I am reading The Great Inflation and It's Aftermath. The Past and Future of American Affluence by Robert J. Samuelson.
This is a book about the monetary inflation that took place between the mid 1960's and the early 1980's. The author proposes that this inflation is the force that created the mortgage banking practices that have been at the center of the mortgage meltdown that began in 2007. The same inflation shifted the relationship of American business with American labor. The inflation intensified a business tendency to move manufacturing abroad and shift domestic employment to shorter term relationships.
The Aftermath of the 20 year bout of inflation is the economic institutions we have at present ( I am writing in February 2009 ). These are very interesting times with downsizing, downstaffing, and extraordinary budget difficulties facing cities like Half Moon Bay, the local San Mateo County property tax supported government, local school districts. In my present work as a substitute ParaEducator, I am only working 60-70% of full time. And further, there has been an obvious jump in the prices of tires and food.
Against this backdrop, I have a friend who has aquired several 18 watt barebones PC computers. I simply can't see the economics of it but there should be a market for installation and consulting for people needing an alternate to proprietary desk top computing. If I work locally, I could use a freight cart for transporting replacement computers and supplies for doing networking and maintenance.