Common Sense: When the Going Gets Tough

What do the World Bank and Barney Fife have in common?

Give up?

They both freak out when things hit the fan.

Fife, Don Knotts’ character on the Andy Griffith Show, would always lose it when things got a little hot and heavy in Mayberry. I think Barney would get along just fine with the World Bank. In fact, he could run it.

But it is too late though. The knucklehead who already is running it, is doing a fine enough "Barney" job on his own. Just like Barney, both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are freaking out.

In case you didn't hear, both global lending agencies have already made it clear that the next time they meet, it'll be short, quick and uneventful.


Because they're sick of all the commotion their pow-wows trigger. Like the one in Genoa, Italy last month. Or the one in Seattle, Washington last year. The protests were very violent, very loud, very raucous and very bad. And now, very "not again" apparently.

My reaction? You're wussies. Girly-men scaredy cats.

You clearly can't stand the heat, so you're out of that kitchen and fast. Promising now to reduce meetings to no more than a day, if that, and to remote locations, if possible.

The protesters have won. The rioters have triumphed. They've reduced you to nail-biting, sweating sissies, who don't have the guts to take them on. They're right. And you're wrong. They win. But we all lose.


Because it's important for the world's political and financial leaders to meet unencumbered, unfettered and unmoved. Triumphing over the scare tactics of a few for the benefit of the many.

But no, you have decided to play Barney Fife. The trouble is, there's no Andy to save the day. Your message is as frightening as Barney’s gun-holding shaky hand was scary. You're wimps. They've got your number. We've got your number. They know that number's up. And now sadly, so do we.

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