I told readers recently that we wouldn’t dwell in just bad news in the business world. I believe we’re sticking to that. So I’ve even compiled a list of good things to come out of the current financial mess the world is in. These are so-called “silver linings.” If you take a long-term view of things, you’ll get the point. – There is less arrogance in this country. People who couldn’t afford big houses and big cars but bought them anyway realize now that doing that wasn’t very cool. Living in America doesn’t mean you get a blank check to an upscale lifestyle. – The sputtering out of the Big 3 American automakers will almost certainly mean that they will change the way that they have done business. If they survive, they won’t let the unions run the businesses and they won’t make as many cars that nobody wants. Maybe they’ll hire some designers who can design. Also, they won’t ignore serious development of environmentally sensible cars. – Politicians actually may start working for their money. They’ve got a lot of problems to solve on a local, state and national level. As voters demonstrated in this past election, they’re holding officeholders accountable big-time. – Every corporate board that allows the executives they hire to take home ridiculously high pay packages without showing that these executives have provided tremendous value to their company will be up for tremendous scrutiny. (By the way, we have a list of the Highest Paid CEOS locally in this issue). – The middle class may again return to California as people finally are able to afford housing here due to the real estate downturn. – Students may think twice about not continuing their education when they find out that you really must know something to even get a mediocre job. It’s becoming hard even for the truly talented to get a job these days. (But it’s going to be really hard to educate everybody if the Cal State system continues to cut back enrollment.) – There will be greater prominence for local organizations such as the Valley Economic Development Center. As you read in this issue, loan demand at the VEDC has risen during the downturn. Maybe businesses that didn’t know that the VEDC existed will become enlightened and know that there is lots of help out there for them. That can only strengthen our economy as more businesses will grow and become stronger with these resources. There seems to be a lot more reality that has crept into the business consciousness. Business owners and managers are having to deal with things they have been putting off like getting their companies to run as efficiently as possible. They’re being forced to do this and it’s beneficial in the long run. A new way of thinking for many. See, it’s not all bad. Business Journal Editor Jason Schaff can be reached at (818) 316-3125 or at email@example.com .