Deft, Dumb and Blind

Many years ago a good friend described me as a man who speaks with staggering intellect and moves with frenetic exuberance. His exact words were, "You sling bullshit a million miles per hour," but I knew what he was trying to say.

Today I am the one who is drowning in feces. The spastic colons responsible for my boiling confusion are the bovine bureaucrats in the US government. I have questions about the economy, but I'm not sure where to begin. I am, after all, the dick who asked his freshman econ prof, "If you know so much about running a business, why don't you do it?" This gained me no favor with my patient teacher, and the "D" he gave me was well deserved. John Maynard Keynes would have blamed my precipitous drop in wisdom on a gross oversupply of arrogance. Twenty years later my friend's assessment was more agricultural than economic. Simply stated he thought I was full of shit, and he was right.

Someone smarter—or at least more quotable—than me once said, "A fool says everything he knows; a wise man knows everything he says." That's a bit of wisdom I hope to exercise with greater frequency in the new year. What are my chances for success? That remains to be seen, but certainly not heard. To my earlier questions about the economy, I'll do some reading and some thinking, and I'll try harder to listen. I turned a blind eye to the importance of these matters in my youth, but it's time to sharpen my wits. If you feel as impotent on the subject as I do, may I humbly suggest starting with the basics and progressing from there. That's what I should have done 28 years ago, but didn't. Live and learn…


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