You can't keep a good nation down. News reports are abounding with the dip in President Obama's popularity as well as a drop in consumer confidence and many "experts" will tell you that we could be slipping into another recession or worse. But here in East Texas and across the nation there are signs of optimism that cannot be ignored. Automotive sales are up more than twenty percent from a year ago and housing starts are starting to show some life. There seems to be so much caution and uncertainty on many fronts and most place the responsibility for the uncertainty on the federal government. Questions like – "What will happen to my healthcare costs? Will my taxes go up? What about the estate tax?" Each of these questions along with a slew of others should crater an economy but the nation continues to show positive signs that we are growing restless and many industries have just flat out pledged that they will not be participating in the recession. So we can only look at our own situations and see just how much of our own economic trepidation is the product of emotional and even irrelevant forces. Cautiously moving ahead with our lives will feed the economy and make this a Better East Texas.