Thursday, November 6, 2008
I remember the days of Sanka. I might even have some in my cupboard, still. Then came along Folgers instant coffee. You could get it regular or decaf. Soon the drip-o-lator came along. You could make regular coffee even faster. And now I own a Bunn-o-matic. We just call it a Bunn. I can get really good coffee in just 2 minutes. And now we make our own less often thanks to Starbucks, Borders, Tully's and others. How did we ever drink Sanka? We drank it because it was quick and easy.
That's how Americans like their politics, too! Quick and easy. We are fickle. We want fast and easy solutions to everything. It's too slow and too much effort to walk into McDonalds or Starbucks. We want to just drive through. I want my coffee, good coffee, and I want it now!
When 911 first occurred, I sat down that evening and wrote a poem to the effect that the US was attacked, we are patriots and will respond, we will fight a war, but when the body bags start coming home and the cost becomes too great, we will clamor for our troops to come home. I knew it would happen this way because history has taught us that it will.
I tore up this poem the next day because I thought it could be viewed as unpatriotic in light of what had just happened 911. I wish now that I had kept it so I could wave it in the face of today's fickle society. We are accustomed to instant gratification. We don't have the will to solve problems long-term. And the quality of what we are getting in this instant gratification society is a little less than Sanka.
An example of this may be the US auto industry. Our auto manufacturers made unwise decisions for instant profits. They kept making gas guzzlers (Large SUVs) even though the handwriting has been on the wall for some time that gas prices would soar due to world wide demand. Now the chicken has come home to roost. All three of our major manufacturers are on the verge of bankruptcy and could easily go out of business. But they won't. And they won't because they will get bailed out. The bail-out is a short term solution, but it feels good now. It will help in the short term. We get some instant gratification. We have bailed out auto makers before. Twenty-five billion was earmarked for this current bail out. But now the new government wants to leave its mark by doubling that to 50 billion. (I am wondering whose taxes Obama intends to cut) Believe me, the day will come that we will pay. Unless Ford and GM can come up with cheaper, more fuel efficient, higher quality, high option vehicles we will be back to bailing them out again. Our auto makers have allowed market share to get away. They will have to recapture that to be profitable.
No more Sanka! No more instant Folgers! We live in the day of Seattle's Best, Starbucks, Caribou, and Tully's. Everybody knows that a nice juicy burger off the grill is better than one just out of the microwave.