Swickard: The urgent need for urgency

© 2013 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. While I am painting with a broad brush, there does not seem to be much urgency in our nation and especially in our young people for anything. Americans are lollygagging along going trillions of dollars further in debt and only being concerned about which politician promises the best plunder for their vote.
     Americans show no urgency about our national debt which if you combine the on-book and off-books debt, it is more than half a million dollars for every man, woman and child in America. This means that every American must stop taking from the government chest and they must repay all of that money or that debt will be passed on to the next several generations.
     Being that far in debt should make every American kick the wall. But most citizens want even more debt so they can continue doing what they have being doing for years, ignoring the debt entirely. Their plan is to take the bounty from government now and leave the pain of repayment to their children.
Speaking of their children, the young people also show no urgency about this debt being laid on them. I would have to assume the lack of urgency on the debt is either out of ignorance or they, themselves, plan to leave the debt to their children. 
     These citizens think if we do not look at the national debt, it does not exist. And politicians smilingly say, “You are right, vote for me and I’ll give you more stuff from the public funds than my opponent.”
     I was talking to a college president recently. He mentioned that college students today routinely take a four year degree and turn it into six years or more of lollygagging around the campus while acquiring thousands of dollars of student loans. His concern was their lack of urgency about getting done with college and getting out into the workforce to start repaying the loans.
     I like the word urgency. It is only used in some aspects such as sports but not much in legislatures and Congress. For our legislators and leaders there is always tomorrow. Further, no matter the crisis we must wait until after the next election to fix any problems. But then there is an election after that election so no movement. Read full column