Put up or, well, you know…

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It’s Election Day in a lot of places. Are you voting? If it’s already passed as you read this, did you vote?

Among the myriad topics that David DeCristoforo and I discuss, few occur more frequently – or with greater response – than how the state of the economy affects woodworking business. There are a zillion factors that go into what makes the economy good or bad, plus another bazillion factors that affect the previous zillion.

Simple arithmetic tells me that a zillion times a bazillion equals a highly theoretical figure for which mathematicians have a very specific term: “A whole darned bunch of factors.” Unfortunately, we have control of only a couple.

Chief among the few factors we can control is an all-important one: selecting the people (or ballot issues) that control the factors we can’t. Too often the loudest complainers are the ones willing to give up this powerful factor of control. Why? Because it’s easier to sit and complain than it is to get up and do something.

Sure, it’s an off-year election and there might not be much on your local ballot. My location election doesn’t come up till a few Saturdays from now, and there are but a handful of items I can vote on. That doesn’t make it any less important.

Don’t get me wrong, you have the right to complain about anything you want, and the economy and those who run it are prime targets. And if you choose not to vote and still want to complain, well you still have the right. The old phrase goes, “Put up, or shut up,” but far be it from me to actually say that and deny your right to complain. But if you don’t vote, your complaints are worthless.

I exercise my right not to bother listening to them.

A.J.

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