Planning: Time Preferences

3 mins read

Anyone who is paying attention to the current societal condition can recognize that we are in the midst of much turmoil and tension. This tension exists in politics, race relations, sports, religion, and probably any other setting that you might want to consider.
Of course, there will always be differences of opinion in all of these arenas. Until Jesus returns and makes all things new, we will have tension and turmoil, to one degree or another. That is simply a fact. However, we find ourselves in a situation where this tension is no longer found on the fringes of society, or in the halls of congress. Now, real, serious, and intense agitation is taking place in the public square.
When it spills over into whether or not NFL teams are standing for the National Anthem, things have reached a point where we need to consider what is actually going on.
There is no way one article will cover this in detail (or even with much depth), but we can look at one component that plays a part.
Time Preferences.
Now, this is really an economic term, used to describe “the relative valuation placed on a good at an earlier date compared with its valuation at a later date.”  While it is an economic term, the principle is applicable in other areas, and that is what I want to do here. Much of what we see is a disconnect between those who are focused on the immediate situation and those who are planning for the long term. We see this evident in everything from pop culture to architecture. Perhaps much of this is exacerbated by the differences in generational thinking. That would be something to delve into in a future article. Here, let’s just give an overview.
Unfortunately, many people are stuck with short term thinking. We see it all the time. People want immediate results in everything. Give someone a choice of $5 today or $10 next week, and most will chose the $5 now. Why? Because they do not want to wait.
You want a real-life example? Fine. How about the education of your children? Most Americans are not interested in homeschooling, simply because it is more work than loading the kids on a bus and shipping them off to government indoctrination centers. No doubt, homeschooling is a lot of work. It takes time. It can be hard (though it also has its fun moments). Why worry about all of that, when I can just let someone else do it?
That is short term thinking. It is less work and trouble today. But the long term result? Poorly educated children, who not only do not reach their intellectual potential, but are forced to learn ungodly and evil state-mandated doctrines. They have leftist/globalist SJW-infused garbage shoveled into their minds every day for 12 (or more) years. That is before they go to college. Do you really think that your couple of hours in the evening is going to counter the 8 hours per day spent being brainwashed? Why would the kids listen to you? You have already, by your act of sending them to the school in the first place, made it clear that the school system knows more than you do. Your child will assume that if you were more equipped, you would do it yourself. You might know more about your career, but not about education. Is it true? Of course not, but your child will absorb what they are given, and trust that you are doing what is best for them. It is sad.
A long term thinker, one who can look beyond the immediate future, will see that taking charge of his own children and their education is a vastly superior model. Not only do the children avoid the garbage, but they are taught true, good, and holy things. They learn what is right and best in the world.  It is looking past the immediate pleasure, willing to endure some hardship in the present, in order that the end product is better.
A long term thinker decides that he is willing to pay that price, giving up something now, in order to have even more in the future.
That is one example. There are countless others. Whether we focus on politics, social unrest, religion, or whatever, short term thinkers are a hindrance. They cannot see the forest for the trees.
What the West needs now is men who are willing to eschew short term thinking and look at the bigger picture. If you cannot do that, then you need to sit down, be quiet, and let the men do their work.

Lead Scheduler at MOTW. Husband, Father, but most importantly, a man of God. Possesses more degrees that most people find useful.

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