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©2011 by Richard Nolle

WOW!JAN 3, 2011 - Economic Optimism? is way more than what the title suggests. Reading this brief essay by John Tierney is an antidote not only for worries about the economy in the short term, but for the gloom and doom projections onto the future to which we are all prone now and then. (Some more than others.) Over thirty years ago, I wrote an article for Dell Publishing Company's HOROSCOPE magazine, remarking on the strange human tendency to project our own mortality onto our whole world. It's as if we take umbrage at the knowledge that we will someday die, and get some comfort from the notion that our very planet will also die. "Take that, world - if I'm gonna croak, so will you!" If that sounds silly, you've managed to tune out all the Cassandras who are always prophesying doom upon our civilization, our species, our planet, whatever. The next time you hear one of those bozos bloviating like that, do the smart thing: bet 'em they're wrong. As Tierney points out, it's a winning proposition. And as far as those end-of-the-worlders go, I always try to sucker 'em into a bet. I figure that, on the phantasmagorically unlikely chance they're right, we're all dead and I don't have to pay. And if this sounds like an abstract principle, remember: anything at all good in this life - from falling in love to having children to starting a business or any other kind of investing - is a bet on the future. So do the smart thing: bet on the future. And take the money from the suckers who bet against it. Yeah, bad things happen. Good things happen too.

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