EDITORIAL: We can make it back to growth
It is now clear that the recession is a major and persistent economic headache for the international community and for the economists and policymakers who have charge of the fates of the millions of people all over the world.
These problems can only be resolved by a clinical appreciation of the issues and an understanding of how the economic miseries which confront us relate to the aspirations and the well-being of people whose minds are stretched daily trying to make ends meet.
Many major decisions are made in high places, but in every respect, those decisions have a direct impact on the lives of men, women and their children. It is not simply a matter of dry decisions being made on paper in order to balance a budget or to reduce the deficit or to meet the requirements of the rating agencies.
There is a people element involved and it is not an easy task for the decision-makers who have to balance the hard principles of economics with harsh realities of the welfare and standard of living of the many citizens who live within their jurisdictions.
By and large, many of us are content to voice our concerns, sometimes loudly and constructively, so that our voices may be heard and our concerns met insofar as the Government of the day can adjust their policies.
Yet sometimes, it seems that there are some deviants who hide behind the recession and take advantage of any opportunity to wreak their programmes of theft and looting and burglary upon their sisters and brothers. Such loutish and criminal behaviour is rightly to be harshly condemned. Such elements may be at work elsewhere, but such actions anywhere are contrary to the interests of the wider community.
Successive local administrations have sought from time to time to cushion the impact of austerity measures with a degree of protection for the vulnerable. And that is as it should be.
There are already clear signs that the administration is aware of the competing demands of the current realities, and the pressing social concerns, and we have no doubt that these matters are uppermost in the mind of the Minister of Finance as he puts the finishing touches to his budgetary proposals.
In the meantime, as we witness the explosive outbreaks in Britain and the political horse-trading in the United States, we feel confident that our system of governance and the sharp common sense of our leaders coupled with the good sense and industry of our people, can lead this country back on to a path of consistent economic growth.