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The York Dispatch recently reported that the York County housing market has been on a serious surge for nearly two years now.

More houses are selling and, because of great demand, those houses are bringing higher prices.

The stock market, meanwhile, has been holding steady above 18,000 for months — nearly triple its low point from 2009.

And the unemployment rate is hovering around 5 percent — about half of its high-water mark, again from 2009.

Those all sound like pretty encouraging numbers for our economy, especially considering the dire straits we found ourselves in during the depths of the Great Recession.

You remember the Great Recession, don't you? That's when a meltdown in the financial sector trashed the housing market and put us on the precipice of another depression.

In the seven years since, the economy has slowly rebounded. No one is saying the economy is in stellar shape, but considering the razor's edge it was teetering on in 2009, things could be a whole lot worse.

There are help-wanted signs sprouting up all over the county, and your local shopper features pages and pages of help-wanted ads.

It's true that real earnings, unfortunately, have become stagnant for many of us, especially for those at the low end of the pay scale. Some have been forced to take a second, part-time job, just to make ends meet. Others still struggle to find work at all.

But no matter how good the times have been over the decades, there have always been those who struggled to survive, much less thrive. It might sound harsh, but that's the nature of capitalism. There will always be winners and losers.

All we can do is try to ease the suffering of the less fortunate as best we can, either through government assistance or private acts of charity and good will.

Still, all in all, most folks seem to be doing OK right now. They can pay the mortgage, go out to dinner now and again and put a little money in the bank at the end of each month.

So that brings up one simple question — why are so many of us so angry and so afraid?

For most of our history, the twin pillars of the American psyche have been optimism and fearlessness.

Now, however, we seemed to be ruled by our baser instincts.

The rancorous political debate of this bitter election season serves as a prime example.

All too often, our hands appear to be at each others' throats, instead of extended in friendship.

We have allowed our emotions to rule our intellect.

It's an attitude that crosses party lines and economic classes.

Too many of us seem mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore. (Our apologies to Howard Beale and “Network”).

Well folks, things aren't all that bad. They're not great, by any means, but they've been a whole lot worse.

We need to remember what made this country great. It sure wasn't anger and fear.

We need to recapture the traditional American values of hope and fortitude.

We need to remember that we are one nation, diverse but unified.

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