Max (6) was content Sunday night. He was sitting in front of eight pairs of new socks: four white, four dark blue. Marie said to me, “Look what Max has. New socks.” Max was grinning. Marie explained, “He’s never gotten new socks before. All his socks have been hand-me-down stretched out socks.” On Monday morning, he was still pleased, getting his socks out and putting them on with a grin. So, you see, poverty creates its own joys. * * * * * * * I bought a book last week, and it’s the one I’ve been seeking for the past 18 months: a book that acknowledges that things are awfully bad for the United States right now, but holds out significant hope. It’s The Great Reflation: How Investors Can Profit From the New World of Money I’m only part-way into it, but so far, it’s a great corrective to the doom-and-gloom bunch (one of whom endorsed the book) that I normally read, yet it’s not part of the mainstream investment “rah rah everything is going to be fine” chorus or part of the Keynesian “more public spending” chorus. It’s also not too far removed from mainstream economics (for example, the author says the 2008 bailouts were unavoidable and a return to the gold standard in the modern financial world is absolutely untenable). Although the mainstream can often be devastatingly wrong, I take some comfort reading a finance book for once that is part of the mainstream but also swimming a bit against it. * * * * * * * If you’re curious, the author’s forecast is this: Next five years, very bumpy and scary, economic derailment possible but not likely. After 2015, if we survive these next five years, get ready for an economic boom (thanks largely to our huge superiority in computer technology) that we haven’t seen since post-WWII. * * * * * * * What’s a college degree worth? A fair amount, but not nearly as much as they want you to believe. Link.