Thursday, March 31, 2011

Todays' cost of yesterday's freedom fries and soda of ignorance

Today for some strange reason unpacking my books. I started thinking about one short unpleasant encounter I had with the CEO of a local well known company many years ago. 

The US had invaded Iraq and France was against the invasion. This person made it his duty to come to my desk, he knew I was French and started making jokes about France and wanted to make a point that moving forward he would no longer call French fries, French but Freedom Fries and that we should dump immediately French wines. Working in entry level position I was at the time in no position to answer. I looked at him baffled.

I let him vent his "knowledge" and that's the only thing I could do. But that night I did come home and told my husband that his thoughts were remarkably ignorant for someone in such a high position especially considering that this person was trying to export his products abroad. I told my husband that night in great lengths, the catastrophic ripple effects ifthe US companies decided to dump all the French wines and French products and started banning and making fun of French culture.

But the reasoning of this CEO was not economically logical. All these French products imported into the US gave jobs not just to French people but American people too. And these jobs were not limited to wine stores but included American shipping companies, American transport companies, American attorneys involved in the international contracts and the list goes on,  come to think of  it all, it involved multiple levels of the American economy.

Arrogance accompanied with an overpouring self righteousness is bad for American economy. A cultural joke with a punch and a knee-jerk insult for the populace is not funny. As we move forward in a tough economy we do need to be  considerate socially our communication impact our relationship with our international community. The cost of ignorance is a price to high to pay which our American economy cannot afford.

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