I'm not sure how long this kind of thing can continue before there's a serious social rupture. I've been predicting revolution for a decade, though, and we haven't gotten to that point yet, so maybe I'm just a pessimistic doomsayer. But this really illustrates to me the complete failure of free-market capitalism and a society based almost entirely on luxuries. From the linked article:
Employers cut 51,000 positions from their payrolls, and the economy has now lost jobs every month in 2008, a total of 463,000 fewer positions now than in December.That's half a million jobs vanished in nine months. The only reason that can happen is because there are half a million people employed in non-essential pursuits--as almost all of us are. We are a nation of nonsense. None of it matters, and it's built on illusions. Now the magicians are closing up shop and we're going to be left helpless, useless, and defenseless.
But not only are jobs disappearing--the costs of existing are on the rise. From the same WaPo article:
The new data show how ordinary Americans are being squeezed from almost every direction. Food and fuel are more expensive, homes are less valuable, credit is harder to get, and it is increasingly difficult to get a job or a raise.
I'm telling you, this can't continue. There will be violence soon. Violence on a large scale. People can only take so much, and I'm afraid we're nearing that point.
And on a personal note: Those 463,000 missing jobs are sure to complicate my ability to achieve any kind of material stability.