Perhaps the Mayans were right after all. It’s the end of the year 2012 and we are all about to meet our doom by charging off a fiscal cliff. The “greatest nation on earth” is about to take a header into nothingness like Wile E. Coyote.
To hear the pundits debate the issue, it does sound like the end of the world as we know it. Granted, this is a serious matter. Whichever path Congress decides to follow will have a significant impact on our economy – either in 2013 or for the next generation. But the U.S. has faced more substantial turning points before.
Why is the fiscal cliff such a big deal?
It’s all about the visual imagery. A persuasive argument has been created with little more than descriptive language that conjures up visceral feelings of panic. In our collective imagination, we will soon plunge into the abyss.
Or will we? Language can be used to create positive imagery just as effectively as it can create fear. Perhaps if we framed the argument differently we could see the outcome in a more optimistic light. For example, by shedding some of our national debt we might lighten the load enough to soar off the cliff and fly to the heavens in sheer economic bliss!
No… on second thought, probably not.
But we just might survive anyway. Wile E. Coyote always does.