But now, the economy is not only in recession but has crushing structural problems:
- Massive deficits and unfunded liabilities such as the Medicare Monster.
- Poor ethics from top to bottom: from CEOs who encourage or condone ill-begotten profits to healthy workers who steal sick days, to priests who abuse parishioners, to students who cheat on tests (3/4 of high school and college students do.)
- Uncontrolled immigration.
- The growing trend to "redistributive justice," which reallocates resources from those most likely to boost the economy (businesses and above-average-income individuals) to society's lowest-achieving people. That short-term pleasure/long-term pain trend will only accelerate with a Democrat president. (Alas, I can't vote for an anti-choice, big-spending Republican. Where's a Philosopher King when you need one?)
- A badly dysgenic birth rate, in which the people likely to contribute least to society have the most children.
- Mixed-ability school classes ensuring racial equality but also that everyone learns less than they could and should.
As a result, ever more Americans will be forced to find non-spending paths to contentment. My suggestions for the most likely sources of contentment:
- A mission--either in your career, avocation, or serving God. (I'm an atheist but I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge that many people find great contentment in their religion.)
- A deep love--of a romantic partner, child, protege, or mentor.
- A consuming hobby: writing, participation in community theatre, gardening, music, art, etc.
- A determination to do as many good things as possible: random acts of kindness, uncommon courtesies, honesty when it benefits someone at your expense, etc.