During the past few days in Washington, I have been given somewhat of a crash course in both the U.S. banking market, but also spent time discussing the changes in trends and attitudes that follows in the wake of the slowing US economy and the sub-prime crisis. It seems quite clear that there has been a significant shift in the American people's attitudes about outsourcing and free trade. Barack Obama is continuing to speak about different protectionism measures he is going to take as President.
The world benefits from a strong USA. It would be sad for the already hurting US economy if companies over here would be burdened by not being able to use products and services available to their global competitors. That road is a sure way to long-term loss of relative productivity and competitiveness. USA has a unique combination of culture, creative individuals, capital and competence, which has made it the Promised Land for entrepreneurs.
I hope and think that the US can keep this position in the long run, but only if they continue to give their entrepreneurs what they or their forefathers came here for: Freedom.
I've been in Washington D.C. since Tuesday night, working on a mobile banking project for a client.
Wednesday's weather in Washington was really weird. Most of the day was a bit cloudy with some sun now and then, except for two 20-minute thunderstorms with extreme rain and winds up to 100 mph. Lots of rain was actually finding its way into the room, through the bottom of the window. The cost for all repairs that that hotel will have to do due to mold problems must be so much bigger than actually putting good windows in place to begin with.
Anyway. Later at night, I decided to go shopping for some antihistamine eye drops, got into the car, chose the closest CVS on the GPS receiver and took off. After only a couple of blocks it struck me - all buildings had were blacked out. The only available light came from the few cars whose owners had been stupid enough to drive out into the rain. All the traffic lights were out, so everyone was driving very slowly.
The feeling is kind of hard to describe, but when you drive mile after mile in a powerless suburbia, the feeling of post-apocalypse kind of creeps up on you. This is how things would start to look if power somehow just disappeared. Large malls, restaurants, gas stations - everything was totally black.
When I got to the CVS store, all employees were sitting on plastic chairs under the roof in front of the store, chatting away. The power had been gone for several hours, and no one knew when it was coming back.
Eventually, I managed to find another store a few miles away that still got power from somewhere.
The power came back late on Thursday morning. But the traffic remained insane for the whole day, with cars abandoned on the highway, blocking everyone's way. Apparently people who were almost out of gas couldn't fill their cars up as planned in the morning, took their chances anyway and took off. And they ran out of gas. And if that happens to one in a hundred cars during the morning traffic...
These are highly personal thoughts and laughs from me as a human being, global citizen, friend, tech geek, scientist, traveler, gamer, media consumer, thinker, father and husband. From the archipelago. If you want to find my Mayor of Vaxholm blog, look here: www.mosseby.com (Swedish).