Monday, December 1, 2008

Cheating, Economy, Schadenfreude

We can go into the Cultures of Life and Death down the road, but today under the heading of Culture of Death meaning the culture encompassing the death of honesty and integrity as demonstrated by the fact that 64% of kids admit to cheating on tests in high school and over 93% think they are better than most of their peers is the scandal of the day.

When thinking about the economy it occurs to me that perhaps one of the reasons why stimulus packages or tax rebates aren't working quite as well as expected may have something to do with the fact that a few years back we moved from a product to a service economy. If we all have most of our needs and a good percentage of our wants already, all we can really do is upgrade and that makes a lot of used goods available. Also, even the most greedy of us stop someplace. How many cars can we buy? How many houses? How many appliances? How much jewelry or luxury items. Clothing? Food? Books? Electronics? But on the service sector do we need an extra visit to the doctor? An extra will? Take another credit hour if already carrying a full load? Go through the car wash? Have extra gardening? Go out to dinner more than once a day or week depending on your starting point.......I think you see where this is going. Buying stocks or bonds isn't spending, it's saving, right? (I don't have the answer, just the question and maybe the beginning of a discussion.)

Perhaps we can do a bit of our own stimulus by helping a charity do what they do best.

And last, my very favorite foreign word without exception. This always conjures up a certain amount of guilt by its very definition, but it feels good for a minute, or two or three. The definition: to take pleasure at someone else's misfortune. Today's reason for that feeling is Rosie O'Donnell whose TV special last Wednesday evening was a total bomb. That German word just fills a special niche, don't you think?

God bless--

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