LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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Dear abfjournal Dear abfjournal,
ONE READER WRITES:
Much Ado About Nothing!
Business Leaders Shouldn’t Give Significance to Insignificant,
Misleading or Partisan Hype
As 2012 is an election year, the mudslinging and distortion of reality are certain to elevate.
Therefore, Mark Sheffert, chairman and CEO of Manchester Companies, Inc., underscores the
importance of business leaders’ ability to separate the facts from the fiction.
In recent months our country, and as a result much of the world, has gone through tremendous turmoil and angst. The political battles in Washington, D.C. over the nation’s payroll taxes, debt
ceiling, deficit and budget are having us watch President Obama
fighting the GOP, House Speaker John Boehner fighting the Tea
Party and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority
Leader Nancy Pelosi fighting, well, just about everyone. The skir-mishes for the past year over taxes and spending have nearly forced
the government to shut down at least three times and have cost it
its top credit rating.
Because our political leaders continue to be unwilling to move
away from ideological extremes, our nation is riding a roller coaster
from nearing the brink of collapse to the relief of narrowly averting
a crisis. The news media constantly pounces on the drama, luring
the world to read and watch every bit of coverage (and all of the
advertising, too, by the way).
However, in all the hype, the media generally fails to report that
much of the negotiations and political battles are over spending
amounts that are actually not very significant. For example, back
in August, the debt ceiling negotiations resulted in a deal to cut the
2012 federal budget of $3.6 trillion by just $22 billion — which
is less than 1% of the budget, according to an analysis by the
Washington Post. Now, I don’t know about you, but for such minute
results, I would like to have been spared all the name calling, accusa-
tions, skewed data, threats of economic collapse and excess stomach
acid. When I consider the magnitude of what our Washington elite
has accomplished, I am reminded of Shakespeare’s comedy Much
Ado About Nothing!
A Note from Your Friendly Fact Checker
While everyone is getting stomach ulcers over these short-term crises
and the entrenched pattern of headlines about high unemployment,
slow job growth and staggering national debt, there is a counterbalance of positive indicators and good news that doesn’t seem to find
its way into the media. For instance, did you know that:
• The corporate default rate was only 1.8% in November, down
from 2.3% in June and much lower than the 5.5% rate it was in
July 2010, according to Moody’s Investor Service.
• According to The Wall Street Journal, banks now have more
liquidity and capital today than even prior to the 2008 meltdown,
and are lending to credit-worthy borrowers.
While everyone is getting stomach ulcers over these short-term crises and the
entrenched pattern of headlines about high unemployment, slow job growth
and staggering national debt, there is a counterbalance of positive indicators
and good news that doesn’t seem to find its way into the media.