“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were. Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee…”
(John Donne, Meditation 17, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions)
The English poet John Donne expressed this sentiment almost four hundred years ago. Yet, it seems particularly appropriate today. Bad economic news abounds across the globe. And, since domestic business in every nation is dependent upon global markets for significant portions of their revenues, the American sub-prime mortgage crisis has spawned a worldwide economic meltdown of epic proportions.
Recently, in the U.S., CitiBank announced plans to lay off more than 50,000 employees nationwide while senior executives of the three major domestic automobile manufacturers pleaded their cases before Federal legislators, desperate to obtain funding that would enable their corporations to stay afloat. Added to the unprecedented federal bailouts of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Goldman Sachs, and AIG, these more recent developments indicate that as the “bell tolls” signaling layoffs and unemployment for millions of Americans, it also “tolls” an alarm for the rest of us who are still employed.
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