Holbrook: Get a grip, losers — Part 2 (column)
November 15, 2016
Editor's note: A response, in kind, to "Get A Grip, Losers" by Michael Reagan, published in the Summit Daily Nov. 14, 2016.
It's all over.
So why are people still arguing about unfair trade deals, failing U.S. industries, immigrants taking American jobs? Why are we still talking about "clean coal"?
Why were mobs milling around Trump events, holding up misspelled signs, promising a revolution to "Make American Great Again"?
That argument ended about 20 years ago.
The world has changed. Global competition and technological advance have won.
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That this is still shocking to so many is amazing, impressive, historic — all that and more.
Greed, resentment and a sense of entitlement beat out Americans' historic work ethic, sense of fairness, entrepreneurial spirit and moral compass and made fools of those who thought better of us — the liberal media, the pundits, the pollsters, the financial markets, the weathermen …
You hear conservative media saying: That sense of resentment comes from being unfairly treated! Ignored! Forced to speak politely to others!
Here's the thing: While the American worker was sulking and feeling put out because the world was changing, because most of us now have to work twice as hard, workers in other parts of the world were busting their butts, jumping at the chance to provide products and services to American consumers. While Americans sat around lamenting their lot, or went on a credit card spending spree to feel better, outside of the U.S., the motto still was: When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Around the world, workers were innovating, learning a new skill, moving to a different town or city where the prospects were better. They did work that Americans thought was "beneath them." They put off buying a new car, house, TV or mobile phone. They didn't buy things they couldn't afford.
As the demands of global consumers changed, these workers and companies changed too — unlike their American counterparts who felt entitled to do things just the way they always had until the end of time. And ironically, many American customers and businesses preferred working with international companies — not only because these companies had found a way to do things cheaper and faster but because they listened to their customers, and weren't stuck on doing things the way they always had, just because.
So live with it. Unless you are willing to pay five times as much for your mobile phone, computer or car, and willing to give up shopping at Target, Costco and other department stores where 90 percent of the products are made overseas — it's time to admit that we are part of a global economy.
So maybe it won't happen, but I am hoping that we all get a grip and say, "Hey, the world is changing. What can we do to be a part of that global economy and make America a great player in that global economy?"
Otherwise, what is your position going to be? Are you going to sit on Facebook mocking hapless college kids looking for "safe rooms"? Or are you going to have the courage to examine why you feel this great country has to build its own geographical "safe room" — trade barriers, a wall with Mexico — against the big bad mean world out there?
The world has changed. Live with it.
It is going to be kind of hard to get things done if we don't stop screaming and complaining about how unfair it all is. So get a grip.
Here is my advice:
Stop blaming your troubles on someone else — foreign countries, immigrants, women, blacks, gays and lesbians, your parents, your ex.
Recognize that the world has changed and most of us are all going to have to work a lot harder then we did 20 or 30 years ago. And probably for less pay and fewer benefits. Go back to school if you need to improve your skills. Stop buying so much on credit. You know those immigrants you love to bash? If they have the guts to get into a small raft or dodge gunfire to make a better life, why don't you get up off your a** and try moving to a different town or part of the country where the prospects are better?
Have the courage to do what it takes to improve your life.
Cut with your bad language, your blaming others, cut with your whining.
And, really, grow up.
We are Americans, dammit.
Christina Holbrook is a writer living in Breckenridge. For over 25 years she has worked internationally both as a publishing executive and as an independent contractor with partners in Europe, Asia, the UK and South Africa.
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