The future will not be an improved version of now..
More Deficit: The US trade deficit increased by 16% in July , the most in a decade. Imports were up 4.7% while exports were up but 2.2% (and down 22% y/y).
Walk, Don't Run: Everybody's excited, the customer cut outstanding debt by $21 billion in July. Or maybe the banks wrote off $21 billion in bad debts. Same effect on the outstanding amounts.
Load Shedding: Since the Fat Lady began singing, about the time Benevolent Ben took over, the US economy has had a net loss of 7 million jobs – while the labor force has increased by 12 million would-be workers. In August alone the numbered of employed dropped by over 980,000. The recovery would go smoother if we didn't have all these unemployed folks hanging around.
Up's & Down's: In 2008 the US poverty rate rose to encompass 13.2% of the population, 40 million Americans, while household incomes fell 3.6%. This data does not include 2009's increased unemployment.
Madame Ferdinand Jamin: A stock market propped up by government money, an economy propped up by borrowed stimulus spending, should not be mistaken for an economy showing growth, resurgence. The stimulus will sputter out, and with it the recovery. Calling something a rose doesn't make a beauty.
Sanctity of the Contract: A judge has ruled that the City of Vallejo, CA, could abrogate its union contracts, saving the city $860,000 over two years. Lawyers only charged the city $5 million to reach this victorious abrogation of workers' contracts.
Don't Bet On It: Another first: States' income from lotteries and casinos is declining. This does not bode well for programs that depend on gambling income for funding.
Ducks: No one knows what a recession is, when one starts or stops, except for the NBER folks , who know one when they see one. Likewise, depressions. How many points of similarity does today have to have with the Great One to be one? Do you hear that quacking?
Simple Math: In days of yore we'd figure out how much we needed to buy a car, a vacation, an appliance, and then we'd set up some envelopes and every week put money aside until we had enough saved up. Then came credit cards and we just got the stuff and still put money into little envelopes – but now they had stamps and we were paying interest, not earning it. Twenty years of that and now we're maxed out. If we go back to cash, scrimp and save, we'll have the $14,000 balance paid off in four years – if the car doesn't break down...
Mysteries of Life: Despite man's best efforts, some things remain a mystery beyond explanation or understanding. Acupuncture, for example. Women and shoes. And stock markets. Especially stock markets.
P0rn O'Graph: The consumer learns to just say 'no'.