Enjoy the Ride

by david on June 5, 2012

I guess it’s time to sit back and enjoy the ride no matter how bumpy it gets. What’s the sense in worrying? This economic vehicle we’re careening around in not only has no one driving, but in fact has no steering wheel.

All the “wanna-be,” drivers mean well and actually believe what they say about making our lives better. Either they are going to give us more opportunities for success or they are going to do it for us, neither of which they can actually do. In point of fact, no matter how much power our well intended leaders believe they have, there is little they can do about managing our individual or national prosperity.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on which end of the economic teeter-totter we are on, our economic futures rest solely on the winds of chance. Even if we happen at present to be on the up end of the teeter-totter we should know by now that our lofty perch is only a temporary state. Sooner or later we will either gradually descend or more than likely come back to earth with a spine jarring crash.

If an economy could be managed wouldn’t you think we would know how to do so by now? Instead we patiently suffer through an endless cacophony of egotistical nonsense. Public and private talking heads continue to claim to know all the answers in spite of the obvious fact they are continually wrong in their optimistic or dire predictions.

I guess our subconsciously felt impotence is what causes us to continue to subscribe to the babble of these deaf, dumb and blind soothsayers. We should by now recognize the health of any and every economy is the result of the inevitable ebb and flow of inexplicable fluctuations far beyond our control. These fluctuations are without rhyme or reason and are as predictable over the long haul as they are unpredictable in the short term.

In the United States such economic fiascos can be found as far back as the panic of 1792 and have continued unabated to the present crisis on a more or less regular basis. Ironically this inevitability may be one of the few economic factors that favor us losers. When such disasters arise we losers have a far less precipitous fall than do those who are unceremoniously tossed from their lofty socio-economic perches. In really tough times it may be equally difficult for anyone to thrive, but the view from the bottom is far less painful for those of us who have dwelt there for most of our lives.

I’m not advocating we should celebrate because we remain in the loser’s bracket, but rather that we should take some solace from the simple reality there is nothing we can willfully do to change our economic fate. Yes, the winner’s will rail against our laziness and insist we get what we deserve. They would like to believe it is their personal character traits of hard work and moral fortitude that makes them more worthy of socio-economic success than us losers. However, when they are brought low by the wheel of misfortune they become our brethren in appreciating how little control any of us actually exert over our status as winners or losers.

So let’s relax and cheer ourselves on with equal vigor when the vicissitudes of fate take us to the top or more likely plunk us down again and again on our aching butts. Hang in there. It’s such a short ride no matter in which direction life takes us. david

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