Framing the Dialogue

Uncertainty (un – sûr – tn – tee)

Uncertainty is defined as:

  1. Situation where the current state of knowledge is such that the order or nature of things is unknown, the consequences, extent, or magnitude of circumstances, conditions, or events is unpredictable, and credible probabilities to possible outcomes cannot be assigned.
  2. Doubt

Synonyms:  doubt, mistrust, suspicion

What does W think?

“If America shows weakness and uncertainty, the world will drift toward tragedy. That will not happen on my watch.”

George W. Bush

Can you give an example?

Example 1:  A few days ago I posted about my adventures on a Spring Road Trip.   The trip was full of uncertainty for me traveling to a new place and needing to be there on time for an important business meeting.  I made it.  As I drove back in a company car that I had never driven, I noticed that my gas tank was low.  The guage looked ok and the gas light had not come on.  I started to wonder whether the gas light even worked.  I was far off of the beaten path and did not seem any stations.  I came upon one station that looked like they may have sold a tank a gas sometime this year…I chose not to stop.

I just wanted a Sheetz, BP, Sunoco, Valero, or any other station that I was familiar with.  As the miles ticked away through the countryside I envisioned running out of gas.  If I had my car I would have known my limits; there would be no uncertainty.  I came to a station on my left and it was called something like Country Fair and I drove by uncertain.  About a mile down the road I made a U-turn (legally) and risked it.  Everything worked out fine and I even bought two pepperoni rolls there for lunch.

Example 2:  One of my new duties at work is to work on bids for new jobs.  In fact that is why I made my spring trip  that I mentioned in Example 1.  The trip was to look at a project and to answer questions or remove uncertainty.  Uncertainty in bids jacks up the price.

Example 3:  As we struggle through the Obama economy (that’s right Bush is no longer president), perhaps the worst since the Great Depression (that sounded good to the Democrats when Bush was in office, but not so good now), many wonder why businesses are not expanding.  Uncertainty.  Don’t take my word on this.  The Wall Street Journal wrote about The Uncertain Economy in November:

“The panicked Democrats’ biggest problem is that Congress and the President have erected the biggest overhang of economic policy uncertainty that anyone can remember.”

  • Uncertainty – passage of the biggest health care overhaul (2,700 pages long!!!!) restructuring roughly 17 percent of the United States economy.  If you were a business would you invest?
  • Uncertainty – Cap and Trade will allow government (actually more government) intrusion into businesses and severely restrict energy availability.  Would you expand when facing strangling increases in energy costs?
  • Uncertainty – The deceptively named Employee Free Choice Act (actually should be called the Unionization Facilitation and Secret Ballot Destruction Act) will make unionization of work forces expansive and expensive.  Would you expand while facing increasing labor costs?
  • Uncertainty – While Obama made a show of “expanding” oil drilling many of the most productive reserves are still off limits.  Would you expand when facing an uncertain supply of energy?
  • Uncertainty – The dollar may be in its worst shape ever.  China and Russia are rumbling about using other currencies in world trade.  Moody’s Investor Services has repeatedly warned that with our increasing Obamadebt we could lose our Triple A bond rating.  Loss of that rating would scare investors away and rapidly increase the interest rate on our ever-expanding Obamadebt.  Would you expand when facing a falling dollar and excessive debt?

Maybe the real question is whether you would expand IN AMERICA?  How long before companies “go Galt” and move offshore to more certain climates?

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