Jay Ryan

Jay Ryan 3/25/99 American Enterprise: It’s Worth Fishing For It was about 10:00 at night when my father enters my room and awakens me to get ready for our over night fishing trip. A long drive was ahead of us so I took the liberty to get some sleep. We finally made it to the boat dock around 11:00 and ended up leaving the harbor around midnight. Once more I had a long trip ahead of me so again I fell asleep. At around 4:00 in the morning I was awakened to the loud clanging of a bell.

I had remembered that the captain of the boat had mentioned that if a bell were to sound that all passengers were to report to the deck immediately. The bell was more or likely a sign of boils. Boils were the bubbles in the water created when tuna was swimming around a school of bait. So of course I jumped up and ran with anticipation that we would be fishing so soon. Yet when I finally reached the deck I had found that the captain was merely having a test on how prompt the passengers were.

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Extremely disappointed and annoyed that first off the captain had that nerve to wake me and then there weren’t any fish, I retreated to my bunk. Once again I was awakened to the sound of a clanging bell. Unsure what the captain had to offer up on the deck I contemplated whether or not I should return to the deck. Remembering that I was adventurer, I took the risk and quickly jumped up, ran up the stairs, and once more was on the deck. This time I was greeted by a very bright sun and quickly ran to get my pole. Upon retrieving my pole I heard some one yell, “Boils off the bow” with out thinking twice I grabbed the anchovy, baited my hook, and dropped the bait over the side of the boat with high hopes that a tuna fish would find it most desirable. Yet time and time again I was unsuccessful.

Seeing that everyone else on the boat wasn’t having quite as hard of a time as me I was quickly becoming discouraged. Down to one my last anchovies I decided what the heck I might as well give it one more try. Once more I tossed the anchovy over the side of the boat and watched as it suddenly swam out of sight and then instantly my line began to run in a frenzy. Up and down, left and right, and any which way that fish felt he could get away. Feeling the tension on the string I slowly reeled him in. The closer and closer he got the more of a fight he put up.

Adrenaline now took over my system. Seeing the fish I became overwhelmed with excitement, don’t forget it had taken me about an hour to finally get a bite. With the fish in my grasp the line suddenly snapped. It was so close; it had to have been at least a 10-pound catch. With the excitement of the previous battle going through my mind I wasn’t giving up now. My last anchovy, it’s my pride, against the survival of a tuna.

I ended that day with a 15-pound catch. It had been the largest fish caught on that boat. While sitting in my economics class, we were asked to evaluate the American Enterprise System and compare it to a modern day scenario. Of course my fishing trip stood out like a sore thumb. I then took each part of the trip and analyzed it. First off the false alarm by the captain represents Communism.

Communism gets you all excited and wanting to get started yet when you finally arrive you find nothing. A matter of fact you find your self stranded in the middle of darkness wondering why you even got up. The only thing for a citizen under communist power can do is act much like I did and retreat. Now the American Enterprise System is what I awoke to the next morning. You find that skepticism is present and you don’t know whether to lay there in bed or get up.

Yet upon reaching the deck you find a brightly lit sky and people scattering to find a good spot for fishing, again you have more choices to make: Where to fish, what pole to use, and more importantly which bait would do the job. I for one am a very competitive person. When I see people catching fish and I am not it, pressures me to improve my quality, either the anchovy or location where I am fishing isn’t doing the job. This like the American Enterprise in that businesses wanting to please the consumer are forced into competition to keep produce high quality and low priced. Now after facing failure several times I will not succeed if I give up, after all I have nothing to lose, much like a business owner who may face failure several times yet when an owner is determined he also realizes there is nothing to lose.

I believe it was John Bunyan, an English Novelist and Playwright who said “He that is down fear no fall.” Lets not forget about that fish that got away. I obviously lost the fish due to the over amount of tension on the line. In the same sense the government is that tension and the more and more they step in to regulate the American Enterprise System the tighter and tighter the tension on the string gets until the string can no longer handle the pressure and snaps. Another factor to my fishing was picking the anchovy. There are the anchovies that are big and strong and will swim straight to the tuna; this will be the large business. But what about the smaller anchovy that perhaps has more desire and better incentives than the super anchovy; this will represent small business.

When it comes down to the small anchovy making a catch they are sometimes just as good as the other bait and sometimes the small bait has just a little something more that the bigger anchovy doesn’t quite have to offer. Well the most important thing that this trip taught me was that if the American Enterprise System is used by you and me the same way that my fishing trip was used we will all be taking home the best catch. .


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