Monday, May 17, 2010

Speed Kills

I want it now. I deserve it now. God wants me to have it now. We’re in such a hurry and so impatient. I think this is part of the cause of our recent financial troubles. Both the get-rich-quick financial players and home-buyers-that-should-have-waited participated in the debacle. But beneath it all is an impatience to have it all.

The recent 1000 point drop in the Dow 30 Industrials is partially the fault of computer trading. Apparently “investors” (can we really call them that?) trade via computers in 1,000,000 share blocks, making substantial money on a penny or two change in the stock price – trading many times per day, often “owning” the shares for seconds. How does this activity benefit American industry, or society? I know it’s an unfashionable question to ask – how does something benefit the common good is not a popular concept anymore. It’s all about “me” now – what’s in it for me seems to have become the only relevant question. And, if I can’t make my fortune NOW, well there must be something wrong.

1 comment:

Perplexio said...

A lot of our issues today boil down to speed... ADD/ADHD, childhood obesity, the financial crisis... I'd say the increasing pace of life has contributed to all of these issues on some level or another.

With everything being so 24/7 and instantaneous is it any wonder that the attention spans of each succeding generation seems to be shrinking over that of the previous? Thus giving rise to ADD and ADHD? Couldn't we benefit a bit from slowing down and taking the time to enjoy life.

Part of the reason portion sizes of foods have increased so much is due to the speed at which we eat. We eat faster than our brains have the time to process the fact that our stomachs are full. So we keep eating long after we need to be because we're eating faster than our brains can register the message from our stomaches saying, "Hold off man! I'm full down here!")

And the financial crisis-- well you've hit on that one pretty well, but I'd add that there's a difference between greed today and greed of the past. Greed of the past wasn't as bad as greed today because more people took the time to earn that money. They had a greater appreciation for the hard work that went into earning the money in the first place. Thus they tended to be more responsible with it. The faster and easier money is earned the less respect and appreciation one has for that money and its implications. People needed nicer, bigger, better homes now with insanely low interest rates and no money down. The housing market was on the rise, they'd be able to flip the homes for a profit before the piper came to collect his dues... but then it all came tumbling down. And don't even get me started on how speed has been a contributing factor to the general culture of entitlement in our country.