Do we really need first responders?

Emergency vehicles

Before you rush to judgment on this question, consider the following scenario unfolding just outside our doorstep. Recall that IFO lives on a rural two-lane highway.

From what we can see using our binoculars, there is a non-injury accident about a mile up the road from us at the crest of a low hill. Naturally, traffic began to back up.

A pickup truck driver, who was stopped just behind the damaged cars, jumped out of his vehicle and began to direct the understandably cautious traffic. From his vantage point at the crest of the hill, he could see in both directions. He stood out there with no hat in the pouring rain and calmly and competently directed traffic, letting about three to six cars go by at a time before changing directions and letting the cars from the other direction move through on the single open lane.

Suddenly, up came an emergency vehicle, some sort of fire engine, not the full-dress vehicle, with red lights flashing, siren beeping. That truck pulled s.l.o.w.l.y into the lane just behind the damaged cars.

The civilian was taken off the job. All traffic stopped. Another emergency vehicle drove up – more sirens, blue and red lights flashing; then an ambulance from the fire department. Meanwhile, all traffic remained motionless, except for the lucky drivers who could back up in the stopped lanes, turn around and go back toward town.

After an hour or so, all the first responders had left except the police car, probably making out a report. Traffic is moving again, cautiously, with no one directing.

This reminds us of the joke about Parisian flics who direct traffic in downtown Paris until it becomes hopelessly snarled. The flic throws up his hands in disgust and retires to the nearest cafe. When the traffic sorts itself out and is again moving smoothly, he stands up, adjusts his cape carefully, and strides authoritatively back into the traffic circle to direct the vehicles again.

This is not to say that IFO would refuse to be rescued by one of those incredibly handsome firemen! Au contraire!


About InvestingforOne

I've been investing in various assets by myself using a discount broker for many years. Over that time, I've developed some theories that others might find useful. Plus, there is more to investing than money. Time, talent, work, friends, family all go into developing a good and satisfactory strategy.
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