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Buckle Up, Baby! 2015 is on the way!

Buckle up baby, here comes 2015.

The stock market is the highest it’s ever been, they’re practically giving gasoline away, the Yankees missed the playoffs for the second year in a row and there’s no election coming up.  Life couldn’t get much better.

Of course, if you read the news, you know there’s a potential for some not-so-good things happening in 2015.

First, we’ll see four eclipses in the coming year – two lunar and two solar.  Some folks see that as the sign of the upcoming apocalypse.

Bummer.

This is the sort of thing I’d like to know for sure.  If the end of the world is coming, I’m not going to work on my taxes, I’m not spraying for dandelions and I probably won’t buy new storm windows.

So…silver lining.

You know, bad headlines aren’t hard to find. Granted, most of them don’t deal with the upcoming apocalypse, but there must be a lot of grumpy people in the news business.  It doesn’t seem like anything good comes out of, well, anything.  For example, I just read a headline about farmers in California being worried about a lack of farm workers due to President Obama’s new immigration policy.  

Now, among the many things I know nothing useful about, immigration policy is one.  So, I read the whole article.  One expert estimated that 85% of the farmworkers in California are working with forged papers.  That’s just stupid.  It’s not good for the workers, it’s not good for the farmers, and it’s not good for America.  If you’re working without documentation, you’re not paying taxes, not buying cars or building houses, and you’re not joining the PTA. Now, I’m as much in favor of cheap tangerines as the next guy, but to structure an entire industry so it requires everyone involved to break the law is not a good idea.  I don’t know if what the president wants to do is the best of all possible ideas, but we’re still operating in the same stupid way that we’ve been doing for decades, so I’m willing to cut him a little slack.

I’m also aware we still have a lot of unemployment among people who are American citizens.  Of course, those people aren’t knocking down doors to get hired as field hands.  I don’t fully understand that – to provide for my family I’ve done things that would gag a goat, but that’s a discussion for a different day.

The article had more bad news.  The problems in the California fields are caused by lower birth rates, more jobs, and better schools in Mexico, which, in turn, has led to fewer immigrants.  

I think it takes real journalist skill to make that seem like bad news.

Anyway, the bottom line of the article was that there are more and better jobs in Mexico, leading to fewer desperate people willing to risk their lives and break the law in order to get a crappy job.  Also, because of the change in immigration rules, it looks like more people who were stuck on the bottom of the economic ladder are going to be able to pull themselves up a few rungs and start paying taxes and joining the PTA.  

Maybe I’m painting too pretty a picture. After all, I am the guy who just found a silver lining in an upcoming eclipse-caused apocalypse.  But if you read only the headlines, you could easily come to believe that 2015 is going to be the beginning of the end, that nothing good is coming our way.

I don’t believe that.  Buckle up baby, because 2015 is coming fast and it’s going to be a great year.

Copyright 2014 Brent Olson

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