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Bob Meade - A New Year, or Same-o, Same-o

From the time we were youngsters, we have heard the phrase, "Ring out the old, and ring in the new". But, as John Kerry might say, were that it were true. The reality of life is that we simply cannot dispose of our problems with one tick of the clock. If we had problems at 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2013, it's a pretty safe bet those same problems were with us at 12:00 Midnight, on January 1, 2014. By the same token, the good things that we enjoy in life are generally on the same time schedule. But that doesn't mean we can't change and rid ourselves of some of those problems, or that we can't retain that which is good. It's not magic . . . it's attitude, that makes the difference.

As I've mentioned before, the essence of management is preventing things from happening that you don't want to happen. Determining those things that might possibly upset your plan(s), and taking steps to prevent them, can be the key to achieving the good things you want. To be sure, that's easier said than done. While we can all try to eat healthy, not overindulge, exercise, and do all that's recommended, that may not prevent us from coming down with some affliction. That shouldn't stop us from trying though, because having done the right things might help in avoiding or overcoming an illness. The key is to try and determine what we need to do to prevent the unwanted things from happening.

It doesn't matter if we're talking about our personal life, or a business, or our government. The same principles can be applied. For example, what follows are some of the things our elected leaders should be concerned about, because they are things that we don't want to happen. So, what kind of plans does our government have to ensure these type of things don't occur. What if . . .

— China decides to invade Taiwan. We have had a mutual defense treaty with Taiwan since they broke away from Communist China. Do we honor our treaty or do we not, thereby nullifying virtually all of our treaties.

— Iran thumbs its nose at our lifting of sanctions and continues to enrich plutonium and gets closer to building an atomic weapon. Do we take decisive action or do we sit idly by as Israel does what is necessary to protect itself? And, do we fully and forcefully support our ally, Israel?

— The unspoken of war between the Sunni and Shia Muslims becomes open warfare as the Saudis and Iranis take aim at each other. Do we intervene? If so, which side do we ally with? And, if so, do we know how the other Muslim countries that are in various stages of civil war are going to align themselves?

— If the above happens, who is going to protect and keep open the Suez Canal? What are the consequences of a virtual shutdown of the Middle-East's oil supply? It's impact on China? The U.S.? The middle east itself? And the environment?

— Russia has vast oil and gas reserves and is Europe's basic supplier. What if Russia uses the Mid-East wars to exert dominance over most of Europe by turning its fuel provisioning on and off at its whim, leaving Europe virtually frozen, with no place to turn?

— Canada, tires of our political gamesmanship concerning the Keystone pipeline extension, and decides to build their own pipeline westward to Vancouver and the Pacific Ocean so that they can sell their oil to China? What does that do to our neighborly relationship . . . and our lost jobs, and the commerce that goes with our being the depot for that oil?

— The IRS keeps targeting citizens or groups because of their political views? After over a year, do we know what steps have been or are being taken to ensure that never happens again? Do we even know if anything has changed?

— Cabinet level people continue to lie to Congressional oversight committees? To date, that has happened repeatedly with no apparent consequence to any of the perjurers. What steps have been or are being taken to ensure that the department charged with enforcing the laws, does so with honesty and integrity?

— The Federal Reserve pulls back on its "quantitative easing" (the pumping of $88 billion per month, or roughly $1 trillion per year of "free money" into banks and financial institutions), possibly causing the inflated stock market to tumble? Or, conversely, what if the Federal Reserve continues its program thereby causing the value of the dollar to continue shrinking? Does anyone know how much interest people have already lost on their bank CDs and IRAs because of the quantitative easing? That easing caused banks to pay their customers/savers little or no interest, essentially making we the people compete with the free money the banks have been receiving from the Federal Reserve.

How much confidence do you have that we have solid plans in place to address these and countless other things that we don't want to happen?

(Bob Meade is a Laconia resident.)

 
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