Is Turbulence Additive?October 22, 2012 Posted by: Joe Morgan, CFA
When my fist clenches, crack it open
Before I use it and lose my cool
When I smile, tell me some bad news
Before I laugh and look like a fool
I remember my father telling me that when over-the-road truckdrivers arrive at their destinations, they don't have to helpunload their cargo. For me, this was quite a revelation. I knew atthat moment that driving a truck was going to be my destiny. I wassix years old.
As I grew up, I became aware of many other careers and where theycould take me. Instead of driving through small towns across thecountry, I could sit comfortably in an office in, say, New York orSan Francisco. I could certainly make more money, but I could alsohave more free time to spend with friends and family.
All of these are personal choices, and to be truthful, today I feelas if I could change careers at any time. This freedom to try andsucceed is one of the factors that makes America great. Of the200,000+ in my industry that have recently lost their jobs, thisfreedom of labor is critical.
Last week during an interview on CNBC, Treasury Secretary TimothyGeithner expressed the desire to "end this cycle of boom/bust,major financial crises every five years or so." But doesn't gettingrid of the boom/bust cycle mean less opportunity and less freedomin the future?
The roller coaster ride that is the economy exists worldwide underall kinds of government policies and has for years. The nirvana ofsteady, consistent growth is a false condition that economists andpoliticians have sought throughout centuries. But let's think aboutthe consequences of this new economy, were it a possibility.
First, there could be no risk-taking. How could we allow some toprofit from their endeavors while others remain stagnant? Thiswould not be fair to those who take risks that don't pan out. Andwhat of those who try and fail? It will surely be theresponsibility of the government (i.e., taxpayers or successfulrisk-takers) to provide them all the "necessities" of life,otherwise nirvana would not have been achieved. Surely, theboom/bust cycle on an individual scale is equally undesirable.Read More