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December 27, 2009 - Steve Schulwitz
Wow! Another decade in the books. It seems like just yesterday I was hunkered down my sister’s basement, flashlights in hand waiting to see if the Y2K scare would become a reality. It didn’t, but what the following 10 years held will surely add a chapter or two to history books everywhere. Here are what I believe are the 3 biggest news story of the decade. They are in no particular order, but I will add a little narrative to each.
1. The terrorist attack of 9/11 My grandmother always talked of where she was when Pearl Harbor was attacked. My mothers remembers where she was when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. This was the defining moment of my life up until this point. It shook the nation to the core, but it also showed the resilience of Americans. It also made us aware that we are vulnerable within our borders. The recent events at Detroit Metro Airport reaffirms that thought.
2. The election of President Barack Obama. A part of me thinks no matter who represented the Democratic Party on the ballet, they were going to win. Obama however gained rock star status and voters quickly gravitated to the young man. One of the final racial barriers was torn down in November of 2008, as Obama became the first African American to be elected Commander and Chief. Obama went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.
3. The recession, financial failure and stimulus. The worlds economy watched as one by one, as banks failed, markets crashed, jobs were lost and the government shelled out hundreds of billions of dollars to save financial institutions, the auto industry and state budgets. The Feds wasted little time in pledging support with programs such as the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to take faulty loans and mortgages from banks such as Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Citi Group. The government owned stakes in the banks, until the institutions repaid the loans, plus interest. The Cash for Clunkers initiative gave car dealerships incentives to sell more fuel efficient vehicles, while taking the “gas guzzlers” off the road. The program was so popular it was extended and spurred auto sales to levels that may not have been reached for several years down the road. The road to recovery is a slow one, but all indications are the quick action by President Bush and President Obama saved us from a depression as severe as the one in the 1930’s.
So what is in store for the next 10 years? Will we prevail in the fight against terror? Can we create a more clean, energy efficient nation? Will a health care plan every be approved upon? I think the odds of these things becoming a reality are better than that of Detroit celebrating a Lion’s Super Bowl win.
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