First off I want to say hello to the new followers of my blog! Welcome! I am glad you resonated so far. Be sure to read the “Why am I Writing This” section to get an idea of what this blog is about. I will be going to a lot of places, and I am glad to have you along for the trip.
And now to the post…
Fast and furiously working for results we forget it is the slow and steady that live longer and are more satisfied with life. For the most part I see people are becoming more reliant on higher frequency forms of gratification. I want to take a moment and consider the implications.
No doubt many good things have been botched because there is a quarterly report that needs to be released and stake holders are demanding results. The new Apple IOs map is a likely example of fast paced culture. I read in the BBC technology section that Scott Forstall the senior manager in charge of the project just announced he will leave after nearly 15 years of service. That is business as they say, but it is not how life works.
Legislation is not developed with a long view. The result is disheartening. Taxpayers want a refund check now, and will cross the bridges of insolvency when we get there. The treasury issues debt in a way that gives a new meaning American express. The Congressional Budget Office releases reports that summarize in a few words, “This cannot last forever”. President Barack Obama rightfully points to the eight years prior to his term as part of the reason for the awful state we are in. Yet, there is no long term plan in the wings to explain how much more we will need to pay and what we are going to live without. House republicans want to quickly withdraw government spending from the economy in the middle of a meager recovery because their constituencies want it and want it now. The system simply does not support the long view. This is also not how life works.
The housing bubble is another example where expediency trumped wisdom. I am not going to get into the numbers unless you want me to; however, it is fair to say the effects of the collapse of the U.S. housing market were felt worldwide. The desire to live fast destroyed more than what was created. I can think of other examples in the macroeconomic and political spheres, but this horse was dead before the gate opened.
At this point it is easy to look at the disarray and feel lost. There is anxiety at play in the way the world operates. As an anecdote, observe the amount of antidepressant medications that are prescribed in America. I read 10-11% of Americans use the medication, and that is just a third of those who exhibit symptoms of major depression(1). I think this anxiety is what drives the need for now rather than deferment for a better future.
I have some suggestions to put on the table, but I am out of time for this week. I am reluctant to do a two part post, but I want to give this time and space it needs. I feel this is a very important observation that deserves careful exploration. Please be patient. In the mean time taste the irony.