Delayed Gratification | INFJ Forum

Delayed Gratification


C'est la vie
Retired Staff
May 11, 2008
When I asked my economics professor if he could sum up in just a few words what should have been done to prevent the economic crisis, this is what he said.

Delayed gratification is the ability to wait in order to obtain something that one wants. His argument is that so many people decided against delaying their gratification, that they made irresponsible choices that compounded into our current economic crisis. Politicians didn't delay when they wanted everyone to be able to have a home. People who couldn't afford a home didn't delay when they signed up for sub prime loans. Lenders didn't delay when they repackaged those loans and sold them off to banks. Banks didn't delay when they borrowed against those packages.

Why as a society has it become so difficult for us to delay gratification? Why do we insist on living beyond our means?
You start the best threads :) Was it just delayed gratification though? I think it has more to do with greed, plain and simple. THe people in charge of the money, such as Bank CEOs and politicians, were greedy and wanted to rake in the cash. Some of these people made tens of millions in year-end bonuses alone. THat's more money than I can even contemplate. So no one asked any questions until it was too late.

Delayed gratification is the ability to think long term and see a future benefit that will be worth it in the long run. Greed is just scamming the system in place to take what you can get at the expense of others. What future benefit does anyone with power/authority have to put in place a good system for the long term?

In terms of the homeowners...well, they bare some responsibility but I am less judgmental. Maybe here is where you see less of an ability to delay gratification. Everyone in the US is programmed early on that you have to (1) marry , then (2) have kids an then (3) purchase a home for said family and kids. It's part of the "American Dream." So yes, a lot of people should have been a lot smarter and realized (A) the dream is BS and (B) those mortgage paymetns are just too good to be true. But you also have the financiers pushing the loans on them. In the face of this, they're jsut executing their programming and doing what they think they shoudl be doing when the opportunity presents itself.

In terms of "why"...for me it's jsut an issue of programming. Most people just obey their programming and never really become aware of why they desire things, why they do things in life. Why delay the Amercian Dream when it's made available to you? This is why I have more cmopassion for the average family than the banker peddling the false promises.
The entire system has been running on money that simply doesn't exist. Of course the economy is gonna falter once that problem returns.
By the nature of the Federal Reserve, it's mathematically impossible for everyone in America to pay every debt they owe.

At least that's what the conspiracy movie Zeitgeist: Addendum told me =D
I am thinking we have been conditioned too and the fact that money has lost it's value and meaning to us makes it difficult to see it as a responsibility to use it wisely. The times were good for so long and people just kept thinking things were only going to go up up up and never down. I think that now we will have to watch our spending out of necessity and credit will be like it was in the early eighties. Twenty percent down and twenty percent interest. It sucks but I think humans always have to push the limits even if it hurts us in the end. It's why the bad apples always screw it up for everyone those who follows the rules gets screwed in the end...
@Soulful - the Federal Reserve is separate from the rest of the federal government, and loans money (with interest) to the government. This fact is obfuscated by the "fractional reserve" system, banks give loans to other banks while still claiming to have the original money.

I still find it confusing and hard to believe, hence the disclaimer. :m075: