Did this ever happen to you in school? You took a test and bombed — big time. But lo and behold, the rest of the class bombed too.
What did your teacher do? Throw the test out? Probably not. Demand a retake? Possibly.
Grade it on a curve? Very likely.
Grading on a curve is the American way. I'll go one step further, I think it's the human way. After all, if everyone's struggling, something must be going on — or not going on.
I guess the argument is that if everyone fails a test, give them all "Ds." But what if you were the one guy in the class who got a "D," or maybe even a "C." Does that make you a genius? Probably not. But in a land of Lilliputians, it does make you look like Gulliver.
And I think about now, the United States looks like Gulliver. Not because we're kicking butt.
But because so many others are getting kicked in the butt.
Germany can't lead in Europe. Britain won't join the rest of Europe. You get the feeling France doesn't even want to be in Europe. And Japan... well, what can you say about Japan that hasn't been said each of the last 10 years? It's supposedly been working its way out of a recession.
My point is this: they all stink. We do too, but just not as much. And in a world graded on a generous curve, we look positively valedictorian.
That's why I'm upbeat. We look good, because they don't look as good. Money has to find a home and it is finding it here. Not because we're any great shakes. But because the rest of the world looks shakier.
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