The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

Mule Kicks, Headaches And Dead Horses

On August 13th, 2012, posted in: Uncategorized by

“There is no lesson to be learned in the second kick of a mule.”  As sayings go, this one is pretty succinct and accurate, don’t you think?  All you needed to know about the mule’s proverbial swift kick to one’s posterior probably took place on receipt of the first hoof.  The second hoof to land on your backside is your own fault and probably should have not happened.  Everyone pretty much gets that except maybe Congress.

Years ago, I had a boss who regularly said, “When you keep hitting yourself in the head with a hammer, you should be able to figure out why you have a headache.”  Again, multiple strikes to the cranium wouldn’t tell you much more than the first one.  It hurts really bad, so you probably should stop.

Another favorite axiom of mine articulately furthers the point of not inflicting more pain by reminding people that “if your horse is dead, for God’s sake dismount.”  Yep, again the obvious metaphor is stated: you’ve probably gone as far as you can with that idea; find another and stop what you’re doing – it’s not working.

Yet, while one might think that it is obvious that making the same mistake and expecting a different outcome should be easily corrected, it is apparently not.  The Seattle Seahawks just hired Terrell Owens to play football for them.  He has been disruptive and undisciplined at all of his previous stops, yet they are hoping he came to Seattle without his baggage.  Really?

Unfortunately, the penultimate example of perpetual mule kicks, headaches and dead horses that need to be dismounted continues to appear daily in our nation’s capital.  Congress has an approval rating that is the lowest ever.  I think it’s a number similar to a quarterback’s.

Our elected officials have to move past their “stand-off” in the name of party politics.  I appreciate conviction to ones’ party leanings, but the rest of us are getting “mule-kicked.”

What are the policy makers talking about in their quiet moments?  Do you think they talk about an economy that needs some serious addressing?  There’s something called a “fiscal cliff” that is drawing a lot of media attention.  Ben Bernanke and everyone who doesn’t have an office at the United States Capitol are heeding the warnings.  What about Congress?

Businesses are stuck in neutral waiting for action from our political leaders.  Very few small businesses are making decisions for the future and, as a result, the economy continues to be anemic.  It happens to ponds when water is stagnant – scum forms at the top.  Hmmmm?

Business has learned to move away from the mule, put down the hammer, and dismount the horse if it’s dead.  Now if Congress would just learn something from us and stop doing what’s not working, we might be able to get the economy moving again.

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