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Regaining balance

Sept. 7, 2011
Balancing the personal and practical, the human and commercial, is critical to our general welfare
Robert Brooks

Aristotle’s Doctrine of the Mean advises us that a sound approach to life requires us to find the balance between excess and deficiency. “Moderation in all things,” is the usual phrasing; it’s a notion that was reiterated by St. Paul and Pascal, among other philosophers, and its relevancy endures. Balance is also a good financial approach, as most retirement planners will tell you.

I am surprised at how little regard is given to the virtue of “balance” in economics, however. A free market, after all, balances the strengths and advantages of producers and consumers … supply and demand. The greatest problem for manufacturers today is weak demand, and thereby the factors that keep demand from reviving.

I should note that the metalcasting industry is comparatively sound and stable these days, and this issue is evidence of that. We're documenting the variety of commercial options available to foundries and diecasters, and this issue catalogs the vibrant state of supply and demand that exists between metalcasters and their suppliers. Also, this directory reminds us not only of the industry’s current solidity, but also of the depth and variety of activities that sustain metalcasting in less than prosperous periods.

Long before I arrived here, someone had the foresight to plan our September issue around two features: the FM&T Hall of Honor and the Where-to-Buy Directory. It’s a balanced presentation that is good for our business and serves our readers well.

The Hall of Honor is our effort to maintain metalcasting’s legacy of innovation, leadership, and personal integrity by recognizing individuals who have exemplified those qualities. Metalcasting is blessed to have had such people shape its past and strengthen its present, and the current prosperity is evidence of their ability to address the challenges ahead of them.

The Directory catalogs the essential needs of a metalcasting operation, and their availability for the daily activities of a business. Together, these features demonstrate the personal and the practical, the human and commercial aspects of a thriving industry.

Balancing the personal and practical, the human and commercial, is critical to our general welfare, and it is discouraging to note that the broader industrial market, and indeed the global economy in which metalcasting functions, still lacks the balance that indicates stability. We have no deficiency of resources, of insights, or potential, but we would all gain by reducing the excess of restrictions, regulations, and inhibitions to growth and prosperity.