Thursday, February 5, 2009

Why do we Love Quick Fixes?

The American desire to make everything "Quick and Easy" has been getting under my skin lately. You would think when we're slapped in the face by reality, we would finally get it.

As a people, we are corner-cutters. On a less-charitable day, I might even call us lazy. The fact is that there are large numbers of people in the United States who want to be instantly rich, thin, successful, happy and find the love of their lives -- and put in zero work to do it. The realist in me finds it infuriating.

I'll give you a few recent examples:

  • At Wal-Mart yesterday, I stood behind a woman whose cart was overflowing with Banquet Pot Pies, Stouffer's frozen French Bread Pizza, and Donuts. She picked up and purchased a woman's magazine whose lead story was "Get totally fit in 5 minutes!" ... How ironic.

  • Driving through town two days ago, I saw a man throwing handful after handful of chemical ice-melt on a walkway. The walkway had about 3 inches of light, fresh snow. The man's shovel was leaning against the building behind him.

  • Car dealerships and furniture stores in our area are still running radio ads offering Zero Percent financing for up to 24 months! on new purchases. Yes, even now. These morons haven't learned a thing.

Another example of our Quick Fix mentality is the Economic Stimulus Package. It astounds me that there are still people who think the remedy for a bad economy is tax cuts and more bank bailouts. Even more crazy is the expectation that, if we get the right mix of policy in this bill, no money will be wasted and recovery will be immediate.

What dreamland are people living in?

I know that in our house, we have spent a long time trying to put our financial ducks in a row. Even that multi-year effort does not guarantee us stability in this economy.

Parents know there are no shortcuts in raising our kids. What works is patient dedication and consistency. You can't teach a child to read without taking the time to read together. You can't raise a healthy child if you plop him in front of the TV every afternoon. Laziness doesn't cut it, and short cuts do not work.

Why should we expect positive results if our government is looking for the short cut to a healthy economy?

I know I am just a Mom, not an economist, but I also know that our family couldn't survive with deficits like the federal government currently runs. And if I gave my son money to buy a gallon of milk and he came home with a pocketful of candy, I wouldn't trust him with the same errand in the future. Maybe Treasury Secretary Geitner should keep that in mind when he deals with executives at AIG, Citigroup, and Bank of America.

Several news outlets are offering updates and opinions on the progress of the Stimulus Bill in the Senate. (Bloomberg, Huffington Post, NYTimes)

You can also find a copy of the House version of the stimulus bill here.

If you have some time, please have a look and formulate your own opinions. Then write your Senators and Representative to let them know what you think.

In my opinion, this time there is no quick fix -- no amount of Lotto tickets, diet pills, or Botox are going to make the economy healthy again. The most we can expect is a reasonable compromise and lots and LOTS of hard work.

I think we're up to it, if we're finally willing to give it a try.

- Midwest Mom


  1. Awesome post, and LOL about Wall Mart Oh how often I see it :)

  2. This is a well articulated post Julia. Well done.

    I'm less kind than you. I have little issue using the word lazy to describe many of "us". The parallel you draw with the federal Government and our own home management is spot on. I too worry the Stimulus Bill is being bandied about as the cure all. Nothing works that way. Nothing lasting works that way.

    It's time to get to work.

  3. This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 2/6/2009, at The Unreligious Right

  4. You are dead on. I'm pretty sure there isn't any quick fix for the mess our economy is in however anything that might lessen the hurt should be considered.

    Side Note: I remember reading the cover of one of those magazine toting a quick 10 day weight loss plan. I commented to my husband while standing in the check-out line that I had an even quicker one. The woman behind me got really curious and listened more intently. Then I put my hand on my 9+months pregnant belly and said, "Deliver this kid," and I'll weigh at least eight pounds less.

  5. GREAT post! love the ending. you did an excellent job here. I think you would get along/agree well with my friend at she's said some of the very same things here.


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