Keep the Hometown Faith

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This winter has seemed colder than recent years. About Christmas time, a chill pessimism crept into the mood around town; people got worried about their money. Trade slowed down abruptly. What had seemed like a garden-variety dip in economic cycles took on an ominous character. Now we face the possibility of a deflationary psychology setting in, an inclination to wait to see if things get worse, meaning that we might expect things to get more attractively cheaper. Deflation has its own sort of common sense. But in fact it is like an airplane getting into a stall; from that moment things are in a dive.

Old timers in Crozet understand the necessity of doing business with neighbors and making sure that if there aren’t many dollars around, they get passed around that much more. We need to stick with that mindset.

In a map of the nation the New York Times published this week that shows December’s unemployment rate by county, Albemarle’s rate has hit 3.7 percent, an increase of 1.4 points over the previous 12 months. The national rate is 7.1 percent, up by 2.3 points. But in many counties, especially rural ones, in the West, South and Great Lakes, the rates are commonly double that national rate. In comparison, Albemarle is barely affected. Things here are swell.

In Crozet, we see that Harris Teeter has put its sign on its highway wall, signaling its approaching opening. Augusta Medical Center has decided to open a practice here, in Old Trail, its first venture east of Fishersville. Uncle Charlie’s Smoke-house closed, but Charlottesville’s popular coffeehouse, the Mudhouse, will soon fill that corner of The Square with the goal of becoming “Crozet’s living room.” The Tea House, a new Chinese restaurant, has opened in Clover Lawn. From all around we see businesses betting on Crozet’s future.

Crozet has good reason to feel optimistic and we should try to act that way. Let’s hope President Obama has got his stimulus plan right, and meanwhile let’s do our part to help the recovery start here. This is the month Spring arrives.