For Distributors Only

Herb Niles on sales and marketing management

Fiscal cliffs and curbs

January 4, 2013
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
Hopefully by the time you read this, we will have fallen, jumped or been pushed off the “fiscal cliff.” I’m at the point I really don’t care…just spare me hearing any more about it.

If the clowns in Washington didn’t have clichés and phrases like “fiscal cliff”, “kick the can down the road”, and “the will of the American people” I don’t think they would know what to say when they get behind a microphone. On the other hand, they can’t help themselves, so they would think of something.

According to many of the talking heads on television, the economy for 2013, if not the future of the entire western civilization, is riding on the outcome but personally I am not so sure.

Everyone rails on about the debt, so why is a program designed to reduce it so terrible? Indeed, both candidates in our recent election talked about some configuration of reduced spending and increased revenue to reduce the deficit. I guess, to use a cliché of my own, it just depends on “whose ox is being gored.”

Surviving, maybe thriving

So I think no matter what Washington decides, the nation and the economy will probably survive it and perhaps even thrive in ’13.

Smart business people figure out a way to manage their business profitably no matter the circumstances and in the scheme of things this “fiscal cliff” will be just another blip on the radar screen.

 For all the dire predictions, it seems the unknowns are frequently what impacts the safety business short-term (see Bird flu, Swine flu, BP oil spill, Hurricane Sandy, Housing bubble, etc).

As we closed out 2012 the unemployment rate was continuing to inch down to below 8%, with some areas stronger than others. I think technology has as much to do with it as anything else, we simply don’t need as many workers to do the same (or more) work. A recent example here on the west coast was the strike by the 800-member International Longshore and Warehouse Union Clerical unit, which kept thousands of workers off the docks and backed up shipments of goods from Asia into Los Angeles.

A major issue was not wages but the fear of jobs being lost to technology or outsourced. 

Safety market will build on gains

So as I look at my crystal ball, in 2013 the safety business should continue to build on the gains of the past three years with housing, construction, auto and energy leading the way.

As for me, the problem in 2012 was not a cliff but a curb as I tripped on one while walking our dog. Just as I survived that with the help of some good doctors and physical therapists, I am sure our country and economy will survive whatever stumbling blocks the folks in Washington throw at us.

So come what may, here’s wishing you a safe, healthy and prosperous new year!

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

Recent Articles by Herb Niles

You must login or register in order to post a comment.


Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon



Image Galleries

ASSE Safety 2014 Review

A gallery of photos from the sprawling Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, where ASSE’s annual professional development conference was held June 8-11. All photos courtesy of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

9/30/14 2:00 pm EST

Leveraging Sustainability Initiatives to Benefit Your Community and Increase Compliance

This webinar will review how General Motors' Sustainability initiatives are being leveraged to improve the community and the environment, create efficient energy programs, improve sustainability tracking, impact on processes and overall reporting and improve overall social, environmental and corporate sustainability.

ISHN Magazine


2014 September

ISHN'S September issue features a series of essay on thought leadership. Get expert advice on self-motivation, compliance and more!

Table Of Contents Subscribe


M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - SEPTEMBER 2014

ISHN FDO SEPTEMBER 2014For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. CHECK OUT THE SEPTEMBER 2014 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.