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Monday, January 26, 2009

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?


Ludicrous isn't it? The get rich quick reality shows are still on television. Sort of like watching reruns of Seinfeld from the nineties when people cared about George Costanza's meditations at the diner. Everyone still wants to be a millionaire, but where would those new millionaires invest? Stick your money in the banks that are still dying...risky. Put it in the stock market that operates on air. Hmm...might lose a lot. How about real estate? Lot of good bargains, problem is those darn houses keep falling in value. And how about those shows about flipping houses and all the get rich quick gurus still hawking their wares on the upper cable channels? They might have some answers. How about all the fabulously rich and famous people still blabbing all over the airwaves? How about Oprah and Suze Orman and Dr. Phil and David Letterman and Jay Leno? They are still having a tremendous time, a fantastic time and making tons of money. They could certainly tell us what to do with our money. There does still seem to be that group who are laughing their asses off while the middle class waits for the next debt bomb. You might go to the movies to see what those people do with their money. Take a movie like Revolutionary Road where the couple chucks it all and decides to go to Europe. They can't stand the middle class grind and so they opt out. They sell their house and cash their savings and go. The problem is we can't sell our houses right now and those savings...well, we can't sell our houses anyway. You could Tivo Barack Obama's inauguration speech and look for clues, But even his speech recognized that for most of us the party was over. The high rhetoric had taken backseat to chastising us and the titans of finance for our orgy of spending. Yeah, he's right. The problem is what do you do with all this old economy stuff...big cars and houses and high taxes? Chances are you have one of the three and the bills still have to be paid. I personally would love to pull the Kate Winslet/Leonardo DiCaprio Get Out of Jail Free Card and sell everything and start over in the new economy. Small house, fuel efficient car, low debt, meaningful job....but, unfortunately their story took place in the fifties. That was the beginning of the party and they didn't even have shows like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. So I guess we can't get any clues there. Wait a minute... I know, let's invest in oil! That always goes up. Phew, that was close. This being rich is rough.
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Books by William Hazelgrove