Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Last Days of the Starbucks Life

On a day when Americans are keenly aware of economic hardships ahead, those symbols of Baby Boomer excess--Starbucks, Krispy Kreme, Ben and Jerry's--are giving voters free stuff, to promote their products, of course, but unintentionally taunting them with little luxuries they may soon not be able to afford.

Assuming a victory by Obama and his post-Boomer generation, David Brooks foresees "the irony...that they will be confronted by the problem for which they have the least experience and for which they are the least prepared: the problem of scarcity."

After decades of self-indulgence, Americans are suddenly facing the fact that what looked like a perpetual free ride to prosperity has a toll bridge up ahead, and once the election euphoria wears off, the hints that Obama has been tossing off about shared sacrifice during the campaign will become a central reality of our new political life.

In setting priorities for recovery, the incoming government will have to make hard and unpopular decisions.

"In the next few years," Brooks writes about the new reality, "the nation’s wealth will either stagnate or shrink. The fiscal squeeze will grow severe. There will be fiercer struggles over scarce resources, starker divisions along factional lines. The challenge for the next president will be to cushion the pain of the current recession while at the same time trying to build a solid fiscal foundation so the country can thrive at some point in the future."

When all the Election Night celebration is over, America is facing one hell of a morning-after.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You gotta love this! I actually saw quite a number of stores with similar offers around town! So keep your eyes open today.