Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Ship Has Already Hit the Iceberg

Paul Smalera thinks we need to change our perspective on the current economic troubles.

It might sound like mere semantics, but granted hindsight, the "lost decade" already happened: It was the "last decade." Yet we talk as if we're on the cusp of the precipice, not over it.

Job creation over the past decade has mostly occurred in the service industries that catered to our consumption driven economy, not in the creation or rebirth of any major industry. That's what makes this a lost decade—and makes an accurate name important. Nearly every institution the average American leans on to build equity and wealth has already evaporated. Prevention is no longer possible.

By nearly every measure then—stocks, mortgages, credit, retirement, salaries, employment, GDP, trade—we have just lived the lost decade.