This article belongs to Money theme.

If money makes the world go round, prepare for a sudden jolt when it stops. The financial house of cards is getting caught in the crosswind of greed and aces, kings and queens are tumbling all over the planet.

Here in sorta sunny Santa Cruz, there is a pilgrimage down to Esalen and other New Age retreats as hippie/yuppie's are looking to spend there dwindling dollars on intensive workshops to find out where their anger comes from and how to maximize their keys to success. I don't need to shell out any rubles to find out where my anger comes from, because I work retail. For eight hours a day I know where my anger comes from. It's no secret. Not only am I very in touch with my anger, but I also, out of necessity of wanting to keep my job, have to practice the art of "being nice."

Is it still nice when you have to be nice?
This has caused me to ponder the philosophical question: "Is it still nice when you have to be nice," or, "how nice is it when you are forced to be nice?" My conclusion is that there is a high-rate of fulfilment on a one-sided linear path, in other words, it's nice for the customer. They arrive at the counter so stressed out that they may not have gotten the right gift for their Aunt Bertha, who is bi-polar and afflicted with a serious drinking problem--they are in a shambles. My forced pleasantries have a positive effect on the customer's fractured self. My soothing voice allows them a moment of reintegration into the world of the sane. Then I go into the employee break room and punch myself in the face for 15 minutes.

If living on credit is no longer an option what can we do to reduce our cash flow?
Here in America we used to be on the silver standard, the gold standard and long ago, the corn standard. But for 50 years we have based our economy on an illusion. There is nothing of value behind our money. The Federal Reserve, a privately run institution, cranks out new bills every week, and the money machine plods along—so far. What the current headlines illustrate, and we poor people suspected all along, is that the fat cats on top are unscrupulous bastards, who deceive their employees, friends and family all for personal gain.

It's time for re-evaluation on what is really important in our lives. If we cannot trust the banks, where do we place our cash? If we cannot trust the people who run our major corporations then who do we turn to lead us? If living on credit is no longer an option what can we do to reduce our cash flow? These are not easy questions but they need some long serious thought.

I wish you well as you transition into the year 2009. May it serve you well--May your heart always be true, your mind clear, your health solid and your lovelight bright!