Looking for good news

Today's news reports seem to contradict those broadcast yesterday. One day, the economy is poised for recovery; the next day, the end of this recession is nowhere near. It reminds me of the predictions of that infamous groundhog each Feb. 2. But at this point, the critter seems to be better at predicting the future.
By Jack Smith, Editor September 1, 2009

Today’s news reports seem to contradict those broadcast yesterday. One day, the economy is poised for recovery; the next day, the end of this recession is nowhere near. It reminds me of the predictions of that infamous groundhog each Feb. 2. But at this point, the critter seems to be better at predicting the future.

There have been positive reports, however. As of this writing, the Labor Department released the July unemployment figures, which show only 247,000 jobs lost. Perhaps this is not great news. Maybe it’s just not as bad as it could have been — or has been — although the president still expects unemployment to hit 10% sometime later this year.

According to the Associated Press, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said, “I would describe the report that came out today as the least bad report that we’ve had in a year. But we still have a long way to go.”

Even on Talkback, the reader feedback channel on www.PlantEngineering.com , there seems to be opposing opinions. Some view encouraging economic reports posted on the Plant Engineering Website as “refreshing,” while others say “the recession is far from over.” No doubt, those most profoundly affected by it have the strongest feelings.

But where do we go from here? Green-collar jobs are said to show promise. Smart grid stimulus is creating a buzz. Both of these industries have automation related components. And automation itself still offers hope. The Automation Federation successfully raised awareness on Capitol Hill with recognition of the profession. Now all we need is for industries to realize that automation can help them increase productivity and profitability.

Then maybe there will be more good news.