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Commending The News
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Dear Editor: Though the series is only two-thirds published, I commend the Covington News and reporter Gabriel Khouli for their thorough and insightful retrospective on the explosive growth and subsequent collapse of Newton County's housing market in the first decade of this century. If you have not read the first two installments of this series, you should. There are lessons there for all of us.

Anyone who sees a simple explanation for the global credit crisis of the last several years really doesn't understand it at all. As Mr. Khouli shows, the factors that combined to create that crisis were many, and the dynamics of their interaction were complex. As with any complex system, even when the players knew disaster was imminent, they could not change the course, nor even lessen their contribution to it. Developers, builders, borrowers, lenders, investment bankers, institutional investors, and regulators... At some point, everyone knew the train had left the tracks. But, the band played on. If you hold steadfast to the infallibility of a free market, here's proof there a limits. And, if you believe government regulation is our only certain safeguard, here's evidence that didn't work so well either. So, just what is the answer?

It's human nature to seek simple solutions to even the most complex problems. But, our global, national and local economy is made up of interdependent, complex systems. When they work, they work well. But, when we pass the bounds of what is sustainable, the implications are severe.

Our banking and lending system is one such example. Our healthcare system is another. If you think the simple solution someone else offers on healthcare is flawed, you are probably correct. But, if you have an obvious fix to offer up yourself, then yours is equally shortsighted. Our future as a prosperous society depends on getting beyond clinging forcefully to our simple notions of what is wrong. We have to move on to the point we can engage one another seriously and respectfully in open-minded dialogue to find real solutions to complex problems. We cannot and will not find perfection. But, we can and must find workable solutions whose imperfections we accept but don't gloss over.

We look back longingly to a time long past when our Founding Fathers did just that. Well, it's time to look forward. It's time we grow to become the Founding Fathers and Founding Mothers for future generations who are counting on us to forge wisdom and unity from a sea of simple-mindedness and discord.

Thank you, Covington News, for encouraging us to think and to have that dialogue.