Wednesday, January 14, 2009
498 Heimlich, anyone?
498 Heimlich, Anyone?
It was 35 years ago this year, when Dr. Henry Heimlich first told us about his now-standard method for helping choking victims... saving countless lives. Many are here today only because of this simple procedure.
Well, the United States may be choking on debt. Coughing it up may eventually happen, but for now, maybe we need a Heimlich maneuver to speed it along. Some companies are choking on acquisitions. Their eyes are bigger than their stomachs. They ingest everything in sight and need a Heimlich maneuver, to harmlessly dislodge things.
Can we choke on growth? Of course. If we eat too fast or eat too much. If you notice the way things happen in nature, you'll see that very little of consequence grows to maturity overnight. Maybe bacteria or fruit flies. And you'll also notice that when something DOES reach maturity, it stops, or at least slows down.
We go through cycles of binge buying and binge expansion, and we proudly stand there basking in the glow of our bragging rights, only to find that we've often bitten off more than we could chew.
There are so many examples it's hard to know where to start -- plus it's a rampant condition and therefore unfair to single out any one or even any dozen examples other than the couple we mentioned. But if you look around you, you will find them on your own.
Parts of this entry are based on an essay first broadcast on Bloomberg Radio.
--The Madoff story shows a major flaw in law. It doesn't matter how severely or painfully the guy is punished if convicted. The law does almost nothing to make his victims whole.
--The same's true of a drunk driver who hits and kills a pedestrian. Sure, the guy goes to jail and is made to suffer. But what does the law do for the dead guy or his family?
--Next week at this time, we will have a new President. Will America change overnight? No, that'll take some time, so please be patient.
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2004, 2009.
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