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This is one of a series. We welcome news or editorial content from our readers, and will revise this page each afternoon that we receive input.

December 18, 2001

Biting My Tongue 'til It Bleeds

by Ted Mooney

We at can't complain about lack of visitor participation; we get over a hundred e-mails a day and it's daunting just to keep our Hotline-Letters page up to date. As willing as everyone is to ask or answer a technical question though, and as much time as they spend here, I continuously find it surprising that there aren't even a handful of "opinions" expressed over the course of a year.

By "opinions", I mean do you feel that our industry is headed in the right direction, or do we have our collective heads in the sand? Are you happy about where our professional societies and trade associations are taking us? Is the quality movement going anywhere? Are the local, state, and federal governments following the right policies as they affect us as metal finishers? What should our industry be investigating? Should we finishers of America be cooperating with the finishers of Europe, Asia, and etc.? What do you think we need to do to get young blood into our industry? Is the rush to implement non-toxic substitutes a good public policy or are we putting the public at risk from products with inadequate and poorly tested finishes? Should finishing shops be confined to either the cities or the rural areas? Should the government fund centralized waste treatment? Is the millions of dollars spent by the government to research finishing issues well spent or a disgraceful waste? Should cyanide, chrome and cadmium be outlawed? Should America follow the European lead and get nickel out of jewelry? Should the industry adopt positions on consumer issues like inferior jewelry plating or non-galvanized crash replacement parts for autos?

Speaking for myself, I feel strongly enough about so many issues that I could write an editorial nearly every day; my tongue bleeds from biting it. But the world mercifully doesn't want an hour by hour account of what personally pleases or irks me; it wants a second opinion on finishing issues. And a third, and a fourth...

The finishing world cares what you think! The auditorium overflows with eager listeners while the podium stands idle, and the power which you have to lead us in the right direction remains a talent lying buried.

Dear Reader: please choose what you want to do--
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