Anonymous Distributor

Did you know that March 20 is the first day of spring? As Charlie Brown would say, “Good Grief!”

I missed the notice that came out a few months ago that read, “Due to lack of interest, winter has been canceled!” Obviously, it has been canceled in my area of the United States, and most likely in your area too. We received our first snow yesterday (Feb. 27), and most of it has already melted away. The positive aspects of snow on the ground certainly benefit our industry. Just like rain, when snow falls or doesn’t fall, we equate the effect on all our businesses in dollars and cents. Weather and the economy both affect us so much that we’ve learned, or should have learned, to hedge our business planning because we don’t really know what business will be like next month or next year.

In a Feb. 20 article titled “Early Spring for Home Improvement” in The Wall Street Journal, Joan E. Solsman reported, “Government data shows that this past December and January were the warmest such months in the contiguous U.S. since 2006. January was the fourth warmest going back to 1895. While sporting goods and apparel stores were affected negatively, Lowe’s Cos. and Home Depot are enjoying an early start to spring selling. Planalytics (a weather forecasting service for business) estimates weather has driven down demand 24 percent in the snow-removal industry in the current season from a year earlier.” That’s a painful decrease for our industry.


If you’ve ever wondered what the difference between knowledge and wisdom is, the following answer will bring a smile to your face: Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.


The February issue of The Kiplinger Letter features an article that states, “The enthusiastic talk you hear from politicians (about) creating millions of new industrial (manufacturing) jobs is a pipe dream.” The article also states, “Each nation benefits most by concentrating its efforts on what it does best. For America, that’s creativity and innovation, not stamping out widgets on an assembly line.” While you may disagree with that statement, keep reading to understand the rationale behind the thinking.

Kiplinger goes on to say, “In the United States, service jobs will dominate. And that’s not bad news. Doom-and-gloomers fear a nation of low-paid burger-flippers, producing little of lasting value. But…the greatest added value no longer comes from the production of goods. It comes from inventing, designing, marketing and servicing them.” Those are encouraging words, because you and I are brand servicers and marketers for many of those very “goods!”

Kiplinger’s key conclusion: “In the Information Age, education and innovation are the keys to growth, in generating well-paying jobs and to continued improvement in U.S. living standards. Keeping the edge in those fields is what will keep the U.S. on top.”

Meanwhile, politicians keep feeding us “pipe dreams” instead of stating the truth, providing leadership, and offering solutions. They keep “kicking the can down the road,” instead of addressing the real issues of fundamental tax reform to make our system simpler, fairer and more competitive while generating more revenue. And they continue to ignore talking about real solutions to mandatory spending programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and interest on debt that by “the year 2022, will by themselves account for more than 77 percent of all government outlays.” You don’t have to agree with me or Kiplinger, but I hope you will think and talk about our opinions with your family and friends. Somebody has to, because politicians won’t!


Need some cheering up? You should read the new quarterly Industry Research Update for the lawn, golf and turf equipment industries recently launched by GE Capital, Americas. The initial spring 2012 four-page report shows that the outlook for our industries is increasingly positive. Now that’s what I call good news!

You can find this new quarterly report at It’s free. It’s a quick read. And you’ll definitely feel better after you read it.


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