Friday, April 24, 2009

Beware The Nattering Nabobs . . .

As you read in my last posting, I was commenting at the 2009 Home Improvement Economic Summit earlier this month, on those who denigrate, are critical naysayers and prophets of doom – usually the media.

I reminded those in attendance about a former, wordy Vice-President – I’m sure you remember Spiro Agnew. As you’ll recall, he eventually came into great disfavor and resigned from the second highest office in our country. Mr. Agnew labeled these purveyors of negativity I was speaking of, the Nattering Nabobs of Negativity. It really has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

No matter the ultimate downfall of Spiro Agnew, by our history, we understand that that the validity of any statement has little to do with the integrity of the person who made it. Facts still outweigh opinions and negativity is the enemy of your success potential.

Today we are excessively exposed to many nattering nabobs of negativity. They are in the person of our customers, employees, families and friends, the press and our leaders – many, who fall prey to this malaise and proceed to state their opinions as facts.

Why? I believe it’s because it is human – to believe and to want to believe that the newspaper, the radio and the television convey fact – and not to believe what you see and hear – which might demean you as ignorant.

Did you ever wonder why radio, newspaper and, particularly, television are each referred to as a medium. I believe it is a medium because it is rare that we see or hear news that is well done.

To prove my point, try this experiment for the next 21 days. Start telling your employees, associates, customers or clients – in fact, almost everyone you come in contact with:

That you – now know that in the U.S. we employ 92% of our employable workforce and that no country with a population of over 300 million has ever accomplished this.

Tell them that when our country is considered at full employment that the unemployment rate is normally at 4 to 4.5%.

Tell them that 90% of the mortgages in this country are paid on time.

Remind them that the highest percentages of mortgage defaults are in 2 states and a good percentage of foreclosures are on 2nd homes and vacations properties.

Remind them that in 1982 the unemployment rate in the U.S. was 10.7% and mortgages carried an interest rate of 15-20%.

Let them know that despite the demise of real estate values, most homeowners enjoy ownership and will continue to care for, maintain and improve their most valuable possession and the lifestyle it provides.

Portions of this last particular statement are supported by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

Think about these statements and then consider if you want to buy into the, so called, facts we are hammered with from those nattering nabobs of negativity.

Dave Yoho

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