The recession and the death of impulse

A week ago, I was in the gym gazing at a bank of monitors that carried a variety of subtitled shows about the GFC. One was an MSNBC show featuring Ivanka Trump as a guest. Responding to a question from the host, she noted that there are still lots of people out there looking to buy an apartment but that they will now visit a property three, four, even five times before making a decision. Ms. Trump owns a blog_ivanka1diamond jewelry business and the story there is similar. Buyers are out there, albeit in smaller numbers, but their behavior is characterized by extreme caution.

It came to me that we’ve killed off our impulsive side and replaced it with ill-placed belief in the power of rational caution. We’re still a nation of buyers, but we no longer trust our instincts. We’re freaked out, and this is our response. As I see it, the problem with this is that we are a species with a highly developed instinctive ability. In fact, most behavioral scientists and Malcolm Gladwell now agree that we don’t do very well in the world when we think too deeply about what’s going on.

The thing that will rescue Trump Enterprises from another hard year is the very same thing that will rescue all of us from this recession: the confidence to once again trust our instincts and be impulsive again.

1 Responses to “The recession and the death of impulse”


  • Impulsiveness is part of what caused this mess. These individuals gave no thought about the economic circumstances they were setting themselves up for. I disagree with the notion people are thinking “too deeply” … had they thought at all, they might not have foreclosed on a home they had no business purchasing from the beginning. Yes, you can blame these fly-by-night mortgage companies for duping people with scams. Yes, you can blame government for allowing these companies to exist. But where do we draw the line separating personal responsibility? And as for Ms Trump and the Trump organization, they are the biggest bags of wind out there. Donald has proven time and time again that the only thing he knows how to do is flaunt himself for being rich. Most of the businesses he touches go south. Look at this casinos in Atlantic City … bankrupt. What will rescue Trump is cutting itself from the madman they continually choose to be the face of the organization.

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