The Problem With “Now”

People are angry, and they’re unhappy with the state of the economy. So they blame the current President. That’s not only unfair; it’s also stupid.

The current state of the economy is largely determined by events in the past. Most of the inflation we’ve suffered in the past two years was rooted in decisions and actions that occurred in the Trump Administration, but people blame Biden because they’re hurting now.

This is hardly new. George Bush senior made unpopular tax increases, but those tax increases were beneficial. Unhappily for him, they took effect in the Clinton Administration and boosted Clinton, not Bush.

But the internet and instant everything has made people even more impatient. When people can order something online and get it in days, if not sooner, they tend to think everything can be done quickly, not even considering that they’re ordering something that was already manufactured.

Biden pushed through the inflation reduction and the infrastructure act over a year ago. With the time that it takes to determine what projects can be done, to let the contracts, finalize the plans, get the permits, and assemble the right workforce, any project takes time, and most of those projects are just beginning. They’re barely breaking ground on the first of the new computer manufacturing facilities.

This also isn’t new. At the beginning of WW II, it took time to change auto plants into aircraft factories… and then there was a recession when the auto plants had to retool back to producing automobiles.

But the “I want it now” mentality, unfortunately, isn’t just limited to politics and industry. It’s pervaded everything.

I’m astounded at the number of automobile accidents, many of them fatal, caused just in southwest Utah by drivers speeding through yellow and red lights or not even stopping at stop signs. That doesn’t include those caused by speeding – and I mean really speeding, like at 100 mph. All of which are caused by impatience and the “I want it now” mentality.

Some people want environmental improvement now. Others don’t think the environmental conditions aren’t that bad. Both types fail to understand, or accept, that decades of using fossil fuels and greenhouse gases can’t be undone any time soon, and possibly not at all, given human nature.

Some people on Maui are already getting impatient at the “slowness” of disaster relief and the lack of housing for those whose homes burned, while “property sharks” are trying to gobble up burned-out properties even before authorities and families have sorted out who’s dead or missing, but Maui is an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and all the necessary goods, tools, and personnel have to be flown or shipped in. That takes time.

Some Americans are now getting impatient that Ukraine hasn’t been more effective against Russia, apparently without considering that Ukraine has stalled one of the largest military forces in the world, and without having adequate airpower. And these impatient Americans are wondering why the U.S. can’t get the F-16s to Ukraine quicker. These folks don’t seem to realize that it takes the U.S. a good nine months to train a pilot in the F-16. U.S. military experts have consistently made the point that it will take 4-6 months to adequately train a Ukrainian pilot already proficient in flying a MIG 29 – and that’s if the pilot’s fluent in English. Compressing that training much will just result in dead pilots and lost aircraft.

Lots of times, you just can’t have it now, but too many Americans can’t or won’t understand, and then they blame whoever’s in charge, even when it’s not the fault of who’s currently in charge.

3 thoughts on “The Problem With “Now””

  1. Kevinj says:

    > too many Americans can’t or won’t understand

    You said it. And one political party is basing its entire approach, and relying on, the many, many people who can’t/won’t.

    I’m becoming more and more certain that Sturgeon’s Law (“90% of everything is crap”) also applies to people’s brains…

  2. Chris says:

    A example of the “now” for the Maui fires is some people complaining that FEMA isn’t using the airport at Kapalua to land supplies. The media (including major news networks) are airing that question in their interviews with survivors, but aren’t taking the time to check why (simple answer: Kapalua’s runway is only 3000’, and no current cargo aircraft is allowed to use such a runway outside of combat).

    A better question to ask would have been why didn’t the local government allow volunteers to transport supplies in the day after, since realistically you can’t expect a bureaucracy to move quickly and transport things itself, but you should allow others to help, or give an explanation of why not.

  3. Alecia Flores says:

    One of the parallels in The Grand Illusion to our current situation is how media are able to ‘lie-without-lying’ & push totally outrageous conspiracies which fit the paradigm of their viewers/readers with the results you so clearly cited. It drives those of us who know the facts, nuts. The Trump world of “alternative facts” is one of the most frightening aspects of our current politics. I only hope, as the data from the indictments becomes better known, more people will understand actual facts, & rejoin the real world.

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