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Quote of the Day - A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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What Does A Floating Plane Have To Do With The Economy?

The economy is Supposedly in the tank (yes, the capitalization is intentional - more on that later).  Supposed criminals are in the wing (no, the capitalization is not intentional, it's just the beginning of a sentence).  Terrorists are at the door.  Israel and Palestine are firing rockets at each other.  Zimbabwe may not be the only country where they torture prisoners.  Russia turned off the gas valve to Europe and the Ukraine. 

Things are so bad even Microsoft is thinking about laying off employees and Steve Jobs is taking time off.  We may even lose the PC and Mac commercials.

Heaven forbid.

And yet, everyday men turn into heroes.  Take, for example, Chesley Sullenberger, III, and his co-pilot Jeff Skiles.  They landed a 75-ton mass of iron in a river and floated it long enough to allow everyone to exit the plane safely and allow the pilot to walk up and down the aisle - twice - to make sure everyone had been rescued.

Is there a connection between the state of the economy and this event?  Is there a connection between this event and the state of the world?  Well, let's see.

First, we have an Airbus A320 that has been flying high in the sky for some time now.  Just like the economy.  People paid to get on that plane.  Then all of the sudden, it precipitously fell out of the sky and landed in cold, dark river with a rushing current.

Kind of sounds like the economy, and for that matter, what's going on in the world, too.  But is there a lesson here?

Given our present mindset, we wouldn't have been at all surprised if the plane crash landed into the skyline of Manhattan and its 7,500 gallons of fuel engulfed everything in its path and news shows pattered on about the horrible memories of September 11th

Instead, two highly trained men landed that plane safely and saved 155 lives on the plane as well as untold lives on the ground and damage to a large chunk of NYC.  We're told it was their years of training, practice, expertise, experience and education, starting all the way back at the Air Force Academy when they flew F-4 fighter jets and gliders (think about that contrast).

While I certainly don't mean to belittle the pilots' actions, each of us has similar training and expertise in our own respective fields.  We work hard in our jobs.  We're the ones who made America great, as we were taught by our parents and grandparents.  We don't think we've been called on to be heroes, but maybe we haven't been listening.

Think about it for a minute.

What was your house worth last year before the recession hit?  Does it still have a solid foundation?  Four walls?  A roof?  I bet most everything in it works just the same as it did before, perhaps with the exception of those items on that ever-growing honey-do list.  But you get my point:  nothing has really changed - with the notable exception of someone else's Supposed opinion. Yes, the capitalization of "supposed" is intentional to highlight the fact that "opinion" in contrast is not.  You can draw your own conclusions whether the Supposed opinion is correct.

If you think about it a bit further, the rest of the economy is like that too.  It's all just someone else's Supposed opinion that the rest of us have chosen to accept because some expert in some other city told some journalist that printed it in a business newspaper, and then someone repeated it.

So it must be true.

I would invite you to hold a contrary opinion and not to Suppose.  Sure, we spend too much and don't save enough.  We buy more than we export.  We owe money to just about everyone and can't seem to pay it quickly enough or in some cases, at all.

But the sun's going to come up tomorrow.  There will be air to breathe and water to drink.  Food will be on your table and you won't go hungry. 

If we change our attitude, then ...

Well now, wait a minute there.  Let me offer a different thought.  Those two pilots reacted as their training told them to act.  They knew they could save their plane, the people in it and the people on the ground.  Within seconds, they acted swiftly and surely, gliding their plane in for a bumpy, but safe landing and the crew then escorted everyone to safety.

Our economy and the rest of the world are in the midst of a hard, bumpy landing.  The government is offering to rescue us, but it's going to take more than that to jump start a recovery.  It's going to take work.  Someone's got to take the laboring oar, walk up and down the aisle and make sure we're all back to safety and able to go back to work tomorrow.

I, for one, am more than happy to get back to work and drag this sorry economy from its apparently complacent gloom and push to help kick start it into forward motion. 

But that's just my opinion.  If you agree, then put your shoulder to the grindstone with mine and let's get this country out of its funk and back on the road to recovery.

Two heroes have already showed us how.  Now it's our job to pick ourselves up, change our mindset, produce goods, provide services, save money, spend less, work hard and stop our complaining. 

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Friday, January 16, 2009 at 22:59 Comments Closed (0) |
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