EDITORIAL: Optimism is still valid for the new year
Whatever your expectations for this year 12 months ago, you probably didn’t envision a partial solar eclipse, snow, a World Series title in Houston ... or a thousand-year flood. We got all four, and three of them were welcome.
What’s done is done, of course, so it doesn’t do much good to look back on the devastation caused by Harvey. For that matter, that terrible storm doesn’t have to dampen anyone’s optimism for 2018.
Clearly, the new year could bring another hurricane to this or any other part of the Gulf Coast. Or, as with Rita and Ike, the following years could be calm. We clearly don’t know what’s in store for us with the weather in 2018. Savvy coastal residents plan for the worst anyway, and hope that little or nothing happens.
And as bad as Harvey was, Southeast Texas is slowly getting past it. More and more damaged homes are being repaired and repopulated. The same for businesses and restaurants. Sometimes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency helps all this. Sometimes it doesn’t. Area residents are familiar with that mixed record.
The region’s economy, like its state and national counterparts, is pretty strong despite Harvey’s disruption. Unemployment is about as low as it can get in many places. If you own stock or have an IRA or 401k, the last few months have been good to your bottom line. The oil industry is even making a comeback, which is particularly encouraging for this part of the state and the rest of Texas. Many retailers saw their best Christmas shopping in a long time.
All of that suggests that 2018 could have more good news than bad. That may depend on things we can’t control, like politicians or the weather, but that’s true of every year. We got through 2017, and one way or another, we’ll get through this one too.
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