Not to inject politics, but just to point out how times change, here’s a quote from an American politician in the not-too-distant past (emphasis mine):
In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we’ve discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We’ve learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose.
The symptoms of this crisis of the American spirit are all around us. For the first time in the history of our country a majority of our people believe that the next five years will be worse than the past five years. Two-thirds of our people do not even vote. The productivity of American workers is actually dropping, and the willingness of Americans to save for the future has fallen below that of all other people in the Western world. As you know, there is a growing disrespect for government and for churches and for schools, the news media, and other institutions.
This is not a message of happiness or reassurance, but it is the truth and it is a warning. These changes did not happen overnight. They’ve come upon us gradually over the last generation, years that were filled with shocks and tragedy. …
Looking for a way out of this crisis, our people have turned to the Federal government and found it isolated from the mainstream of our nation’s life. Washington, D.C., has become an island. The gap between our citizens and our government has never been so wide. The people are looking for honest answers, not easy answers; clear leadership, not false claims and evasiveness and politics as usual. What you see too often in Washington and elsewhere around the country is a system of government that seems incapable of action. You see a Congress twisted and pulled in every direction by hundreds of well-financed and powerful special interests. You see every extreme position defended to the last vote, almost to the last breath by one unyielding group or another. You often see a balanced and a fair approach that demands sacrifice, a little sacrifice from everyone, abandoned like an orphan without support and without friends. Often you see paralysis and stagnation and drift.
You don’t like it, and neither do I. What can we do? First of all, we must face the truth, and then we can change our course. We simply must have faith in each other, faith in our ability to govern ourselves, and faith in the future of this nation. Restoring that faith and that confidence to America is now the most important task we face. It is a true challenge of this generation of Americans.
Sounds a little bit like a diatribe from right- (or left-) wing radio, doesn’t it? Take a guess at who said it (answer at the end of the post).
5 Ways Social Media Can Cost You Money: I wrote about how to make money on Facebook a while ago, but you could easily flip that story over to the “other guy’s” side and realize that social media is definitely a good way to lose money, too. Be careful what you say online! On the other hand, here’s: for the counter-argument.
Why the Economy is Not Relevant to Investing: I’d agree. The overall economy is, in many ways, a meaningless stat when it comes to investing, particularly in individual companies.
Where Are The High Paying Jobs?: No surprises here; the coasts, and particularly Washington DC.
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Answer: The speech is Jimmy Carter’s famously derided “malaise speech” – although he never used that word. I think he had a better idea of where we were headed than people were willing to give him credit for at the time. I’m not going to argue he was a great president, but you could certainly take that speech and plop it onto Fox – or MSNBC – and not miss a beat, couldn’t you? Tells you something about how the more things change, the more they stay the same, don’t they?