After the past 8 years, the world just became flat

We are in the process of building a new place to live.  It is an ongoing joke among our kids about the variety of real estate projects we have taken under.  I have been thinking a lot about our beach house and what we should do.  The kids want to bring more and more friends, I am happy if they bring 3 friends each, it is just a matter of where does everyone sleep.  The kids were making fun.  Why don't you buy a house, gut it, renovate, spend three years on it but keep to schedule.  Ha, ha.  What can I say?  I love the process.

As I begin to drill into the world of furniture and fabrics much has changed over the past 8 years.  Italian companies, where a lot of the high end goods are made used to cater more to the Americans.  For instance, the stock fabrics were geared towards American tastes.  So where a flannel used to be one of the stock fabrics, now it is gold lame.  Why?  Because the Italians as well as other high end furniture and fabrics companies have realized that as the dollar weakens and America is no longer the pillar of strength, the majority of their customers are coming from other places like South America, Germany, Japan and even Russia.

Last year, when we were skiing and went down to the area to collect our skis, I said to the kids "just listen".  What we heard were languages from all over the world.  We ( that would be our family and other Americans ) represented about 20% of the people there.

Although this is a small glimpse of the world it is a tiny window into the post 9/11 world thanks to the Bush administration.  Our dollar is weak so our purchasing power is weak.  Countries all over the world are frustrated with the my way or the highway ethos.  Maybe or maybe not but I believe all of this has created a flatter world.

Change, I hope, is coming with the next election.  Hopefully a new vision but I believe the flat world is here to stay. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. ellen

    Have you noticed along with the taste change that certain imported building goods have skyrocketed? Never mind the price of domestic plywood has gone up to Fifty dollars a sheet but certain marbles and granites and other stones that were reachable are getting way out of line. The middle market in home building has died but the building products prices have not tumbled because lots of things are imported.

    I don’t understand why procell and other pvc cellular wood like azek are so expensive. Most of that stuff comes from China or India. I am ripping out my deck and because of my age I want maintenance free so I thought azek. There is no reason for the decking to be 3 times the price of some woods. Never mind the railing system. I haven’t even gotten a quote on that yet.

  2. Brad

    I can understand frustration with an increase in the price of imported goods, but what is wrong with more foreigners vacationing in our country.
    It’s good for the travel and tourism business.

    Also the weak dollar has allowed us to export a lot more than we have in the past.

    The fall of the dollar and weakening of America as a super power around the world has little to do with Bush and his policies, and more to do with the “rise of the rest”. America will inevitably recover, whomever is elected President, and will remain the leading superpower for decades to come, but will have to contend with rapidly emerging economies around the world.