DEAL FIRST WITH THE THINGS WE UNDERSTAND

By William Markiewicz

Years ago I read about a prominent MD who left a formula in his last will and testament entitled "The Ultimate Way to Good Health for Everybody." With great anticipation the Will was opened and only one short note was found: "Keep the head cold and the feet warm and you will impoverish the best Doctor.”

This anecdote teaches us that problems should be resolved first at their simplest level. What is “the simplest level” in industry? We cannot go to the basics because we don’t find the common denominator for multiple problems there. We cannot dominate the economy which assaults us. We have just learned that the oil and gas industry keeps growing. Things appear, disappear, smash us, gratify us and we have to accept it. We are as far from a universal formula in the economy as are the scientists trying to find a “formula for everything.” We don't have reflectors to light up the huge parcel of our universe. So, let's use flashlights to at least get some orientation in our immediate reality. “Let’s cultivate our garden” said Voltaire. I think Obama takes a right pathway in deciding to spend money and give jobs to renovate old schools, highways, and bridges instead of giving priority to pumping money into industrial giants who produce unsalable or insufficiently salable products. Of course he wants to save the national treasure which is the auto industry, but the outcome is uncertain and far in the future.

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