5. The rich are not like other people. They're not smarter. They're not happier. They just know how the game is played and, for the most part, what to do to stay there. Sometimes everybody forgets that the whole thing is designed to keep the powerful in power and the rich in their McMansions, and the People are sold the idea that everybody can have their Baby Benz. And for a while, everybody sort of gets high on the idea that capitalism is a populist enterprise. It's not. It's for just a few lucky souls and manipulative hedgers and, really, the rest of us should just buckle down behind our plows and keep our pennies in that coffee can by the window ledge. We'll forget that, of course, as soon as the markets simmer down. Then the Ralph Kramden side of us will once again emerge from the closet where it's been whimpering for the last 18 months, and we'll all be back in the hunt for the next mystery appetizer. 6. The press is the running dog of the system. Of course there are exceptions. But in general the media covers the winners and puts a nice shine on their helmets. What you read is what they get. Now that there are fewer reporters than ever, and more blogspit in the machine, everything will only get worse in this regard. Right now, even at the height of our troubles, the food chain goes from security analyst and quote monkey straight to the wires and blogs and directly to you. And you read it and think whatever occupies your brain pan for the most recent five minutes.
7. Be careful who you insult while they're on their way down. They will either rise up one last time, like Carrie's dirt-encrusted fist from the grave, and pull you down with them, or they will meet you as they are on the way back up and chew your head off now that they can. Those in need of proof on this subject need only consider two short words: John Thain. 8. Nothing lasts forever. Not good times, and not bad times, either. And nobody knows when whatever train we're on will arrive at the next station. Not nobody. Anybody who tells you they do is smoking something. You can either ask for some of what they've got or ignore them entirely, depending on how you're feeling or what day of the week it might happen to be. 9. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Particularly when somebody else is picking up the check.