IF I was a perma bear and didn't have an optimistic outlook on life, I could get depressed. The Fed's "beige book" shows the US economy is still stuck in the mud, making very slow progress. Unemployment claims show over 400K new job losses week after week. Millions of homeowners are underwater - stuck in houses where they owe more than the house is worth. States are cutting back as their golden egg (the high income person) has gone away. The Federal government is unable to do anything correctly; a huge tax increase is looming in 2010.
Public debates are reduced to sloganeering; no critical discussions are held to try to resolve major issues. Companies have huge cash balances, but are afraid to invest in growth. The Federal stimulus was squandered. Big banks suck all the money in communities to speculate in trading on Wall Street. Monstrous new federal laws on health care and financial "reform" seem to create more troubles and uncertainly.
Is anything being done to truly help the common man and woman ? No. Federal mortgage modification programs were a sham - a propaganda fillip to the masses to help Nancy & Harry & Obama look good. More people are pushed into the cash economy by onerous bank rules on simple things like checking accounts. Looting of those in hardship by payday lenders & check cashing services is rampant and when stopped in one place, spreads to others like auto title loans. Congress and the government do nothing until problems hit the press. Why ? Because the Ruling Class has no idea what's going on in the streets and small towns.
The IRS plans onerous new rules on business, to require 1099 forms be filed for EVERY transaction over a certain size. So if one buys a computer from Dell in a few years, one will soon have to file a 1099 for that. More paperwork clogging the system ! That rule alone is monstrous and its consequences will be huge.
Much of the world is doing fine. Demand for real estate loans in Europe is growing. Emerging markets are reaching critical mass in demand internal to themselves, and rely less on the US & Europe for orders. The US is still a bastion of liberty in the world. People in the US are coping and doing small things to improve themselves and their lives. People living in freedom seem to unleash an innate desire to improve their lives, to grow their economies and make small, incremental improvements in all aspects of their lives. That's what is keeping the US economy going. Not government. The PEOPLE.
Government - get out of the way and stop trying to control the people. If government won't become part of the solution, the PEOPLE need to kick the knaves out. This November they have a chance. Stay focused and vote only for HONEST leaders. Meanwhile, one can't solve every problem at once, but one can solve them one at a time. Stick to that and cope.
Word of the Day
"Inure" - verb [$10]
Inure means 1. (transitive; often in passive; followed by 'to') accustom (a person) to something, especially unpleasant; 2. (intransitive, Law) come into operation, take effect.
Sentence: If and when the new IRS 1099 rules inure, small business in the US will suffer immensely under a new mountain of red tape.