Thursday, March 5, 2009

How do you travel?

I'm not very good at coming up with the winning analogy.  Every so often, I'll think of one, and I'll run it past the wife, and she's very good at poking holes in it, showing me where it's more misleading than helpful, so I tend to drop it (oh, occasionally they'll find their way into the blog anyway).

I haven't had a chance to test this one, so I'll put it out there; she can comment on the blog if she has something to say.

Anyway, it seems to me there are essentially two camps regarding the economic downturn and how we might get out of it.  To analogize: our economy's on a long trip, and your belief about the resolution of the current situation depends on whether you think we're traveling in a plane or a car.

For about the last 30 years, we've been heading the wrong way, toward the wrong destination.  Let's say we started in Cincinnati, and we were on our way to Florida.  Actually, where we need to be going is Maine, but some actors and fearmongers convinced us we needed to be off to the sunny Southeast.  Florida, in this analogy, is the land of infinite opportunity represented by allowing people to do anything they want to do, conduct massive experiments with the economy with the tacit support of the people's representatives.

So we went down through Kentucky and Tennessee and so forth, and only now have we begun to realize that there are major hurricanes at our destination and we don't want to go there at all.  We're supposed to be in Maine, which features a certain discipline and austerity, but it has the sense of teamwork and community that we need.

But how do we get there from where we are?  It depends on whether we're flying or driving.  If we're flying, we simply turn about 90° to the left; we'll be delayed, obviously, but it's clear that if we just sit tight, we'll get to our destination without incident.

But, if we're driving, it's a lot more difficult to see our path from our current vantage point in the Smokies.  We can't simply turn left.  If we try, we'll tear apart the car and not get there at all.  So we need to reroute, get out the atlas and find the best way.  We'll make some wrong turns, because our maps are not all that good.  There will probably be some damage to the car along the way.

We want to believe we're flying, but putting our arms out the window and flapping isn't going to lift the car one inch.

2 comments:

john said...

Defensive Driving Florida offers Florida online defensive driving courses.

Androcass said...

Another reason to go to Maine instead!

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