How Ken the mechanic will save our nation

We cede our territory today to TJ Knowles of San Diego, whose comment on yesterday’s post carries the double benefit of being interesting and extremely cogent, and also obviating the need for me to write anything today. Since the weather is fine and I don’t feel much like looking at the financial news, or considering anything appropriately bleak, I want to thank TJ and turn over the conch to him for a little while. Here’s what he says:

On Monday I took my Toyota Matrix (best car I’ve ever had – except for my 1930 Model A) to a guy who is one of the most intelligent, practical and highly skilled men I have ever known. He works as a handyman, but his experience and expertise as a mechanic, expert welder, and all-around construction problem-solver are a constant amazement to me.

He completed some major brake work and electrical repair, gave me great advice and sent me on my way with an invoice that would have been triple at any Dealer service.

During our conversation, he said he was concerned about the economy and his workload.

It occurred to me – and I told him, that he was mistaken – that he was sitting in the catbird seat and would thrive in this dismal economy because he actually KNOWS HOW TO DO THINGS. And the things he knows how to do are a staple in today’s world.

In some ways, the cliff-diving our economy has been doing is a blessing – we are getting the big wake-up call to see that we have become a nation of consumers – not producers. We have invented 200 names for money, and none of them is worth a tinker’s dam now.

We are clever manipulators of information, which translates into zippo-nada-zero in a world in which Substance now rises from the ashes like the mythical Phoenix, devouring the pathetic, paper-pushing and ethernet-laced house of cards we have been referring to for years as an “unstoppable” economy.

It is still a real world. Tools, hard work, physical labor and a laborer’s pride will be the honorable watchwords of the day.

I watch Ken as he struggles with my car’s serpentine belt that fights him for control.

Ken will win.

Thanks, TJ. From your lips to God’s ears.

Subscribe to Well Adjusted, our newsletter full of simple strategies to work smarter and live better, from the Fortune Well team. Sign up today.