The last column found us waxing un-eloquently in the negative case about world events. I re-read it, and it scared even me. 

Looking on the more optimistic side, we stated that all the farm equipment majors (and minors) had a Chinese connection. This connection is beneficial to China on a major scale. The business community also has an input into the Chinese Communist Party that serves as a brake on the party's goal of world domination. China has to buy its energy of coal and gas from India and Russia for the most part — that is a major cash expense. It needs world markets for inputs to sustain the payments. (China also has to buy protein to feed its population that is in decline). Dr. Howard Jarvis once said, "When your outgo exceeds your input, your upkeep becomes your downfall." That is not a Chinese problem.

We had a wonderful opportunity to talk with two gents, one of whom was the plant manager of a tractor plant in China. The other one was a party snitch, but I can't prove that — he might just have had a bad personality day. Anyway, the tall, good-looking, perfect English-speaking fellow told me — when we got away from sourpuss — that he wanted to produce a quality product that broke the stigma of only poor quality junk coming from his country. He mentioned the turnaround Japan made decades ago when it faced the same issue. 

Chinese people and businesses want the same as red-blooded Americans. Our respective governments on the other hand have different goals. This common bond of business is the key to avoiding shooting at one another. 

Speaking of which, we mentioned stopping the war in Ukraine as a goal to maintaining our parts and machinery supply chain. We heard again that we will not provide war planes to allow Ukraine to defeat the invaders. The reason was to not provoke an escalation. Excuse me, but if we provided weapons that stopped and killed thousands of Russians, that's OK — but throwing in a few planes will make them mad? Geez. But I digress.

The fact is, we in our businesses are dependent on this world trade and the products that come directly or indirectly from the largest populated country in the world. Sticking our heads in the sand is one option — being vocal in our opposition to actions that provoke conflict and educating our customers of the necessity of free and fair world trade is paramount. Many years ago, we pumped the fist and wanted to kick Saddam's butt, but when we stood by the road and watched miles of our deployed National Guard trucks pass on the way to the Gulf, saw the farmers and young kids riding and driving off to who only knew what fate awaited, it changed the attitude. 

I am not a pacifist, even Jesus had to cleanse the temple, but war is the most inefficient means of settling disputes. "These are the times that try men's souls," was written by T. Paine during the formation of our country. We made it through then, and we will again and again.  Ask your rep or company people you know — do they have a plan, A or B? Ok, enough of this. I promise some smiley stuff next time. 

Told from the perspective of an in-the-trenches owner/operator — Tim Brannon of B&G Equipment, Paris, Tenn. —  Equipment Dealer Tips, Tales & Takeaways shares knowledge, experiences and tips/lessons with fellow rural equipment dealerships throughout North America. Covering all aspects required of an equipment dealership general manager, Brannon will inform, entertain and provide a teachable moment for current — and future — leaders within equipment dealerships.



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