An Optimistic New Year

An Optimistic New Year

by Doyle Ranstrom on Dec 26, 2021

There is a popular channel whose name rhymes with Ballmarck.  The Ballmark channel is known for its movies, especially its Christmas movies which are loved my millions.  I have watched a few over the years and for a long time I thought there was one Ballmarck Christmas script with some variations.  I would suggest the historical script is as follows:

  • There are two main characters, a beautiful, generally blond woman and a really good looking guy with a full head of hair.  Though I have watched a limited sample over the years, I have never seen a Ballmarck movie where the male lead is bald.  Which is interesting, because almost all the good looking guys I know are bald.  
  • One of the leads is a often high powered executive, most often from New York City.  The other lives in Christmas town USA which is anywhere there is a small mountain town with perfect snow, evergreen trees and no wind.  The snow falls straight down with big fluffy flakes.  
  • If the female is from NYC, she is generally an overworked interior designer or fashion designer sent to Christmas town by her mean boss for a project.  She meets a the great looking with a full head of hair and who lives in Christmas town and is a carpenter.  He wears flannel shirts and smells good.  If the male is from NYC he is sent buy his boss to buy one or more business which will destroy the internal beauty of Christmas town.  He has a full head of hair and great smile.  In this case, he meets a beautiful woman who normally owns a coffee shop, bakery or B&B.  
  • They meet by chance, have great initial chemistry, smile and make jokes with each other.  Then they have to work together to solve a problem.  
  • Meanwhile, all the locals they meet are happy, smile and laugh a lot.  Rarely is their alcohol, but do seem to be a lot of brownies.  For the sake of diversity, one or the other lead characters has black best friend and often the mountain town mayor is also black.  How an otherwise all-white town elects a black mayor is somewhat of a mystery to me.  
  • About three-fourths way thru the movie, one of the leads realizes the other is in some type of relationship, but not happy.   They part ways, but by some miracle, with one minute to go, they realize their undying love. have a very polite kiss and we assume they live happily ever after, probably with no kids.  

But I very recently watched a Ballmarck movie with a new script.  One of the two stars destined to be together was black and the other white.  Also two of the co-starts become a couple.  A gay couple.  

This is one reason I am optimistic for us as a country.  We are growing as citizens.  Not all of us,  But when the Ballmarck channel has a movie in which the main characters destined to be together are of different racial backgrounds and a gay couple is normal, that is a very good sign for America.  And for the record, there is no faith basis or spiritual basis for a couple to not fall in love, regardless of ethnic, racial or sexual background.  

And there are reasons for optimism:

  • The majority of Americans are vaccinated.  We focus on the unvaccinated and we should because they have been a drag on our health care system in specific and our economy in general.  But the are a minority.  
  • The vast majority of all Americans know the recent Presidential election was won fairly by the current President.  And there is a reason for this.  It is true.  After being the most scrutinized election in our history, the results were accurate.  Those who do not accept this are at best miss-informed and more likely trying to end our democracy.  
  • Our economy has continued to grow in 2021 based on 2021 third quarter numbers.  We will continue to have economic challenges.  After the build up of the federal deficit the last 20 years, I suspect inflation will be around for a long time.  Though not a projection for the future, I also suspect that sooner or later we will have a stock market correction at some point.  Stock market corrections are normal, especially after long bull markets.  Historically and though no guarantee for the future, declines have been followed by recoveries and eventually new gains.
  • Our workplace is changing for the better with the increased option for virtual work.  Now obviously some jobs cannot be done virtually.  Hard to be a virtual carpenter.  But for those that can do so, this will increase both productivity and family time.  A win win.  
  • A-I and Automation will become an increasingly important part of our economy and society.  Again increasing productivity and family flexibility.  As long as we invest in education, this will be another win win.  

We are going to have lots of challenges, but like the Ballmarck channel, we are changing and growing as a society and this is one reason to look to the New Year with optimism.   

*This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. Individuals involved in the estate planning process should work with an estate planning team, including their own personal legal or tax counsel. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a representation by us of a specific investment or the purchase or sale of any securities. Asset allocation and diversification do not ensure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.