The Way We Live Now: new. And by new, we mean "worse." Saying "new" just kind of makes it seem...shiny, you know? Interesting and maybe even a little adventurous. We're splurging! We're consuming! Even if we can't afford it! Patriotically!

Good news for you, the consumer: you have renewed strength! Whether you know it or not. In the aggregate, you, the consumer, have been absolutely splurging on your holiday purchases. Which, let's be honest, is not completely wise. What with all of your unemployment.

But bah! We're not Scrooge! No bah humbergers, we! Go for it, we say! Just because you're chronically jobless and totally lack a social safety net is no reason to have a bad Christmas! There's no reason to sit around obsessing over how China's impending tightening of its monetary policy could totally destroy you, a helpless and powerless pawn in a mighty economic game. The knowledge that this recession will probably keep you working until age 73 just to survive is no reason to start "saving" now. Stimulation! Holiday vacation! It all rhymes.

Santa will surely bless all of you for your patriotic spending, somehow. Just buy. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing. And certainly don't worry about what the rich are doing. You can be sure they're having a very merry Christmas, too.

[Pic: Flickr]