Perry Newman, President of Atlantica Group LLC, inspired by a video of Maine residents greeting the troops as they come home from their missions, notes that Maine’s population is aging, and nearly everyone is facing more economic challenges than usual. The national economy has slowed, and federal and state tax revenues are falling short of providing the services people rely on.

Newman also notes that charitable giving has decreased in the state. In its 2011 update, the Maine Philanthropy Center noted that total individual charitable giving in Maine declined markedly in 2008 as the economy began its precipitous decline from 2007 levels. Moreover, fewer Mainers claimed charitable tax deductions on their income tax returns.

In The Way We’ll Get By, Newman suggests that during these tough times, people have to be independently giving and compassionate – private, people-powered strategies that were in place long before the time of ‘social safety nets’. What will pull Mainers through these times are the same values and priorities that bring the troop greeters back to the Bangor International Airport, day after day, night after night, come hell or high water.

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