The Amish Bust


You'd think the one group of people in America who would have remained unscathed by the economic collapse would be the Amish. You'd think they might even have relished it a little — snickering at their looms and shaking their heads at their barn-raisings about how the godless, materialistic English had at last had their comeuppance, and crowing about how none of this would ever have happened if we'd all embraced a simpler lifestyle like they do. But as it turns out, the Amish were binging on luxury goods just as much as the rest of us during the boom years, an Amish father of four named Mervin Lehman (no relation) tells the Journal:

People wanted bigger weddings, newer carriages," Mr. Lehman says. "They were buying things they didn't need."

Such as?

Some Amish families had bought second homes on the west coast of Florida and expensive Dutch Harness Horses, with their distinctive, prancing gait. Others lined their carriages in dark velvet and illuminated them with battery-powered LED lighting.

Unhappily for us all, things fell apart before MTV caught wind of this and started a show called Pimp My Carriage, and now the Amish are getting back to basics. But we know how these things go: There's always a next time.

A Bank Run Teaches the 'Plain People' About the Risks of Modernity [WSJ]