The New York Times last week had a great essay, Division Street USA, by Robert Sampson on how the real estate bust and the subsequent depression-type environment has impacted neighborhoods quite differently. Today, the Times writes about the growing use of microcredit amongst growing number of poor in the United States. What was an innovation in Bangladesh has turned into a lifeline for many. I read both those stories and realized that in this new America, poverty and hope are two forces jostling for the future. I am optimistic about our ability to do better.