Now I'm just speculating here, so bear with me if you don't mind. But I can't help believing the following rationale isn't at least plausable. After the 1960's technology rapidly began to take the place of labor in America. We began to produce more, with much less labor/jobs. As we entered the 1980's the writing was clearly on the wall...at least for our brightest Corp and Gov't minds. They foresaw what was coming, and it wasn't pretty. We were on the precipace of our economic decline and they knew what most regular folks didn't. So our gov't and corp leaders conspired to "Artificially pump-up our economy" so that Americans would "spend our way to prosperity". And thus we transformed from a producer nation to a "consumer nation". At the same time, these same gov't/corp minds knew that we'd have a financial crisis with gov't pensions since the pool of money wasn't large enough to sustain the number of people in the system. But by transforming our nation into a "consumer driven" economy, the markets would benefit and boom. then our state & local gov'ts could invest and ride that wave to inflate the pension funds, and help private employees entered into that new phenominom called "The 401K". Of course Corp America LOVED this plan as they watched their sales and stock values skyrocket upward, upward. Hell, we all loved it! Then 1999 came and it all seemed to tumble and crumble. I'd bet my house that our gov't and corp leaders panicked. But then they came up with the idea of infating the real estate markets. Now that would just inject steroids into our new consumer-driven economy and give all of us the continued illusion we were becoming wealthier still! And it worked, didn't it? Greed has the effect of placating the vast majority of the human race...myself included. Now maybe someone else has already written or thought of what I've just posted here. I'm not that bright to believe that I'm the first. I'm just a little frustrated that I didn't see it all coming long ago since I'm trained to see these these things. Whatever...I was as naive as anyone else and I didn't have a clue. I now know that "artificially inflating" our economy isn't good for us. Massive growth isn't good for us either. I was duped and I don't want to be duped again. I'd like to read our members opinions on what I just wrote. Do you believe it was all done on purpose (ponzi-scheme)? Do you feel betrayed as I do?