Sep 30 2008

The Sky Is Falling, The Sky Is Falling!

Category: capitalism,Congress,constitution,economy,housing,liberty,politicsamuzikman @ 9:41 am

Once upon a time….

Be it myth, legend, tale or fable we all know these four words and understand them to be a preamble to the telling of a make-believe story (though possibly based on fact).  Such stories serve many purposes, not the least of which is to teach an object lesson to the very young, a meaningful and memorable way to instruct children about great and noble virtues such as loyalty, honor, courage and truth.

Chicken Little is one such story. The diminuitive foul who determines Armageddon is at hand after being struck on the head by an acorn.  The story proceeds with Chicken Little determining the best course of action is to tell the king whereupon a journey commences and various encounters with other creatures ensue.  Depending on which version of the story is told, a final encounter with a deceitful fox who manipulates the circumstances brings about a close call or bad ending to the story.

I find several interesting parallels to current events.

• Though prompted by a real act (the falling acorn),  Chicken Little over-reacts and in doing so completely misreads the situation and arrives at the wrong conclusion.  No time is taken to assess what really happened, why it happened, and what possible responses should be considered.  Today we would call that a  “rush to judgment”.

• Chicken Little’s plan of action is to seek someone in governmental authority (tell the king) – as if any authority could be of help if the sky was indeed falling.

• Chicken Little whips everyone else into a frenzy of panic.  The other characters are gullible – willing to believe what they have been told by Chicken Little because they don’t know any better themselves.

• Foxy Loxy is an opportunist who sees the chance to exploit a problem for personal gain.  And it really doesn’t matter to the fox whether the problem is real or imagined.  What matters is that the fox uses the situation to get what he wants.

What worries me about our current “Chicken Little” moment is that this is not a fable, it is quite real.  The stakes are high.  The repercussions long-lasting and profound.

Admittedly the acorn in our story is no small seed pod from a tree.  It is not my intent to trivialize the financial market mess. But I do find it fascinating how our real-life characters are strikingly similar to the ones in the story. Instead of Chicken Little, Henny Penny, et al, we have an indeterminate but evidently ever-increasing portion of our citizenry who think government is the answer to every problem.  This, by the way, is what got us into the problem in the first place. And of course we have the federal government, an uneasy assimialtion of both Chicken Little and Foxy Loxy.  With the all too familiar battle cry of, “We’ve got to DO something,” the gain they apparently seek is even more government intrusion, control, regulation, and jurisdiction.  The seeming impossibility of a happy ending to this story is deeply alarming.

I can’t help but imagine a time and place in the not-too-distant future when another story will be told.  “Once upon a time….there was this great experiment in liberty and self-determination known as The United States of America.

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One Response to “The Sky Is Falling, The Sky Is Falling!”

  1. Mike Feller says:



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