How many times have you said or thought this or something similar? Too many for me to state… Counting the years is not really important; each is only a milepost along the highway of life; a way of marking progress or lack of; another notch.
Actually it’s more than that. It’s a time filled with our biggest holiday; a time when we stop and look at tomorrow’s possibilities and yesterdays accomplishments and/or failures; it’s a time for celebrating and a time for planning. It’s a time that proves we humans are not very bright. Why would we create a situation of conflict that demands our time, focus and attention to do planning for tomorrow and celebrating?
As the final page of the 2013 calendar turns maybe we’d be better off focusing on the celebration and forgetting the planning. Unfortunately we can’t do that but we certainly can take the time to celebrate the good things in our lives and express appreciation and gratitude for all we have.
2014 will be a year filled with opportunities and challenges. At the beginning of the year we have CONEXPO-CON/AGG, which promises to be an interesting industry show filled with new products, new technologies and new manufacturer/suppliers. There will be several first-time Chinese equipment manufacturers entering the U.S. market that will add a new level of excitement to the show. The exhibitor list is greater than it was in 2011 and attendance is expected to set records.
At the tail end of the year will be the “Mid-term” elections and in between the expiration of the current fuel tax bill and the extended highway bill. What happens with these two pieces of legislation will probably have a great impact on our industry, commerce and the national economy. With a rapidly deteriorating transportation infrastructure it is critical that something positive be done to address this need.
What is the outlook for 2014? Looking at back on 2013 ahead to 2014, in a state of retrospective reflection, the first thought that comes to my mind is a line from an old Harry Belafonte song, Man Piaba, “It was clear as mud but it covered the ground And the confusion made the brain go ’round.” There has been very little media coverage on these pieces of legislation it’s easy to forget that they come into play very soon. If it weren’t for the associations like AEM, ARTBA, NAPA and others, they would probably fade into oblivion.
There are all the other important issues that are of concern, like healthcare, the national debt, the debt ceiling, etc., etc., etc. but these are getting endless coverage by the mainstream media. We as citizens of this country need to become actively involved in the politics of our country. It’s time for us to stop thinking that our responsibility as a citizen ends when we have cast our votes; that this alone is the needed extent of our involvement.
In 2014 become involved in the issues and politics that will shape this country’s future and the legacy we leave our progeny. Don’t just vote, know who and what you vote for; understand the issues and let you representatives on a local state and federal level know how you expect them to represent you.
On that note, we at ACP wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year…
NOTE: This editorial appears in the December 2013 issues of all 13 ACP magazines.