Friday, September 26, 2008

Strange repetition?

So every year, Americans have been spending about 700B more money than they have been making. Their reason? They felt richer than they were, because of increased housing values.

Now they are feeling poor, and thinking about paying down some of their accumulated debt. If this happens, of course, whole sectors of the economy will collapse.

But is that a bad thing? Isn't it just the natural human cycle of lean years and fat years? Could it be that Greenspan's criminally loose monetary policy extended the fat years to the point where the lean years will also be extended?

So what if credit markets are freezing because of a broader cultural change away from a service-based economy?

{ The Target commercial implies -- by the vintage car in at "the new car wash" -- that the freespending service economy of the last twenty years was an oedipally misguided act of rebellion, and that we are returning to traditional values if we send the service economy in a tailspin by focusing on simple pleasures brought about by cheap Chinese imports. The second commercial taps into the Oedipal pleasures of our fathers' generation, showing that one of the joys of poverty is to give humiliating haircuts to one's sons. }

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