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15 Reasons to Be Optimistic About America (PHOTOS)

Posted: 11/11/10 05:39 PM ET

Starting with extensive data, which showed that Americans began to change their borrow-and-spend ways long before the start of the crisis, we -- as authors of Spend Shift -- set off across the country to find people who were reinventing their lives in the wake of the "Great Recession." The stories we gleaned help us see how the crisis has rearranged our priorities, awakened our creativity, and reconnected us to the people and things that really matter. The faces of the Spend Shift suggest that the consumer is adaptable, business is adaptable, and the future is not as dim as it appears.

Torya Blanchard, Detroit. Owner, Good Girls Go to Paris
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With low cost loans from the non-profit University Cultural Center Association, Torya Blanchard opened a tiny crepe restaurant to share her love of all things French with her hometown, Detroit. Serving low-cost but high quality meals Good Girls Go to Paris quickly became profitable. The shop also provides jobs and a light of hope in a city where shuttered shops outnumber those that are occupied.
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