THE END OF INSTANT GRATIFICATION: It's Time For America To Stop Eating And Spending And Get Into Shape

We had Liz Ann Sonders of Schwab on TechTicker this morning.

She talked about why this recovery feels so lousy, as well as the need for America to stop looking for instant gratification and recognise that it’s going to take a lot of hard work, discipline, and sacrifice to pull ourselves out of this hole.

The U.S. economy has been been steadily growing since the summer of 2009. The job market is improving, companies are beating earnings estimates, and credit is now widely available again.

So why does it still feel like we’re in the middle of a recession?

In part because we essentially have two economies now, says Liz Ann Sonders, Chief Investment Strategist at Charles Schwab.

Specifically, we have a huge “structural unemployment” problem, in which millions of folks who used to work in real-estate-related industries are now out of work–and the lost jobs in those industries aren’t coming back.  And then we have the rest of the economy, which is slowly returning to health.

Depending on which of these economies you’re in, your view of the world looks quite different.

Also, this country is all about “instant gratification,” Sonders said, and this recovery has been anything but instant. It will take us a decade or more to work off the huge debt load that we built up in the past couple of decades, and the process will require sacrifices that Americans just aren’t used to making.

The good news, says Sonders, is that if we can wean ourselves off “instant gratification,” we’ll be much healthier in the long run.  Even if the process is painful along the way.

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