Business Cycles

I girl walked into a bar…

  
Stop me if you’ve heard that one before but I doubt that you have, so here goes. 

Today was a pretty good day so far. It was a long week of work and I pulled one 48 hour period of it with only a couple hours sleep. My weekend began at 7:30 pm Friday night much like everyone else’s except for the fact that my weekend started crashed out from exhaustion alone in my bed. I didn’t wake up until 9:30 Saturday morning.

I guess I must have needed the sleep??? Although 14 hours is kind of excessive, it really wasn’t enough. After being up for a couple hours, having some breakfast, reading the newspaper, surfing the net, and watching some tv, I wound up back upstairs thinking about getting ready for the day. That was a big mistake because when I got upstairs and saw that bed, it looked so inviting; tempting me. The phone hadn’t rung yet although I knew it probably would as is the nature of my business. I took the temptation. I laid back down for another round of recharging and the next thing I knew, it was late in the afternoon. No work today. 

Have you noticed that the world we live in today is so very different from the way it was just a few years ago? Today we live in a world in which we carry around little pocket computers with all the knowledge of human history at our fingertips available on demand and instantaneously. There has never been a better time to be alive than there is today. 

I’m a small business owner and I couldn’t operate without my iPhone. A few years ago, the manner in how I make money was impossible, but today it’s not and things are only getting better; or maybe not so much, but that is the world in which we live and we need to adapt or we will eventually perish. While many parts of the world aren’t as advanced as America, many more are but I doubt they’d be without America. Whether you love it or hate it, America drives the world economy.

The United States is an exception in the history of humanity and with being an exception also comes great responsibility. While we maintain the status of the premier superpower in the world, there are many other nations that are challenging us for that title. I, like most Americans, believe we are better but it’s coming time for us Americans to prove it. We can’t just keep running our mouths off and saying how we’re number one while continuing to ignore what is going on in the rest of the world. The people of the United States of America most commonly call ourselves Americans but we are not the only ones that can call ourselves that and I think we all need to keep that in perspective.

People from France call themselves French; people from China call themselves Chinese; people from Egypt call themselves Egyptian; people from Ireland call themselves Irish; people from Argentina call themselves Argentinian. Have you noticed a trend? All of those people come from a place that is easily recognizable on a map. 

But wait a minute, what about the Brits? People from the United Kingdom call themselves English, British, Scottish, Welsh and also Irish, that is if they live in Northern Ireland. Kind of starts getting confusing doesn’t it? How about people from Mexico? Well, they’re Mexicans (and if they’re having sex with each other than they’re fucking Mexicans, literally) That’s  a stupid joke but the point is, Mexicans come from America too, but then again, they don’t because Americans say so and we’re number one, so don’t even try and argue with that.

So what about the people from the United States of America? We’re located on a map pretty easily, aren’t we? I think we are but there’s plenty of evidence in the form of those interviews on the street where someone asks that question and whoever is answering can’t come up with the correct answer. I’m sure you’ve seen stuff like that too and are amazed at the ignorance of some of our citizens…and we laugh at the stupidity of it. Although we come from a place on the map, we have no national identity because our national identity is made up from a conglomeration of everyone else’s identity. 

Some of us just aren’t interested in facts and that is their right. Perhaps that is the way that the country is going and I wish those people well, but I, for one, refuse to live in ignorance and that is why I’ve made a choice to fight this uphill battle on my own and by my own terms. Currently, I’m just a small business owner and I’m trying to do my part to keep the American economy going.

I spend a lot of time on the roadways of our country. Just earlier today, I saw a documentary which showed a road that looked absolutely perfect and the way a road should be. I’d seen this one before because we like to rerun things in case we missed it the first time around. It’s part of history and was appropriately shown on the history channel. So I’ve seen the show before and I know how it turns out but it hit me; that’s the way our roads should have been built. Why don’t we build our nation’s infrastructure that way? 

I know exactly why we can’t and don’t. 

The answer to that question has very little to do with the fact that the roads that looked so modern and forward thinking were built 80 years ago in Germany and were part of one man’s vision of how he thought the world should be. Of course when we study history, which many of us don’t, we know that man was wrong about everything thing else that one can possibly be wrong about. We could choose to build roads correctly and that need very little maintenance, but if we did, how would we keep the road construction industry in business? 

The answer to that question is fairly simple; build roads right the first time then build more as needed. If we could just build the road correctly in the first place, that would negate the need to perpetuating the continual upkeep of what we have already. This would eventually make the flow of traffic seemless, minimizing the time it takes to go from one place to another and we could then divert another precious resource to the place in which it is needed most.

I’m pretty sure that we’re all familiar with the phrase:

Time is money

If you’re not familiar with that, I’m sorry that the educational system has failed you. The truth is that principle is not taught in any of our schools anymore. Money is something that we humans have made up in order to keep our world going. Money used to be backed by something but today it’s only backed by debt or the promise that through work, the money can be paid back. In our society, we worship money because it has become the great equalizer. Those who have the money make the rules. That is an undeniable fact. There was once something called the golden rule but that isn’t it anymore. Live your life and be happy but as you’re doing that, remember that being nice and doing unto others as you’d like to have done unto you is a thing of the past. That rule has been replaced by the new sentiment: he who has the gold makes the rules. Again, I’m just the messenger and don’t shoot the messenger.

While the interstates are in decent shape and provide an efficient way to get around, sometimes I like to take the backroads because they’re often times better…and cheaper because there ain’t no tolls on em. Just the other day I drove from Chicago to Madison utilizing the back roads and I made great time. I can do things like that because I have a great sense of direction but many can’t. For those that can’t, you’re stuck on the interstate, sometimes sitting still because of the constant construction where we’re fuedally trying to fix what should have been made right in the first place.

I’d like to send a special shout out to the Illinois Tollway Authority for doing their part to impede progress. Thanks ITA for your commitment to keeping the traffic pattern artificially slowed because we all know that tollbooths are the best way to keep traffic flowing that is if we take out the true function of a road and turn into a money making engine that we can use to raise funds for the most corrupt state in the union. ITA, you win the award for best fundraiser for the state of Illinois because you epitomize everything that is wrong with Illinois. You should have been gone in the early 1980s after the original project paid for itself but have managed to live on because you offer up absolutely no choice to get around Chicago without you. Kudos to you for your ability to misappropriate funds in an effort to shore up the finances of the state of Illinois and funnel them into the vain effort of continually paying people for their inconsequential and counterproductive  work that was done long ago and contributed nothing to the residents of Illinois. Illinois wouldn’t be where we are without you but that’s not saying much because Illinois would probably be in much worse shape financially if that were at all possible but once you’ve gotten that low, is there any real possibility that could happen? 

I travel the interstate system a lot. By traveling the Dwight D. Eisenhower Interstate System, I’ve learned a few things and here’s the Top 10:

  1. The only thing you see on the interstate is interstate.
  2. The interstate system has allowed certain communities to survive because they are stopping points along the way.
  3. To get to the pulse of America, you have to get off of it and explore the local flavor 
  4. The price of gasoline is higher along the interstate because the businesses know you’ll pay it without question.
  5. It’s still the fastest surface way to get from point A to point B.
  6. Railway is still the most economal way to transport goods and commodities and that’s why many of them run parallel to the interstate.
  7. The interstate was built for all kinds of motor vehicles but tractor-trailer trucks rule out there because truckers drive the economy 
  8. If the trucks stop rolling, so does the economy…let them truckers roll.
  9. Don’t try and pick a fight with a semi because you will lose and that’s just physics.
  10. People are friendlier when they’re farther away from huge cities…especially Chicago

I like to give Chicago a hard time because I have lived here a long time; in fact I was born here. Between the weather, the politics, the corruption, the mismanagement, and the stench…Yeah, there’s a lot of places here that smell worse than a toilet which is understandable because there are very few public bathrooms and everybody’s gotta go somewhere, so why not use the street. Because of these things, it’s of little wonder why the attitudes of the residents is nothing to write home about either. 

Mostly, I have disdain for this city because it constantly steals my time away from me. I’m not sure if Chicago can be fixed and doing that job is super low on my list of things to do because we have people in this city that are supposed to be making things better; and those people are very qualified for their jobs. Their main qualification isn’t where they went to school. Nope, the qualification comes from which family you were born to. Nepotism gives the city our best and brightest and we reward them handsomely for their ability to keep showing up to work for a long period of time with little or no motivation to actually work and make things better. 

There’s a lot more of America that can be fixed and I think we should start there and eventually the progress will trickle down to Chicago. A couple weeks ago, I was traveling through the South; I used to live down there and I kind of miss it. I think that I’m fixin to move back someday because inevitably, someday im going to die and I think it would be best to live out my last remaining years in someplace warm. Maybe before I do that I’ll head east, stop in Washington and stay there for four or eight years. I think that I could do some pretty great things there.

Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to me our anyone for that matter and while I agree that it’s a good idea not to worry about what might happen to me tomorrow, sometimes we all have to think about it because tomorrow usually comes about rather quickly…just like clockwork.  Time is a precious commodity that shouldn’t be wasted. I don’t ever want to waste yours, and appreciate if you wouldn’t waste mine.

Thanks for reading, now I’ve got business to attend to, so I’ll catch up with you later.

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