And now for the good news…
American business owners are surveying a bleak and barren landscape. Welcome to 2008.
Hey! Don’t quit reading. This story has a happy ending, trust me.
Let’s take a quick look at that business landscape:
The Treasury Department is printing dollars to pay for Iraq,
so each dollar is worth less than it’s been worth in a long time. Do you remember how the prices on the backs of books always showed a much higher price in Canada? That’s about to get reversed. Canadian dollars are now worth more than ours.
The price of gold just rose to an all-time high of nearly $900 an ounce.
When people are scared, they buy gold.
Evidently, they’re frightened as hell right now.
The price of oil just rose to an all-time high of $100 a barrel, causing U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to publicly warn that high oil prices could seriously damage the U.S. economy.
(Really, Ben? You think so?)
Citibank announced it lost $9.8 billion during the last quarter of ’07 and will “cut jobs,” causing Marshal Sponder to write, “Citibank is staying afloat, along with much of the rest of the US services economy, via the investment of foreign capital.” He then went on to speculate, “It’s not just Citibank, it’s what Citibank represents. There’s 10 more big banks, just like Citi, that did the same thing. What’s going to happen when they reveal all their 4Q earnings?”
On top of all this, major employers have happily “outsourced” millions of American jobs to China and India, so troops now in Iraq may soon return home to find that jobs are even harder to track down than terrorists.
Traffic is down in most retail stores
which means my job as an advertising consultant is about to get really tough. (Boo-hoo for me, right?)
Anyone who is perky about business in 2008 has likely been to one-too-many Tony Robbins seminars. (Tony fans, please accept my apology in advance. No need to write.)
So here’s the happy ending: Americans have always worked hard, played hard. It’s just who we are. Well, playtime’s over. It’s time once again to rise up, do the hard thing, fight like hell, think, plan, scheme, build, risk, grow and win. We’re the best at it in the whole world.
It’s who we are.