Sales of yachts in the United States were up 30% in the first quarter of the year, a sign that the world's wealthiest people are starting to spend freely again after hunkering down during the recession.
According to the Merrill Lynch survey, demand across luxury goods picked up in the second half of 2009, with the biggest share of what the bank describes as "investments of passion" being spent on collectibles including cars, yachts and jets.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up