My father lost his father in the Spanish influenza epidemic in 1918. His mother remarried and his mother and step-dad used the proceeds of a insurance policy, left to my then infant father by his father, to purchase a house. During the depression they took in boarders ($5 a week room and board) and his step father tried to find work in his trade - carpentry. The step-dad built a tool chest on wheels and was often gone for weeks at a time pulling his cart and looking for work. Finally, it was too much for him and he took his own life ... leaving behind an insurance policy to repay my then @ 12 year-old dad. It was a bitter time. Folks who lived through it have never forgotten.
I'm not trained in economics. I'm not sure what the future holds. But the signs are troubling and getting worse rather than better...in my opinion.
Unemployment percentages are a way of hiding the meaning of unemployment. It's a lot less alarming to say X% than to point out that over 9 million Americans are unemployed and to not mention that, assuming many of these folks have dependents, there are perhaps 15-20 million people without any way to pay their bills and eat and keep a roof over their heads.
Mortgage interest rates are headed down. If you have the means and good credit, loans are available for significantly under 4%. Housing sales are off something like 30%. Energy prices are going up. Tomatoes...not the fancy "ugly ripe" heritage ones...just plain tomatoes were $2.49/lb today at the HT...in the middle of summer.
So many states are in the red I can't count all of them...and it's measured in $Billions in every state. We (New Hanover County) voters approved a small increase in the local sales tax to save our libraries...and the county said "thanks" and promptly raised our property tax.
Meanwhile, Congress can't seem to extend unemployment benefits...and even tho Obama announced $2 Billion in renewable energy funding, it was nothing compared to the $33 Billion funded to keep the war going in Afghanistan. Add the death and suffering and it's beyond despicable.
My guess...we're on the thin and crumbling edge of a serious depression. Your thoughts?