Long before we heard about the pandemic, we had lengthy discussions about the economy. Remember those? And only 50 years ago we in the U.S. only discussed what was going on here. Economic information from outside our states was seen as just incremental. The world looked to us for a lead; even those who argued with us recognized our economic leadership.
Our standard of living in the U.S, our educational systems, our ample and generous food supplies, our transportation systems, technological leadership and medical services were not available in 98% of the world. Our homes and cars had air conditioning unheard of most other places. By the 1980s, our lowest income groups had assets and living standards that would be luxuries elsewhere.
All this is difficult to imagine in our new global materialistic society with so many successful nations. Many nations have at least parts of their countries with living conditions we have been challenged to reach.
My first recognition that the United States may not be THE world leader was Sputnik, when the Russians put the first satellite in space. Then there was the Vietnam War, not from a military point of view, but from the extremes in domestic opinions about the war and the hatred that spewed everywhere. At one time it seemed to be just in the political realm, but now it is among religions, age groups, races and ethnicities.
I have been hosted by and become friends with people around the world, all thanks to the furniture and mattress industries. I am blessed because I cannot think of anyone I have met in our industry that has preached hatred or argued against another competitor or customer to the extreme.
Relative to most businesses and nationalities today, I believe the furniture industry can be proud of its relationships. I used to say our retailers and manufacturers were a great example to others of how we can work together. Today, we can add importers, exporters and all the reps and logistics specialists that it takes to make our industry successful.
This is something we should be proud of and work to maintain these relationships. Let’s never sink to the levels of disagreement and hatred now evident elsewhere among us. Even with the extreme nature of 2020, many of our current challenges will end with the close of the year.
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