Nation no longer in the economic peril of 2008
May 10, 2012 2:44PM
Updated: June 12, 2012 8:06AM
Nation is no longer in the economic peril of 2008
Are we better off than we were four years ago? Yes, we most certainly are.
It is easy to forget that four years ago, the most respected U.S. economists and financial leaders were in a public panic, telling us that our economy was going to slide into depression. An economy in surplus in 2000 was in unprecedented deficit by 2008, with financial markets frozen.
Our parents missed few occasions to tell us how bad the depression was. In 2008, people my age, who never knew depression, recalled what we had been told and were chilled at the thought that we and our children might suffer what the greatest generation had suffered. Our economy was in great peril four years ago.
We have problems now, but not on a scale remotely comparable to what existed in 2008. We are no longer in panic mode. Like all Democrat presidents before him, President Obama is into a job growth agenda that is producing results. He will stick with that agenda and will lead the economy to four years of accelerated job growth if he is re-elected. Throughout my lifetime, from Roosevelt to Obama, Democrat administrations have always given us the high job creation years. Republicans have had other priorities. Don’t believe this? Do a little research.
Mitt Romney would be no different. Like all Republicans, his priority would be profits, not jobs. There is a big difference, and for the majority of Americans, that would be bad news.
Alfred Y. Kirkland Jr.
Honor teachers for making a difference every day
Too often we hear negative stories about education and teachers. In reality, the vast majority of teachers make a positive difference in our kids’ lives every day and should be recognized. National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 7-11) has been an ideal time to celebrate the dedicated professionals who educate our children and enrich our communities.
As an Illinois state representative, chair of the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee, staunch education advocate and, most importantly, a parent of who children, I see firsthand the immeasurable value of the work teachers do and the impact it has on us all.
Just think about it. Educators dedicate themselves each day to helping young people develop the skills and knowledge they need to have positive, rewarding lives. Teachers prepare our children to think critically, to resolve conflict, to innovate and to lead us all to a more promising future.
They don’t do this for the pay (which is sometimes meager) or the praise (which they rarely receive). They teach because they love it. Teachers teach because they believe that every student is special and can reach their own greatest potential. They teach to make a difference.
Teaching is not a job — it’s a passion. That’s why teachers so often pay for school supplies with their own money, devote more time after school to students who need additional attention, volunteer at school events, and grade lesson papers and create lesson plans in the evening, on weekends and during the summer.
I know I would not be doing the work I love today had it not been for my teachers. Think back to your own school days. I’m sure you will remember many teachers who did much more than teach you reading, writing and math — they nurtured you, inspired you and believed in you.
So not just during National Teacher Appreciation Week but every day, please take time to remember that high-quality teachers ARE the reality. Send an email, make a phone call or stop by your neighborhood school to simply say “thank you” to the teachers who are making a difference every day in the lives of our children and in our communities.
Linda Chapa LaVia
State representative, 83rd District