We end 2009 on a quite dismal note. If u ignore the nonstop happy talk of the MSM and seive/sift beneath the layers of BS you will find a prostate country with record high UE, out of control public debt, record # of bankruptcies, record foreclosures, ect.
It has been questioned whether we are as bad off as the first great depression 80 years ago. Hard to judge as society has altered greatly and the US gov has become much more interwined in the economy with more active assistance to those who have fallen through the gaps.
10-15% of the population is now on food stamps, and the gov keeps extending UE benefits. Also the Fed is printing money non-stop and is throwing bailout money
at everything. At least the banking system appears to be more or less stabilized, with a chosen few mega-banks controlling the credit system, with the active(maybe sinister)assistance of the FED.
In CA( my home state), at least 50% of the population is receiving direct assistance(handouts) from the state and feds, whether in food stamps, section 8, healthcare subsidies(medicare/medical/healthy families),UE bennies, diability pmts,supplemental SS,amd probably a 100 other forms of direct aid.
A significant portion of this aid has to be supplemented by Obama stimulus funds as CA is plain broke and prostate. I will say more about CA being in dire straits in another post.
In sum, 2009 goes down as a bad year for Joe Public, especially with the dismal UE rate being at 17% U-6. Worse, credit has tightened severely and credit lines are severely constricted for both consumers and small businesses. 2009 was above all a deflationary year, a year of contraction. Everything contracted except maybe movie house receipts. In bad times folks flock to cheap entertainment such as movies in order to escape their bad economic predicament.