There is probably more to be learned from the Amish than we know.
I can only guess (Please excuse the ignorance) but after seeing a couple of websites selling expensive quilts and furniture, that these people are capable of (in theory at least) a high earning potential. They would have to buy matierials for these industries from other sources, hinting at an economy that is more sophisticated than it would appear or claim to be (but I don't really know).
Anyway, I'm sure its as close to the 1800's as is practical under present day circumstances. And they obviously have come as close to being satisfied with it, (or in general) as anyone could.
Satisfaction... an interesting , alien concept to me, as an American. Lack of satisfaction causes innovation, perhaps technical advance. This leads to unsustinable ecological destruction if pursued to its logical conclusion on a large scale (Unless I've missed the point of recent history).
Gasp. Is this what Ghosttowns.com is here for? The secret message behind it all? That civilization is headed toward...
That we should begin documenting its progress, while its still functioning, so we can capture this living history in the making.
Then we might see what Robert Crumb imagined when he did "A history of America"
and the epilogue