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Letter from Ed -- What — Me Worry?
Conservative, free-market values have not failed. Our poor execution of them and excessive government intrusion has created less than ideal market conditions.
By Edward C. Brindley
Date Posted: 12/1/2008
In my October letter, I expressed frustration with the federal government and made a strong case for a president that would reign in out-of-control spending. While the election did not come out to my satisfaction, no matter your perspective we now have to move on with our future. Our lives, our families, our businesses – our very society – all depend on our attitudes during these uncertain times. To a great extent, it is our attitude that shapes the future, including the direction of our economy.
Two weeks ago my son Chaille wrote in his blog, “If I had a bumper sticker to suggest how I feel about the election, it would say, ‘I voted for McCain, but I am praying for Obama.’” For a man in his early 30s, Chaille exhibits an unusual depth of understanding. For this reason I have signed up to automatically receive his blog entries from his site “Organic Faith.” He couldn’t have stated it more clearly and to the point. While I am still concerned about what actions Obama might take as president, he occupies the most important office in the whole world. One thing all of us can do is pray for him. All of us should hope for the best and do whatever we can to prepare ourselves, our companies and our family for the future.
A friend of mine spoke the last two Wednesday nights at our midweek church service on “No worries.” He focused on what worry means and how it is not a viable option for a man who considers himself to be a Christian.
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “The Lord has not given you a spirit of fear, but of love, and courage, and sound mind.” We were not designed to worry. We should not be worrying about what direction our new government leadership will take us. We should not be worrying about what direction the crazy world economy will take. Being concerned and taking appropriate action when needed is one thing. Worrying about everything to the point that it dominates our thinking and pulls us down is another thing entirely.
Worrying doesn’t really do anything to improve our situation. It simply leads to reactionary decisions made on the basis of fear. This doesn’t mean we ignore warning signs and do nothing either. Proverbs 27:12 says, “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” A prudent business leader will make wise decisions to prepare for whatever lies ahead. This may involve sheltering money, reducing direct costs by brokering some business accounts, reducing expenses where it makes sense, exploring creative accounting options, taxing advantage of tax incentives, offering new services to attract more business, etc.
The day after the election I found myself being concerned about the direction our country is headed. Increasingly, young people and the growing immigrant population seem open to big government “solutions” to our problems. Where is the rugged individualism and grit that made this country a great place to live? My biggest concern is that a rush to depend on others to solve our major problems will lead to a generation of Americans that don’t know how to fend for themselves.
Later that same day I was pleased to learn that some conservative ballot measures won in many states, including those with a more left leaning electorate. The good news is that the American spirit is alive and well. But it requires us to stand up and be counted, and we must engage in conversation with those who have bought the liberal lie that big government is the answer.
The really good news is that Americans have not rejected conservative values as much as they have voted against the current administration and its watered-down approach to fiscal conservative principles. Conservative, free-market values have not failed. Our poor execution of them and excessive government intrusion has created less than ideal market conditions. A perfect example is the housing market where the federal government intervened years ago to develop the whole sub prime mortgage mess. Government made the mess, and the free market responded as one would expect with major peaks and declines.
It gets back to basic economics. Americans understand that we can’t just throw money that we don’t have at our problems. Unfortunately, our politicians may think they can use this strategy for short-term relief and deceive the public. That is why we must stay vigilant and fight for what we believe.
Yes, people have changed and many people want change. But it is also true that people have not changed as much as the media might sometimes suggest. Many middle aged and older people voted for McCain. And there are a lot of young people who understand the conservative principles that make our economy run.
People were sold on the concept of “change” without having a good understanding of what it really means. All of us have to hope for the best and pray that our country’s leadership will make the right decisions. The election of Obama may have some short-term benefits.
In his blog, Chaille said, “The media is likely to give Obama a free pass for a while, which may help bolster consumer confidence as reporters look for positive things to report. Note that this doesn’t mean our economic situation is improving even if the media says good things.”
I agree that next year could see a slight rebound due to the honeymoon period caused by a new administration. I have decided to be proactive about the future and will not worry. Instead, I will press on and take steps to be ready for whatever comes along. Ultimately, I am not worried because I still believe the motto on our money, “In God We Trust.”