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America, What Are We Waiting For?


It is ironic that in this age of immediacy, where reading email is more important than watching the road, we are trapped in endless waiting.

We open our virtual papers each morning, stretch our opposable thumbs and wait. We refresh, unlock, update and tweet, all the while neglecting our actual lives, the incoherent collection of nows that come together to form a day. We pass them by, waiting. For something.

Waiting for the next Winehouse
Waiting for the next iPhone (AAPL)
Waiting for the next Breivik

We sip our coffee, fretting about the world.

Waiting for Chairman Bernanke to fix the economy
Waiting for President Obama to fix the economy
Waiting to get laid off

Opportunities lost. Inventions forgotten. Glued to our screens, we wait. Searching for answers. Searching for questions. Just searching.

Waiting for the next Facebook
Waiting for the next Google (GOOG)
Waiting to care

Foreclosures are up. Foreclosures are down. Sales are up. Sales are down. Rates are up. Rates are down. We watch the money printed, and we wait.

Waiting for QE3
Waiting for a Greek default
Waiting for an Italian default
Waiting for a Spanish default
Waiting for a Portuguese default
Waiting for an Irish default
Waiting for an American default

Uncertainty paralyzes an economy. A society. It's like pouring cement into an engine. Unsure of what lies ahead, we choose nothing. We do nothing. We wait.

Waiting for the debt ceiling to be raised
Waiting for a balanced budget
Waiting for Social Security to go bankrupt
Waiting for Medicare to go bankrupt

We look out into the world, and wonder why its passing us by. We wonder why what were once backwaters are now our economic adversaries. We wonder why talk of the sun setting on the American Empire is no longer discounted as nonsense. We wait for it to happen, wondering all the time.

Waiting for Brazil
Waiting for Russia
Waiting for India
Waiting for China

Is it hot in here? Maybe it is. Maybe not. Where are all the fish? What about the frogs? Not to worry, we'll just wait it out.

People often ask how we survived without the Internet, without cell phones, without email. How could anything get done when letters were sent across oceans in boats, or across mountains on horseback, or over deserts on the wings of wild aviators.

Easy, we waited.

Follow Andrew Jeffery on Twitter @schnageler.
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