In addition to living hi on the hog and being variable mortgaged to the hilt, the average American is jaded, ignorant of world affairs and self-satisfied. These are all characteristics of the decline and fall of empires. Question is how hard and how fast this one will fall, especially with myopic and incompetent not to mention corrupt leadership charting the course and setting the tone. Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. You see stocks win and lose like dogs at the track, but there is zero upward momentum in the overall equity markets. There has not been since Bush was elected and there will not be until he is gone, if then. The whole system needs to be rekeyed and retooled.