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post #21 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-28-2006, 07:37 PM
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post #22 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-28-2006, 09:27 PM
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The US has not been the biggest and richest kd in a long time.
You get my point...more importantly, those countries who are 'bigger' and/or 'richer' don't seem to be filled with people who want everyone else on the planet dead.

For being as financially insignificant as those metrics would have one believe, why haven't the "bigger and richer" kids in the global neighborhood marginalized us if/when they feel we've gotten out of line? There's lots of ways to evaluate a country's size and wealth, and by most of them, the U.S. is where it's at (which is to say, if you're a global entity, you're nothing without a U.S. presence).

We've gotten bigger and richer, faster than any other nation in the history of our planet. I think this makes us appear nouveau riche to the stodgy old-money countries of the world, and frankly, it pisses them off. The knee-jerk reaction to this type of global prejudice toward Americans is "fuck 'em". In reality however, I think the more 'seasoned' nations have cultures where the priorities have moved beyond material wealth and status. It seems increasingly to me that such obscene piles of money in so few families isn't anything to covet. The "Billionaire Boys Club" to so speak is seemingly trite...old...passe...almost the new bourgeois. It's as if most europeans view the American obsession with wealth as a teenage boy's obsession with girls. At that stage of one's youth, girls are the most important things in the world....but this will pass, and more noble things will grow to consume them.

I keep coming back to the European standards for holidays, or vacations, that seem unbelievably liberal. I used to think "no wonder those countries have such jacked-up economies and no rich people". Well, duh, it's because money isn't an important factor in their lives. Just enough to live on, that's all. Wealth is fine, but it's not the be-all end-all of human existence. As such, there's no point working 50 weeks out of the year so that you cannot enjoy life while you're able. No, 8 weeks of holiday each year should give you a decent balance between one's work and the enjoyment of the world and one's families.

I sure don't see the point in working as hard as I do, in the grand scheme of things, given how little chance I stand of becoming exceptionally wealthy and/or affording myself 8 weeks of vacation working FOR someone else. Yet I do, for 'noble' reasons like personal growth, being a part of something exceptional, pursuing excellence, setting a standard for performance that is higher than it needs to be, etc. It's all I have left of my ideals in this regard, and maybe someday soon, I won't have them either. I suspect that if I'm not independently wealthy by the time my son graduates college, I will dramatically alter my lifestyle to facilitate doing whatever the hell I please. Perhaps this is what our european counterparts have already figured out.

Sorry if that got too far off the subject. I don't know where I'm going with all of it.
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post #23 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-28-2006, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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I work two hours a day, three days a week and my vacation is three months and I get a sabatical every five years for a whole year. I think I will never go back to the rat race
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