Walking a tight rope?

中国日报网 2015-03-03 11:13



Walking a tight rope?

Reader question:

Please explain "tight rope" in this sentence: She finds herself constantly walking a tight rope between time for work and time for family.

My comments:

In other words, it's a fine balancing act for her.

Tight rope, you see, is the tightly stretched wire fixed in midair across which an acrobat walks in order to entertain people.

It takes great skill to walk the tight rope, of course. The trick is to keep one's weight perfectly in the middle. Leaning either to the left or right, and the acrobat will fall off the rope and perhaps flat on his face, severely embarrassing themselves in the process.

In other situations, walking the tight rope becomes synonymous with having to be careful and cautious at one’s work, especially with having to find a balance between two extremes.

In our example, the woman feels she's constantly walking a tight rope because she finds a lot of conflict between working and bringing up kids at home. For example, she may be at work when nanny, supposing the family can afford one, calls from home saying that her baby falls very ill again.

Suppose she's an aspiring career woman now bent on moving up the ladder and you'll readily understand her dilemma.

Actually, it doesn't take much to understand the career woman's dilemma in the modern world, in big cities at any rate.

The career woman generally has it toughest because it's not like she can afford to care less about her kids while she tries to carve out a career in the wider world. If a man focuses on the job and becomes neglectful at home, at least he’s more or less understood.

Sad thing, if you ask me but that's how society works today, giving leeway to the husband because his role is perceived to be in the workplace.

To be fair, society is changing and a lot of women do get help from the husband. Still, it's not changing fast enough for the career woman and she has to keep juggling, to use another acrobatic term, between home and work.

But, really, it's not so bad, isn't it? I mean, consider the alternatives. The woman can quit work and stay at home. That way, she’ll never be able to fulfill her dreams in society at large. Or she can force herself not to have children at all and never experiences the joy of child rearing, seeing the little one or little ones miraculously grow.

See? That's life. It's not a perfect arrangement. And the secret is not to turn back but to just make the best of seemingly bad or imperfect situations.

For the career woman walking the tight rope between home and work, then, it's best to, as the Johnny Walker whiskey ad goes, keep walking.

And hopefully have a bit of the best of both worlds.

Very hopefully, that is, considering how tough that tightrope generally is.

Alright, here are media examples of people walking a tight rope of their own making:

1. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is reducing its capital spending forecast for fiscal 2009, as it slows construction of supercenters amid a weakening U.S economic environment.

The world's largest retailer said Tuesday it expects to spend $13 billion to $14 billion during the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2009. Last October, the company said it expected to spend $13.5 billion to $15.2 billion.

Chief Financial Officer Tom Schoewe says the lower forecast "reflects Wal-Mart's ability to grow more efficiently with reduced capital expenditures." He says the Bentonville-based company plans moderating supercenter growth in the U.S.

The news wasn't surprising to analysts since Schoewe told shareholders at its annual meeting in Fayetteville earlier this month that capital spending would likely be at the low end of the projected range. Trimming capital expenditures boosts both the company's cash flow and returns to shareholders. While capital reductions have occurred across the entire company, the most significant have been with its Wal-Mart U.S. operations, according to company officials.

Wal-Mart first announced a reduction in capital expenditures at its shareholders' meeting in June 2007.

"It's a recognition that the U.S. is overstored,” said Patricia Edwards of investment manager Wentworth Hauser and Violich, noting that Wal-Mart is putting more emphasis on its international expansion. The company's international sales increased almost 18 percent to $90.6 billion last year. But she added that Wal-Mart is "walking a tight rope" between spending too little on stores or too much. She is monitoring to see the company still maintains its stores.

- Wal-Mart to slow growth of U.S. stores in 2009, AP, June 17, 2008.

2. For a man who championed the Republican brand as keynote speaker at the party's national convention last year, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been spending a lot of time making nice with Democrats.

Most famously, Christie was complimentary of Democratic President Barack Obama's response to Superstorm Sandy just before last year's election. He then ripped House Speaker and fellow Republican John Boehner about playing politics with federal storm aid. Early on, his re-election campaign has consisted of endorsements by two unions and two Democratic mayors, as well as fundraisers in Hollywood and Silicon Valley.

"He's the Democrats' favorite Republican now, nationally, which is sort of goofy if you stop and think," said Maurice Carroll, Quinnipiac University polling director. "Nobody ever thought that'd happen."

While Christie is walking the tightrope between both parties, he downplays any thought that he’s building a new strategy for the GOP.

"There are all these people in the Republican Party nationally who are staring at their navels trying to figure out what’s wrong with our party," Christie said. "I don't think there’s anything wrong with our party."

- Christie walks political tightrope in re-election bid, USAToday.com, February 24, 2013.

3. In recent months, there have been countless topics of vital importance to discuss; in some cases, potentially cataclysmic ones, like the quite obvious escalation of the Ukrainian conflict, irrespective of comical Western propaganda suggesting otherwise. Not that the Ukrainian revolution is the world’s top “horrible headline”; as in our view, myriad others are equally ominous. However, it is certainly a major issue and currently embraced by the squirrel-like attention span of the MSM – despite not even holding a place in the “top ten” reasons I hold the majority of my liquid net worth in PHYSICAL precious metals. A position, I might add, that I intend to hold until the global monetary system inevitably collapses; to be replaced, as it always is, by real money.


In other words, the government is "walking the tightrope" between its propaganda of a strong "recovery" and the desperate, irreversible need to not only maintain, but eventually increase QE to support its fiat currency Ponzi scheme. Obviously, these ends are contradictory, which is why we are so confident they will “fall off the rope” shortly. Frankly, it's no different than the COMEX trying to purport legitimacy of its gold inventory statistics, when for weeks on end such inventories don’t decline despite claims on essentially all of it. Or, on the topic of fraudulent employment data, the BLS reporting an unchanged Labor Force, when 1.3 million people are documented to have left it in late December; plus, some percentage of the 3.6 million others scheduled to do so throughout 2014.

As for the COMEX, I guess this lie can be excused, now that the CME has placed this disclaimer on all inventory reports. But as for the BLS, there is no reason why the Labor Force Participation Rate hasn't plunged further; other than the government protecting the Fed from looking like complete buffoons, in last year creating a 6.5% unemployment rate "threshold" to end its Zero Interest Rate Policy, but in December "cancelling" it due to its lack of relevancy. By simple math, the "unemployment rate" should have fallen well below 6.0% in the last two months alone; and by year-end, if calculated consistently, it should be approaching 4.0% – amidst the worst economic environment of our lifetimes!

- Walking the tightrope, by Andrew Hoffman, GoldSeek.com, March 7, 2014.



About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

(作者张欣 中国日报网英语点津 杜娟 编辑)

上一篇 : False move?
下一篇 : Playing hardball?



















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