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Examining the Elemental Structure of Deflation

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The primary forces in the developed world are defined by it.

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And that's the legacy our kids have. They know what it is to wade into the swamp every morning, never quitting. In thinking about this, you may be the father I respect the most. You have raised your kids to be multilingual children of the world. What a work ethic. How did you get them to scrape window shutters at your chateaus? (I actually saw this, and my kids marveled. Thereafter I threatened to make them go live with you when they didn't behave!

You have given your kids the opportunity to follow their dreams, even demanded that they do so. And such dreams they (and mine) have. Will they succeed? Who knows? But they'll go at it with gusto, in a world with more opportunities than you and I ever imagined 40 years ago. And, oh boy, were we optimists back then. How else could we have done what we did? If we believed the rhetoric that the world was coming to an end, would we have dared to venture out?

You cannot have raised your kids to be such bold adventurers without instilling in them a certain high level of optimism. I'm going to out you, Mr. Bonner. You present yourself to your readers as a bona fide end-of-the-world pessimist. But you're a really and truly a closet optimist. Your whole business empire (and what an empire it has become!) is based on finding people who are optimists, in the sense that they think they can actually get people to send them money for what they write. Which they do! Even if it's to read why the world will come to an end, which thankfully, it never does.

You're right in this: it's personal gumption that makes or breaks us. There are those who started out with less than we did (hard to imagine but true) and made a lot more. And there are those who started out with far more and made less. But there are very few who are happier than either of us. Or luckier.

Our kids? It's not the times that dictate the man (or daugheter), but the response of the man that dictates his own time. Today promises a brighter future for young people than any other time in history did -- whether they're in the US or Brazil or China. They just have to seize it.

And as our kids do just that, and as the millions of kids of those who read us do so, and the billions of kids who are just now getting ready to bust loose all work to achieve their dreams, the world is going to be a far more fantastic place. Smooth ride? Not a chance. We didn't get one. And in thinking through history, there haven't been many smooth rides. Why should we think that will get any better? Our kids will just have to live with our generational (and individual) iniquities -- government debt and all -- and figure out how to master their own fates. But if I had a choice to take the '70s or today? In less than a heartbeat I would choose today. And I bet you would too!

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