Time to confront reality

Noonan.pngPeggy Noonan is the blog’s favourite political correspondent. She used to be President Reagan’s speechwriter, so nobody can accuse her of being a ‘socialist’ or ‘doomsayer’.

Recently, she has been writing some very important columns in the Wall Street Journal about what is wrong in America, and what needs to be done to put it right.

Today’s column should also resonate with the chemical industry:

“At some point in the past year or six months, people started to realize: The economy really isn’t going to get better for a long time. Everyone seems to know in their gut that unemployment is going to stay bad or get worse. Everyone knows the jobless rate is higher than the government says, because they look around and see that more than 9% of their friends and family are un- or underemployed. People put on the news and hear about Europe and bankruptcy, and worry that it’s going to spread here. Eighteen months ago smart people could talk on TV about how we’re on a growth path and recovery will begin by fall of 2010. Nobody talks like that now.

“And people have a sense that nothing’s going to get better unless something big is done, some fundamental change is made in our financial structures. It won’t be small-time rejiggering–a 5% cut in this tax, a 3% reduction in that program–that will get us out of this.”Noonan is right about the outlook for the global economy. Her argument needs to be recognised by the leadership of the chemical industry, and all of us who work in it. We can then use our brains and our energy to help create the ‘fundamental change’ that is required.

Every day spent in denial, is a day wasted. The future depends on us.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

Leave a Reply