In Confidence we Trust

Lloyd - Rochester, Michigan
Entered on November 24, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: citizenship, work

What might be the connection between a positive political departure, as we have witnessed in the victory of the new President Elect, and Wall Street?

On the face of it, none. But for financial analysts grappling at the last straws, it could mean everything. And the theory is: all we need is consumer confidence. One analyst almost said ‘voter confidence’. The elections are well over and the sentiment is far from Freudian.

The President-Elect’s victory speech bore the somber undertone that there is serious business at hand. It was an occasion to celebrate, but not with the exuberance of “we beat them!” but because the majority of the population sought a higher ground; and because the nation saw that it is perfectly rewarding to hope, if hopes were propelled by hard work and strong values. That is the bedrock of the confidence we seek.

The nation has placed its trust in a leadership of hope and character. But in supporting such leadership the population and the media are called to climb that mountain, to reach that higher ground it had sought in the first place. Participation in the work at hand to achieve these collective higher goals – a global economics based on stronger fundamentals, a foreign policy of collaborative problem solving and a compassionate strategy to address the issues of poverty and climate change, while positioning national service as a value for the young and old – will form the bulwark of the confidence we so badly need.

Consumer confidence will be born from duty – duty to the cause of nation building. Confidence can no longer be built on the flimsy wish that everything will be fine if gas prices were lower or retail did great at the holidays. The confidence of a new America is its strength in collaboration in the process to build our families, organizations and communities on the solid foundation of tested human, social and economic values. Consumer confidence will emerge from the real life contributions of those who do small and great things that bring change in our human and natural environment.

For all us, including the broker on Wall Street, who stand by and wait for consumer confidence to fall from above, or for a President-Elect to wave a magic wand to boost the stock market or our economic condition (in whichever order), this departure in politics, that we have just witnessed, calls for personal responsibility and partnership and the need to lend the President-Elect a hand to engineer the change we so badly hunger. What the nation voted for was not an empty promise of hope but a real life example of how hope is born of high values expressed through hard work and a faith in community. So, if we should trust the confidence we so dearly crave (and that includes Wall Street), we cannot neglect the responsibility we all share in making that happen, including that of the media. The vote was only the first step.