I need to pause here to explain my utter failure as a consumer. I am totally the wrong person to be living in a consumer society. I buy things only when I need them and cannot get them otherwise. Then I use them until they disintegrate. My car is a 1993 Mercury. My TV is a 1992 Sony Trinitron, humongous old glass tube in wooden cabinet: it needs two healthy adult males to lift it. My bicycle was given to me by a neighbor who moved house seven years ago; it had been at the back of his garage so long he'd forgotten he owned it.
. . . I tell you, if my habits of consumption were the norm among Americans, our economy — not to mention China's — would have collapsed long since even without the attentions of Messrs. Obama, Geithner, and Bernanke.
Sunday, October 30, 2011