Many are putting the blame on banks, middle class Americans, poor Americans, BIG company executives, etc., but I blame the 1980's TV Show "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous." Every week Robin Leach showed us what it was like to have a load of money. We gazed upon 24k gold chandeliers, staggering fleets of Lamborghinis and Rolls Royces, and bathroom fixtures that cost more than most people make in a year. Suddenly our Buick didn't look so great, our fluorescent kitchen light looked cheap and our rusty bathroom faucet was disgusting. We realized what we didn't have, and then had to have it, whatever the cost.
Now we are all learning the lesson that our grandparent knew, but we refused to believe. My grandma saved everything in plastic and secured it with a rubber band. I'm beginning to stock pile my rubber bands. "Champagne wishes and Caviar Dreams?" I say "Corona whims and potato chip aspirations." In other words, live simply and be happy.