Looking at my Yahoo! Finance page this morning, I see the 10 year yielding 1.941%, the S&P 500 down 2.49% and growing talk of an insolvent Europe facing the collapse of the Euro currency regime.
Take a moment and think back to 1999. If someone had told you that in 2011 the 10 year would be below 2%, that the DJIA, S&P and NASDAQ would have not made any net gains over that time, that rumors would be swirling about the imminent destruction of the Euro, that the U.S. would be fighting multiple wars overseas and that the U.S. debt would be over $14.5 trillion - what would your impression have been about what life would be like for an everyday citizen of the U.S. in that far-away year?
Tough times are coming. Hell, tough times are here for the over 16% of the population un- or under-employed. Things will get rougher in politics, society, the media and religion. You think people are angry and polarized now? Well, just wait.
Knowing worse is to come, take some comfort from the fact that even with the foreknowledge of rough times to come, it does not mean that life will be unbearable, or "nasty, brutish and short." Keep your head about you as we ride this wave down. There will be plenty of opportunities to do good to a neighbor, to learn a skill, to invest in your community and to maybe even plant the seeds of future wealth.