political leaders that appear more interested in bipartisan foot-stomping than coming together on some progressive compromise. Among the many problems we have in this country today, that our leaders are ignoring, is the fact the gap is growing between the haves and the have-nots. The middle class in the U.S. is shrinking—some say even disappearing—and if you're running a retail operation that's a very scary notion.

There are some very gloomy-looking reports out there for 2011, and a lot of them are based around the idea that very few folks believe our leaders, from both parties, are prepared to “lead” us out of this fiscal fog. There's so much noise out there on this topic it can be difficult to know exactly what to worry about and what to ignore.

While we're not promising any magic elixir in this space we will say this—worry about crossing every “t” and dotting every “i” as the “retail is detail” mantra has never been more vital—and ignore the political loonies who have put anger before solution and visceral hate before rational thought.

Let's hope our politicians move their focus off of the 2012 election and back on to making life in the U.S. better in 2011. I wish I felt better about that possibility, but my fingers remain crossed.

Here's to a better, more unified 2011!

Michael McEnaney