Friday, January 22, 2010

What are we thinking?

It’s 5 AM and I am up as usual, not that I am a workaholic, oh no. Quite frankly, I don’t know why I get up so early and have to take a nap during the day again to fill up my sleep-log for the day. Eh.

Going through my email, I read that Piper is now also going to enter into the Light Sport Aircraft market. You know, building planes so small and light and slow and cheap that you don’t need a full Private Pilot’s License to fly them. All you need is some abbreviated training and a medical almost equal to what the DMV would require to allow you on the road because the only people you will be able to kill are you and one passenger. And not being able to fly faster than a hundred or so knots, the likelihood of that is also remote should your flight end more rapidly than you intended.

If your friend invites you to get on board for a quick “flip” and you see there are only two seats and you can at any time touch all four corners of the inside of the aircraft without moving from your seat, you know there’s going to be some changes from your regular airline experience.

Not that I am knocking small airplanes, not at all. I learned to fly back in the 60's (of the previous century, that is) in a two-seater with speeds slower than an 18-wheeler when there was a smidgen of a headwind. For many years the biggest plane that I have ever been in was one that I piloted, which had no more than seven seats on the inside.

What struck me as weird is the fact that Piper would be manufacturing this new sport plane in the Czech Republic. Cessna’s sport plane is manufactured in China. As manufacturing origin, I have no problem with either of those countries because the standards for using those flying matchboxes in the United States are stringent enough that I can confidently strap any of them to my posterior and go and drill holes in the sky.

It’s the “why”-factor that is weird.

These companies, and they are not alone, already have manufacturing facilities and labor know-how right here in the U.S. Why would they find it necessary to have their wares made elsewhere? Now, if the thought of boycotting them or introducing legislation or taxes that would prevent them from doing this, is the first thing that popped into your mind, you are thinking on the problem side and not the solution side.

Entrepreneurs’ innovativeness should never be underestimated. I mean, even in Zimbabwe, where total anarchy reigns, where inflation of a million percent per month rages; where people, who pay with banknotes, bring them by the wheelbarrow-load and have them weighed instead of counted, businesses are still operating. Pathetically, yes, but they are operating in spite of their government’s efforts to kill all production.

Why would any government do that? Because Robert Mugabe is a card-carrying communist and to people of that weird club, capitalism is an anathema; the curse word with which the ultimate evil is drawn upon oneself. The word “profit” casts an evil spell upon unsuspecting, innocent people dragging their souls off into the abyss of free enterprise where they will burn for eternity in the fire of liberty and prosperity. That’s why.

The economic goals currently forced onto the economy here in the U.S. also restrain capitalism having already demonized profit and private enterprise. The same result as in Zimbabwe should be expected: rising inflation and a diversion of blame. Mugabe still blames England for giving them independence in 1980. Bush 43 has a long haul ahead of him if that’s any indication.

The entrepreneur will always act by following the path of least resistance to profitability. It will stand us in good stead to see how entrepreneurs act and where they find their resources, build their new products, and sell them, rather than trying to restrain or re-educate them.

It is no different from the nomadic tribes in the deserts of the world. They know where to find water at the very spot where you and I will die of thirst. They are entrepreneurs in their own right. If one were to legislate that they should find water where and how it suits some government bureaucrat, for example, it will not produce enough water when it’s needed most. With less water more people will be prone to dying of thirst even though they are perfectly obedient to the laws of the land. Bureaucrats, on the other hand, thrive on the demise of those "honorable, law abiding" victims with pious pontificating. Even ceremoniously handing folded flags to their loved ones.

Watching what entrepreneurs do and how they do things could mean the difference between poverty and prosperity; bondage and liberty.

Restraining the entrepreneur is like duct-taping the weather vane into a position one likes instead of letting it operate freely giving the information you need, not like.

Restraining the entrepreneur is like covering the aircraft’s altimeter with a Post-it sticker because the pilot doesn’t like what it tells him.

There are many good analogies in aviation that work equally well for life and business. One is to always fly in the middle of the sky. It’s very dangerous on the edges of the sky where there are trees and mountains and water and rocks and stuff.

Planes do not fly well outside of the sky.
Businesses do not yield profits well outside of capitalism.

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About Me

Seeking the truth until I find it.