That also goes for the automobile unions. Ultimately they will find that no matter what ineffectual short-term bailout President Bush awards them, their industry model of paying workers outrageous wages and benefits isn't going to survive.
Then there are the banks. They begged for huge infusions of capital so they could stay afloat. But now they are hoarding cash, thereby making it harder and harder for anyone to get a loan. Well, guess what, financial institutions? Everyone is on to your game, and there is a bipartisan riot about to erupt if you golden ones don't loosen your purse strings and start investing in America's small businesses again.
Then there's the Federal Reserve. It has made money so cheap that there is no excuse for mortgage rates not to come down and for institutions not to work with people to avoid massive foreclosures. Financial institutions will be forced to lend again, and at fair levels.
Most importantly, despite all the behind-the-scenes intrigue I describe in "Paranoid Nation," and the revulsion I express for how the basic tenets of good, clean, conservative government have been destroyed, I still believe in the grit and determination of the American people. Some of the greatest companies in our nation's history were founded during tough economic times like now.
I know people are suffering. And we are all in it together. Paranoid nation? Well, heck, yes -- who wouldn't be after this year? But light is at the end of the tunnel. You betcha. We may have shoes thrown at our president and inexplicably no one shows outrage over the insult to us. But we are still capable of being reinvigorated and moved to new action.
Just as I saw gloom three years ago, I now see a brighter future. That's my Christmas wish for all of those who have loyally read my column through the years.
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