Sir Winston Churchill, as Prime Minister of Britain was faced with the daunting task of leading his country from the brink of defeat to victory. He is noted for many quotes and speeches around 1940 including “Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat, and “We Will Fight on the Beaches” but none is more famous than the “This Was Their Finest Hour” speech to the House of Commons on June 16, 1940 just one month after he became Prime Minister. He is also credited with the following quote along with many others.
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” -Winston Churchill
Is your glass half-full?
Another way of describing people’s attitude in life is the difference between the glass is half empty full vs. the glass is half empty. Churchill, born in 1874 had a good genetic combination that made him the right choice to lead the United Kingdom at a very difficult time in history, especially with Europe under siege by Hitler’s forces. He was a military man who had a British statesman father and a New York born, independent thinking, socialite mother. This combination brought him to the forefront as the right man at the right time in history for not only the British people, but for Europe and the world.
In business, we all want to be optimist and not dwell on the things that are wrong or business that we lost to China or more to the point, complaining about things out of our control. We need to focus on the positive and what we do well to be competitive in the Global Economy. If Churchill hadn’t maintained a healthy attitude and rallied the troops to save his county, what do you think the end result would have been? The landscape of Europe would look much different today. President Roosevelt and Churchill though very much different in so many ways, found a way to work together. Many people believe that the government work programs of the New Deal was the key to our vital economy and getting out of the Great Depression, but it was more about the destruction of the infrastructure in of so many countries including Europe and Japan that made America the strongest economy in the world.
Attitude is everything
The United States with its raw materials and a ready and willing; post- war workforce was up for the challenge. By 1944, the unemployment rate in the US was 1.2%, still the lowest in American history. Even with our military personnel returning from the war, the unemployment rate stayed under 4% throughout the 1940’s. You can see why panic sets in when the US unemployment rate get above 8%. The population of the US in 1944 was less than 140 million people and in 2014, it is 317 million. The math shows a clear picture of our country moving in the wrong direction. How do we turn things around? I asked a very liberal friend the other day a simple question. If you had to pay $10.00 more for a pair of sneakers made in the USA instead of a plant in Asia, would you? His answer was absolutely not and he justified it by saying that it was his job to get the best price possible. If we had a level playing field it might be different, but the US tax burden and regulatory compliance means higher costs to produce goods. Notwithstanding the attitude of my misguided friend, there is a huge under swell of buy American sentiment going on and many companies that went to China are moving manufacturing back to the States. We won’t get it all back, but we will see better days ahead. The bright spot in our manufacturing sector is Medical Device Manufacturing and Static Clean with its key products such as Hepa-Clean Chambers and Medical Cleaning Stations is seeing the benefits from every opportunity presented. Visit us at Static Clean for information on our products. Our hope is for more Americans to think globally, but act locally and hasten the return of American entrepreneurship.