The Way We Live Now: commoditized. Why buy pork bellies? Go straight for rare pink diamonds. They're about the same price. Meanwhile, the rest of us will be over here, outside a tiny store, panhandling Oprah.
You tell the average American that you're going to talk to them about commodities and they're all "What, huh? That sounds boring, where is my 'cheez' product and televised sports?" That's why the average American is broke putz. Because commodities are so god damn hot and expensive these days, if the average American had just one single commodity, he or she could buy a new television every day, cover it in cheez, and throw it away, just for kicks.
Instead, when the average American hears about a $27 million pink diamond up for auction, they're all "That's outta my price range, can't get that one at Zales, nope." Whereas if they'd been thinking ahead they could have bought some GM stock when it was like negative a hundred dollars and held it for a while and traded it for this new GM stock, when the company is making billions in profit.
Pink diamonds? Gimme a dozen, please. With cheez.
But that's not the type of gumption displayed by the average American. The average American's idea of financial planning is hoping that Oprah happens to walk by them on the street and hand them $100. And that's better financial planning than you'll find in France, where everyone expects to get free government checks for the last
38 years of their lives, or in Ireland, where they just... drown in debt and get laid off (imminently).
Of course, the average American is more concerned with bemoaning the loss of Kirt Warner's shimmy-shimmy-ya than anything we've discussed here.