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Is there a phrase that is the opposite to “A rising tide lifts all boats”?

I am looking to use it in the context of financial markets. “A rising tide lifts all boats” means stocks move in an upward direction in a bull market. How so I describe when they all indiscriminately go down at same time?

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    In which dimension would you like the opposition: A rising tide lifts some boats? Mar 18 '20 at 22:09
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    I've run across a few sarcastic twists on the saying. And every time I see it I'm reminded of an incident near Louisville, KY ca 1970 when a dam on the Ohio first failed open, then was shut again, causing the water level to drop and then rise. A number of boats at docks first descended into the mud and then remained stuck there when the water rose again -- a rising tide swamps some boats.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 18 '20 at 22:37
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    I am looking to use it in the context of financial markets. “A rising tide lifts all boats” means stocks move in an upward direction in a bull market. How to describe when they all indiscriminately go down at same time? Mar 18 '20 at 23:34
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Wolfgang Mieder, A Dictionary of American Proverbs (1992) suggests three (seemingly related) sayings that use rain as a metaphor. The most familiar of these (noted by Greybeard in a comment beneath the posted question) is

Rain falls alike on the just and the unjust.

The sense here is that when large-scale trouble occurs, there is no discrimination between victims on the basis of their personal virtue or vice.

A similar sentiment is expressed in this alternative saying:

All who travel in the rain get wet.

...except that here the question of personal merit doesn't come up at all.

A slightly different take on the underlying idea appears in this saying:

The rain that rains on everybody else can't keep you dry.

That is, the particular misfortunes that others suffer in a general calamity don't immunize you from injury or even (in any practical sense) reduce your own exposure to harm.

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  • I really like the last one, although I think the first one is more applicable to this question.
    – mRotten
    Oct 20 '20 at 21:31
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On a similarly nautical theme "They're all in the same boat" could be worked into a sentence to get something close. This phrase implies that they have a shared fate; usually with negative connotations.

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The opposite of the above statement is that a falling tide sinks all ships. As per DJClayworth in the comments.

Beyond this, I fail to see the fascination with trying to connect one idiom to another. Aren't idioms supposed to be illogical, non-literal and unconnected bits of speech? Unique bits (with their own unique opposites).

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  • The ships do not sink. If a ship sinks, it is because there is a hole below the water line.
    – Greybeard
    Oct 20 '20 at 18:28
  • Sink, and float seem the more natural word choices here. A rising stock market in general doesn't mean that all stocks are benefited immediately. Eventually, the stocks in general are benefited to the point all ships float. Conversely, a falling stock market doesn't mean that all stocks are unfavorably impacted immediately. Eventually, stocks in general fall to the point all ships sink. In other words, just because the water level goes up doesn't mean that all ships float. Conversely, just because the water level goes down doesn't mean that all ships sink.
    – G. Rem
    Oct 20 '20 at 21:47
  • Sink could mean to go lower for any of a number of reasons. How about too heavy a load, ice build-up, equipment malfunction, etc? How about sink into the water to the point of buoyancy?
    – G. Rem
    Oct 20 '20 at 21:54
  • Sink doesn't work because of its relation to float. If the water rises, the boat rises. If the boat sinks, the level of the water does not alter (significantly).
    – Greybeard
    Oct 20 '20 at 22:25
  • "To descend the canal lock, the reverse happens. The lock is filled (if it is not already), the boat enters the lock which then drains, allowing the boat to exit on the lower level." The boat sinks to a lower level. As other things may, in specific, sink to the bottom of a body of water, there is no reason that also a ship may not, in general, sink lower. merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sink , 2 a (1) : to fall or drop to a lower place or level (2) : to flow at a lower depth or level (3) : to burn with lower intensity (4) : to fall to a lower pitch or volume
    – G. Rem
    Oct 21 '20 at 1:58

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