I will preface this article by stating something that should be obvious to my readers: I am an ardent capitalist – mainly because economic self-determination allows us to realize true freedom in life. I will also tell you this other highly interesting (just kidding) but unrelated fact: I am writing this from Borders Books Cafe in Union Square San Francisco. It was nice to enjoy New Year’s Eve here and avoid the 5 degree weather and 6-8 inches of snow back in my home town of Boston, MA!
Anyway, though I am capitalist, I am in many ways, happy (in a Franklinesque way) with the economic crash’s effect on the political and financial clout of the wealthy.. This economic crash has certainly tempered the influence and power of those whose wealth had multiplied too quickly during the boom. From personal observation, I have noticed that the airwaves are pleasantly silent of big-mouth billionaires and the worship given them by the media. In fact , to highlight their reduced clout, here is an article outlining some of the biggest financial losers of 2008:
The AWFUL Side-Effect
The problem with the downturn in the economy and the dearth of vocal billionaires is that politicians, a group at the highest level of economic and financial incompetence, are suddenly given much more air time. Now I have to listen to Barney Frank and other fossils (whom many had thought were quietly tucked away in some remote corner of the Capitol Building) spout about economic problems (I’ll bemoan this fact in some other future article!).
Needless to say, economic problems in the US abound – but I will not get into that problem now. I will, however, recommend two books that I am currently reading that have gripped me right from page 1:
1. “While America Aged” by Roger Lowenstein (read an excerpt HERE) which discusses the aging of America and the coming implosion of pensions everywhere. For additional updated daily information on the trouble facing pensions nationwide, I have found this website helpful:
2. Flight of the Creative Class” by Richard Florida (description HERE), which highlights how the economy worldwide is moving toward one of a limited number of intellectual centers that attract top creative talent and how the part of the world not near one of these centers will diminish. he also discusses how the US grew economically by attracting the world’s top talent to our intellectual centers (New York, Silicon Valley/San Francisco, Boston, Chicago) but now will likely decline as we grow increasingly antagonistic toward immigrants (a point I railed about in my article HERE)
Enjoy these books (and articles) – I’ll check back soon from SF…