Chapter 6. Forward on the Economic Front


I don't like money actually, but it quiets my nerves.

 --Joe Lewis, 1948

Instead of turning to the proverbial cab driver for a reading on how Americans are doing in the face of economic uncertainty, we propose an upscale substitute more appropriate to an America after the euphoric 1990s. We nominate a suburban dentist with a thriving practice of patients representing an America of substantial mortgages, investments and debt, at least two family cars, sons and daughters at high-tuition colleges, and European (or at least Caribbean) vacations. They are discretionary spenders who fuel the U.S. economy.

Here's the dentist's report: “I don't know of a single patient of mine who doesn't have a family member or ...

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