Brower: Could 2022 turn out to be 2020-too? |

Brower: Could 2022 turn out to be 2020-too?

Patrick Brower
Homegrown Talent Initiative

It’s going around the internet and social media platforms.

2022. As in 2020-too. As if 2022 is going to be just like 2020.

So be prepared for that one.

What’s really sad about this little play on words is that 2022, as I see it right now, is starting to look like 2020. And that’s bad news because 2020 was, in most ways, a really bad year.

Certainly all the uproar, hoopla and worry over the Omicron variant of COVID-19 can make many of us feel as if we’re seeing the early days of COVID all over again. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to go through all of that ever again. Does anybody?

And yet here it is. I just heard one prognosticator say that Omicron cases should peak in the U.S. in late January. Great. I just hope we don’t have to shut down the country again with this sobering prediction hanging over our heads.

And just in time for the holidays. And just in time for yet more silly politicization of the science around vaccines, masks and other measures that might just protect the vulnerable from death and serious illness. Aside from all the death and suffering, the biggest casualty in America from COVID has been the continuing and on-going death of science and truth.

I can only hope that this aspect of COVID in 2020 does not prevail in 2022.

But what in the world does this have to do with business and the economy? Well, most everything.

Yes, COVID was very bad for business in 2020, especially in the first half of the year. But then something happened. Business roared back and growth rates and actual growth exceeded all the expectations and they defied then naysayers of early 2020. America has witnessed the best economic recovery and best overall economy since long before the days of Jimmy Carter.

That’s not me saying that. An economist and editor for Bloomberg news did an analysis of the economy in 2021 and in 10 critical areas of assessment the U.S. economy is better right now than it has been in 44 years. This is despite all the overblown worry about inflation (bond rates don’t suggest any real concern about inflation in the broader markets) and the ongoing COVID pandemic.

Private business has been doing well. The rich are getting much richer and the middle class is a little bit better off. At the bottom end of the ladder? Not so good. The momentum of this recovering definitely favors the establishment and the middle, but not so much the poor and struggling.

That being said, direct government payouts in the form of the child tax credit have helped poor children make their way out of poverty. But that was the government lending a helping hand, not so much the direct positive impacts of capitalism.

Government has also, in general, done much better than expected from the low days of COVID worry in 2020. Just locally, for example, sales tax and property tax revenues are at new highs, seeing increases ranging from 10-18%. Government hasn’t failed from the 2020 impacts, it has thrived.

And yet here and all over the country there still aren’t enough people to fill the avalanche of jobs that are open and unfilled. This would suggest that there are many jobs and employment. That’s general considered to be very good news.

So maybe 2022, in the sense of 2020-too, isn’t such a bad joke after all. That being said — I would never want to relive 2020 again.

Patrick Brower is the Enterprise Facilitator for the Grand Enterprise Initiative. He offers free and confidential business management coaching to anyone who wants to start or expand a business in Grand County. He is also the author of “KILLDOZER: The True Story of the Colorado Bulldozer Rampage.” He can be reached by calling 970-531-0632 or at

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