Comment from yesterday's post:
"My retirement account is down 72% My business is down 98.4% I am earning 1/3 of what I was in 2007. My savings are gone and I have sold everything that isn't bolted down. I only know seven people who are working full-time. Exactly seven. Without the government spending the equivalent of 11% of GDP the GDP is securely in negative territory and has been for some time. Depression? From where I stand, most definitely. This is old news.
Not to highjack this thread, but what do you Fools see as the industry that will pull us out of this mess?"
Not hijacking the thread at all; this is the point. Sounds like you have some real personal experience with what is going on and have a lot to offer from your perspective. Thanks for sharing what is obviously a tough point in time. It is easy to theorize and gripe, but it is a whole different story when you are experiencing these tough times first-hand.
As to your question on what industry can or will pull us out of this mess, that is pretty tough to pinpoint. I asked a question on our IV boards the other day about whether folks think it is jobs or housing that is going to pull us out. It seems like housing cannot get better without people having the jobs to make the payments. But housing made up such a large part of the workforce before it tanked that a lot of those jobs just haven't come back and probably won't come back in as large numbers as before.
So is it tech? Is is healthcare? Consumer? I gotta believe that the consumer is going to be a big part of this. But remember, the 70% regarding consumer spending in relation to GDP includes a lot of stuff that might not be just consumer "discretionary" spending. There are plenty of healthcare expenses included in this figure for example (both government-related and insurance-related), so it is not like we just need people to go out and buy TVs, iPhones and laptops (though that will help). But again, the last thing we need is people going out and running up more debt.
It has to be a mix of a few things I guess. We need people living within their means before anything can truly get better. There needs to be cooperation between the governement and the private sector for sure.
So bottom line, I cannot say that there is one sector in particular that will bring things back up. Though I am certain that when housing improves, things will seem a lot better. But to get there, we need jobs. Where do the jobs come from? With the creative destruction inherent in a "free-market" economy, we have to take the bad with the good. It will certainly help to promote small-businesses in this type of environment. They (sounds like you are part of this) are the risk-takers and the folks that really keep the economy humming. Once we can return the incentive for the risk-takers to create and take risks, new ideas will come and new market/products will form.