As our fiscal cliff looms closer and closer, I’m reminded of a poem from my childhood: A Fence or An Ambulance, by Joseph Malins. The first stanza goes as follows:
“Twas a dangerous cliff, as they freely confessed,
Though to walk near its crest was so pleasant;
But over its terrible edge there had slipped
A duke and full many a peasant.
So the people said something would have to be done,
But their projects did not at all tally;
Some said, “Put a fence around the edge of the cliff,”
Some, “An ambulance down in the valley.”
In the remainder of the poem, they had quite a debate back and forth over which was preferable: a fence to prevent the falls or an ambulance to haul them off. In the end, the fence barely won out. From present indications, I’m not so sure we’ll be that lucky.