Change we can believe in!

Editor’s Note: The following is another in a series of guest posts by folks I know. This comes from Phil Weinmann and I thank him for his contribution. It fits perfectly with the bailout mania that has taken over both parties.

The government’s “new” strategy for dealing with our economic woes reminds me of a story I heard, oh, too long ago.

Two hunters chartered a bush airplane to carry them into the Canadian wilderness for a hunting trip.On the flight in, the pilot asked them what they were hunting for. “We’re hunting for moose,” one of the hunters said. “Okay” said the pilot.  “Just remember, with the two of you and all your gear, I can only take off with one moose.” “Not a problem.” the hunters replied.

The airplane landed on a remote Canadian lake, and taxied to shore.  As the hunters unloaded their hunting and camping equipment, the pilot reminded them, “Remember, just one moose.” “Not a problem.” “Okay, I’ll pick you up here next week.”

Well, it was a good week for hunting, and each of the hunters bagged a trophy moose. The bush pilot was as good as his word, and taxied up to the hunter’s campsite right on schedule.  As the hunters started to load their gear, and their two trophies, the pilot said, “Now wait a minute!  I said, only one moose!  We can’t take off with this load!” “Not a problem,” said one of the hunters.  We bagged two moose last year, and we took off all right.” “All right, if you say so.  But I’m not feeling very comfortable about this.” At that, with the load secured, lashed to the pontoons, and stowed into all available nooks and crannies, the bush pilot taxied down wind as far as he possibly could, hoping for enough room for a successful takeoff.  Propeller pitch, flaps, and engine speed all set for maximum lift, the pilot shouted. “Hang on! Here goes nuttin!” The little bush plane became airborne, and about fifty yards past the lakeshore, one wing clipped a very large balsam tree, and spiraling down, the airplane came to rest on the forest floor.  As they say, any landing you can walk away from is a good landing, so I guess that it was a good landing.  However, the pilot was not pleased. “I told you two clowns that we couldn’t take of with two moose!” he hollered. “Calm down,” one of the hunters said.  “We made it fifty yards further than last year!”

According to some, gaining fifty yards on a failed fiscal policy is a good thing.  Take the disastrous Hoover administration, culminating with the stock market crash, and ‘repaired’ with Roosevelt’s  (A little drum roll here, please.) NEW DEAL.  Study your history books to see how successful that was! It wasn’t until the Japanese dropped an economic rescue plan on Pearl Harbor, did our economy recover, by putting people to work building bombs and tanks and guns and bullets.  And caskets. So, let’s try it again.  Think we can gain fifty yards before we crash and burn?  While we’re at it, let’s grab hold of Jimmy Carter’s “Can’t we all just get along?” diplomatic policy.  That should work!  Slick Willie tried that one, too.  Didn’t there used to be two great big towers in New York City where that hole is now?

For me, my fiscal policy is, “Spend ‘em if you got ‘em, fold if you don’t!  I can’t see basing my/our economy on the spending of assets that I/we don’t have.  Spending the assets that our children and grandchildren (great-grandkids, too?) don’t have yet is, in my mind, such as it is, not a sound fiscal policy.  But, as Mammy Yokum was fond of saying, “We shall see what we shall see.”

And for a diplomatic  policy, I kinda like Teddy Roosevelt’s “Walk Softly and Carry a Big Stick.”  Or how about Robert A. Heinlein’s  “An armed society is a polite society.” For the rest of the world, I don’t care if you like me.  I like me, and that’s all that matters.  Oh, by the way, Rest of the World, I don’t like you very much, either.  Deal with it.

4 replies
  1. David in EH
    David in EH says:

    Unfortunately, to add another culture quote, most of our political leaders seem to be described by Forrest Gump's modest contribution:

    "Stupid is as stupid does."

    Given that the two weaselly congress-critters who will preside over the banking and bail-out boondoggles are Frank and Dodd, I think we're in for a bumpy ride.

    I think it was P. T. Barnum who said that there's a sucker born every minute. Given recent events, I have to say that either his watch was slow or P. T. died prior to the population explosion.

  2. Bill
    Bill says:

    This apocryphal tale is famous in the aviation community and is told to emphasize the pilot in command's responsibility in loading and decision making. The same concepts can be applied to government. Leadership requires intelligent assessment and competent execution based on facts. In these our leaders have failed us, and continue to do so.

  3. Ray Zenkert
    Ray Zenkert says:

    Someone sent me a Christmas poem about American soldiers that I'd like to forward to you, but I seem to remember that you do not like attachments sent to you at work. Let me know if you want me to send it.

  4. scott
    scott says:

    Well the banking bailout has produced what so far? Listening to the news and reading the newspaper I haven't seen anything that said credit market has loosened up at all.And that was how much? what will bailing out the car industry give us besides more debt down the road and a continuing failing self destructing industry. Unfortunately sometimes the only way to come out of something like this is that we will have to go through something bad before it turns around. The dominoes are being lined for the big fall starting with the credit industry, housing and car industry. now state and local governments unable to make it .All it will take now is a natural disaster and and a government that meddles to much in the public sector to start to the effect.

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