• Wanganui, New Zealand

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If Robert J. Samuelson’s prognosis in the Oct. 19 article “Our children’s future no longer looks so bright” is correct, then there is probably no better time to feel better about the future than when things look so dim.

The paradox of course is explained by changes in expectations, and it applies to “contrarian” investment strategies. Should the spread of the Occupy Wall Street protests around the world not signal that this is plausibly a time of change? Should we not appreciate that there has never been a better time to get online and organize with like-minded people. Tools like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus have given people more reason for greater hope, and the intellectual discourse open to people through chat, comments or letters to online newspapers opens up a startling choice of avenues.

To seek validation for one’s views as well as the capacity to organise, protest, proclaim one’s sovereign right to one’s own life, free of the coercive and tyrannical forces of the majority, or the political middlemen who purport to represent them.

It is indeed interesting that expectations were as low in the mid-1990s because that was prior to the government-induced economic miracle based on low interest rates and easy credit. Governments seduced the world with materialism … and now we carry the consequences. Ideas are important; the prosperity was a mirage.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

andrew sheldon

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