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Elaine, I have a somewhat different take what happens after the end game comes and goes. Rather than expect we'll be once again off to the races, but abiding by rules laid down by a new banker; I see the whole world taking it down a notch or two or three. America sees the world through a unique set of eyes. The whole world really doesn’t want what we have and they aren’t necessarily experiencing the same “death of novelty” like we are in our culture. I believe the failure is completely self induced. A fractal breakdown of an odd non-linear system brought on by the loss of life’s meaning and the mainstream distribution of psychoactive prescriptions.

I don’t see China lusting for the non-negotiable McMansion lifestyles. It is not in their culture. Japan appears to have bought into certain false concepts of gadget happiness and it’s driving the country mad in my opinion. Europeans have certainly had the material wealth needed to “have it all” but opts not to. They find greater pleasure in the cloak of their cultures and not what some marketers tell them will make them happier.

When the frenzy of the financial market domination subsides combined with the reality that fossil oil energy dependency forces humbler expectations we will all get back to living more like human beings again.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Perhaps you are right. Europe used to be very big into the finer things, when I lived there, I bought and wore much better made, higher quality clothes than I wore in America. It was quite noticable.


Now those are hedonics that I can relate to. I do agree that craftsmanship, well designed and engineered products are to be admired. I remember growing up with a great appreciation for German engineering and Scandinavian design. Nothing better as a kid than the beautiful style of a high-quality European slide rule or multi band radio.

We truly enjoyed better products because they were manufactured in smaller number, often by hand. You felt you really got something lasting and important. I hope we can get back to that again because it's important for all levels of society to participate in supplying the country's needs including those that appeal to our vanity.

We seem to believe that more diversionary gadgets will do the trick. Financial services are another empty promise. Schemes asking us to pay more for products and services of very questionable value. That's why this stuff is so damaging to us all.

A few weeks ago Ben Bernanke was asked how he invests his money. He claimed he had no particular insights about to do that. So, he put everything into Treasuries and a few annuities worth a couple million. Liabilities: a ten year student loan for his kids. A ten year student loan? Could it be he knows he's going to inflate that debt into oblivion?

A furniture retailer in my town runs ads that never ever show you any furniture. And to most of their customers it probably doesn't matter. The entire sixty second commercial booms on endlessly with assurances that you "make no payments interest until 2012". I prefer to bide my time. With one eye on the Mayan Calendar and the other fixed on my TV set, I'm thinking about taking their deal.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

A cometary finale!

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