You know, the past few weeks have been rather interesting. Like many of you I go to numerous meetings, but something has changed. During the fourth quarter of 2009 there were hints of new economic activity, but 2010 seems to be different. Over and over, I hear the same thing. Activity is up – significantly!
My construction industry friends are talking about increases in the number of RFP’s, new funding for tabled work, and a flurry of new prospects. Architects, on the front line of new work, are even talking about a sudden new buzz. On the economic development front, things are heating up. The fresh rush of activity has ED folks jumping through hoops, chasing new opportunities. And, attitudes are better. People are optimistic and they’re beginning to have fun again.
That’s the big question, isn’t it? The answer is always the same. “I don’t know!” If you watch the news, they’re still talking gloom and doom, but on the front lines good things are beginning to happen.
Since there’s absolutely no clue as to what has changed, the common response is that the American public has just decided to bow out of the recession. They’re done! They’re tired of it! They quit! Everyone I talk with believes that the only reason for the rush of business activity is because people have had it with the malaise and have decided to move on with life.
They’re saying, “We quit!”
Businesses, tired of waiting, are saying, “Let’s get back to work!” They are beginning to build again and there are indications that furloughed workers are being called back. They’re making things happen.
Anger turns to hope.
Another interesting part of the economic discussion is that it almost always turns to politics. People are exhausted and angry. Overwhelmingly, blame for the bad economy is being heaped on Washington, and the ripple is being felt in state and local elections across the country. It appears that as elections draw near, Americans are optimistic that major changes are about to happen. Their anger and the opportunity to open up a can of you-know-what, are giving them hope. Regardless of political persuasion, voters are ready for change and it looks like big ones are coming.
Let’s get it on!
I’m always amazed by the resiliency of the American people. We can be beaten, battered, lose everything and still fight our way back with a vengeance. Given the freedom to do so, Americans will change the world. Throw in a little economic turmoil and some political anger and they’ll do just that.