Our present to you is a reminder of some essential and verifiable truths …
One, we live in the greatest and most exceptional nation in the world. Even the poorest among us possesses luxuries unavailable to the royalty of the past and at least two-thirds of the world’s population. It is our nation that is the beacon of liberty and freedom. It is our nation that is leading the world in technology. It is our nation that people are dying to enter. To those who disparage and denigrate your country, walk away — they are foolish, ignorant, or an enemy in disguise.
Two, our stock market is not our economy. The dirty little secret of the markets is that they exploit even the meaningless of event to roil the markets. They need instability and volatility to earn commissions buying and selling for others. They often create their own craziness and it does not reflect the underlying value of a company. Do not be whipsawed into making unwise choices based on craziness in the markets. Take heed, but keep your own sensibilities.
Three, we should embrace a downturn in the markets which is a natural consequence of all the cheap money (at zero interest rates) that the Federal Reserve pumped into our economy. So why should we be surprised when it is withdrawn and we see increased interest rates and less expansion due to the new costs of capital. So why should we be surprised when the financial institutions and speculators bid up companies that have never earned a decent profit with stratospheric valuations as they competed to get on board the gravy train. What goes up will be coming down. Do not fight against gravity and the natural order of things.
Four, our political representatives are not our representatives. The represent themselves first and the special interests who supply campaign funding, voter support, and media attention. Not to mention perks, privileges, and jobs for family and friends — and that all important highly-paid position after one leaves office. Like the oft-repeated quote from humorist Will Rogers who once noted, “politics is show business for ugly people.” Politicians seek to divide America into manageable sub-segments and confer upon them victimhood which can only be adequately redresses by giving the politicians and their party political party. Let politicians know what you think and do not treat politics as a team spot. Run for office and bring commonsense to local political meetings..
Five, journalistic ethics and the mainstream news media has been compromised. They omit or distort their reporting to better fit their agenda and corporate dictates. They live by the bizarre and bloody reports which they amplify and repeat endlessly. Creating a 24/7 echo chamber that makes it seem that disasters are happening all at once and in your neighborhood. How many times have we seen the mainstream media use camera shots to enhance the crowds or bring drama to their reporting. A good example is a reporter, seemingly braced against hurricane-strength winds, when two people casually stroll across the street — dressed in shorts and walking normally. Read to be enlightened and entertained, not to be depressed and derided.
Six, the activists cannot be trusted. They are small in actual numbers, but more vocal that the silent majority. Hence they get the media attention which makes them seem to be a force to be reckoned with. Those who are well-meaning but clueless are the most dangerous of all. Do not participate in their craziness and chaos-making activities.
Seven, most people are essentially good and willing to help their neighbors in times of emergency. Unfortunately, they only come together in times of distress, going about their own business day-after-day without really taking the time and effort to know their neighbors. Extend the hand of friendship not the slap of rejection.
Eight, corporate loyalty it dead and it is up to you to future-proof your personal and professional life. Update your skills and resume.
In the final analysis, be the best person you can be, be mindful of what you know to be right and wrong, and extend a helping hand to those less fortunate. Listen more than you talk.
Just because something bad hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't. It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere ... are you now wondering, Am I Next?