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Human Nature – our real ‘economic’ problem!

March 19, 2013

A common expression is:  let’s live for today! Let’s assume that all is fine and positive as long as there is no serious problem today (now). This is the mindset of most people on this planet (it seems). I witnessed this mindset today as I visited a coffee-house for breakfast. The conversation of a group of caffeine addicts was ‘let’s live for today’…they were implying that our economic problems need not be addressed now! Why address debt, deficit, payment problems today as there is no immediate CRISIS affecting us at this moment. Human nature seems to desire to live today and assume that all is well if a problem has not reached the crisis stage!

If we visit this website:  we can witness the financial problems that are looming for the United States down the road. Since these debt and deficit issues have not as yet created an immediate CRISIS, human nature assumes that there is no immediate problem to address. The fact that our children and those who live after us will need to deal with these problems is ignored by most. It seems that human nature plays a huge role in our thinking and our decision-making. As human beings we all live in the NOW (present) and if we perceive the NOW as positive and without a CRISIS…then most assume ALL IS WELL. But is this a sound mindset for decision-making?

I would suggest that avoiding action on problems that are emerging and developing is NOT a wise strategy for decision-making. The emerging problems do not disappear just because we are not experiencing a crisis in the present moment. If we look at the above website, we can discern that our tax revenues are very insufficient for covering our government spending. This creates a yearly deficit that is likely to continue indefinitely. If we look at State and Local revenues relative to their tax collections we will discern a similar situation (deficits forever into the future). If we look at the cumulative DEBT of all our governments (National, State, and Local) we can discern that this DEBT is unsustainable and unlikely to be repaid. Anyone can discern the CRISIS…down the road!

Furthermore, if we look at our entitlement programs, we can discern that all these programs (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Governmental Pensions, etc.)  are at levels that make these programs unsustainable and mostly bankrupt. Yet, it seems like the public and most of our elite leaders continue to postpone any action for dealing with these problems. Why is this so? I would suggest that the primary reason is that a CRISIS of sufficient magnitude has not as yet emerged! It seems like human nature and our desire to avoid problems in the NOW are part of our thinking. Who wants to deal with a problem that is not present at this precise MOMENT?

This mindset of ‘living for today’ and ignoring emerging problems seems to be built into our human nature. Once a serious CRISIS emerges, however, in the present moment…then our human nature changes and we all start blaming others for not taking action to solve the prior emerging problems. What is now happening at the National level is a ‘waiting’ for a CRISIS to emerge in the present. My sense is that until this CRISIS emerges in the present, nothing will be done to deal with our financial problems. Think about our human nature and why we live and act as we do. That is my missive for today! I am:

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