The Way We Live Now: Precociously. Our spending habits place us in rarefied company. We may not have money for hospitals, but we certainly have enough money to ensure that luxury does not die. Priorities, friends; priorities.

Consumer spending—the leading economic indicator of American economic illiteracy—is rising again, now that Americans have walked away from their underwater mortgages, thereby freeing up those hefty mortgage payments to be put to use purchasing Jupiter Jacks and Windshield Wonders.

And, you know, Gucci shit. The first and foremost thing Americans must do is to see to it that the luxury advertising industry is rescued from its doldrums. And we are indeed doing that, contributing to the optimism among ad execs who know that The New Affluents are 45 years old, make a couple hundred thou, and will save their collective asses by purchasing "brands that represent quality, aesthetics and authenticity," and cost a lot of money, too.

It is no exaggeration to say that this homegrown commitment to quality, aesthetics, authenticity, and expensive shit will Save Our Country. Not just from Mexicans, but from the sort of economic despair that has Icelanders exiling themselves to Mexico, in search of fruit-picking gigs. No American will have to face such ignominy, as long as we keep our priorities in order. First, luxury; then, luxury food; last, hospitals. Without highly priced clothing and bon bons that boast luxurious "mouthfeel," dying on a dirty mattress is a moot point.
[Pic via]