My thoughts are about the basic structure of the economy.
1. If I understand correctly, here's your basic capitalism: a.) Consumers have money, b.) they spend this money on goods and services companies render, c.) companies use this money to expand and hire more workers, give raises, and generally put more money into the hands of consumers. Then we go back to point a.
So when someone says "the economy is bad," what part of this cycle is "sick," or "broken," or whatever?
2. I understand that the stock market has taken hits, but for the average American who lives on a steady paycheck from his employer, what has changed? He still gets X number of dollars a month, and the cost of goods hasn't gone up. In fact, gas prices have fallen a lot over the past few months, which has to help the bottom line for most Americans. Sure, multimillionaires who have wads of money invested in Wall Street have lost money, but it's all on paper. The only way they really "lose" it is if they cash out their stocks now.
Same goes for the average American's 401k. Unless they're cashing out now, they haven't lost anything.
And as of November the unemployment rate was 6.7%. For context, here's a graph showing national unemployment rates since 1950:
So we're not even as high as we were in 1993.
And in 1933, the last time we experienced a REAL depression, unemployment was at 24.9%. Now that's damaging.
So why the fear? Why the "sky is falling" rhetoric? If consumer confidence is a major contributor to economic well-being, why are the media outlets freaking everyone out?
That's about it. Personally, I'm not doing that well economically, butI think that has more to do with the fact that the journalism industry has been tanking for the last decade than it does the current "recession".