We welcome 2017 with a mixture of optimism, caution, confusion, worry and maybe even indifference.
This past year was a wild one and the year ahead should be interesting. Mostly politically.
Americans elected Donald J. Trump to be our 45th president, In our region, the majority of voters agreed with that decision.
In our state, the majority of voters did not.
On election night, Nov. 8, as it became apparent Trump would defeat Hillary Clinton, the worldwide markets and Dow futures took a big dive. In the days and weeks that followed, the markets soared to historic highs.
What are we to make of that? Business as usual for the schizophrenic markets maybe. If you’ve had your investments or retirement tied to the market for many years you’ve been down this road before.
You may go back to 2000, when the dot-com crash sent stocks plunging. The 9-11 attacks took a big bite too. Then, the recession that began in 2008 smacked the markets again.
Yet they eventually recovered every time and climbed to new highs.
That is heartening and perhaps indicative of our economy as a whole. There will be bumps. Sometimes painful, but eventually our system rights itself.
Does Donald J. Trump represent some unique threat to the future of the U.S. economy? Or does he represent some wonderfully unique opportunity for prosperity.
The answer to that is the ever-popular “we’ll see.”
In the meantime, we re-elected Gov. Jay Inslee. And shortly after his win the governor unveiled a massive tax plan that has many business leaders worried. The economic recovery in Washington state has been encouraging but has not been evenly spread across the state.
Inslee’s tax proposals might threaten the state’s economic future or boost it. We’ll see?
Regardless, the governor’s proposals could end up going straight to the state Legislature’s recycle bin.
Strange times, indeed.
But on the local level, where it really matters, we have positive signs in many places. That includes the Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort. In this issue we take a close look at that facility’s big plans for the future.
If fulfilled, our own ski mountain’s future and the economic benefit it brings to the Valley could be bright indeed. It is an aggressive expansion of both the resort and its economic model. The hill would become a vibrant and growing destination and actually home to many people.
But growth never comes without some complications and challenges. And that is the case with Mission Ridge. Some worry about the impact on the landscape and the animals who inhabit it. But planners seem to have the answers to ease those concerns.
Seeing how that moves forward this year should be very interesting. As should all of 2017. Have a great year.