The western world is definitely feeling some economic hard times...and it may very well be here for a while. But I wanted to put things into perspective by using some common English sayings and their respective sources, mainly from about a few hundred years ago (got this from an email forward):
1) In the olden days, the floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, "Dirt poor."
2) In the olden days, they used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot and then once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery. If you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor"
3) But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot. They "didn't have a pot to piss in" and were the lowest of the low.
Is this where our society is headed? Perhaps we all have to live within our means, and then we won't get there - where society used to be in the middle ages. I believe that the main issue is that the developed economies have largely "outsourced" production to emerging economies and have kept "spending" in-house - as the source of most of the economic base. We need to bring back production on developed country's shores. How? Not via government taxation, protectionism and other forms of government control (which is much scarier than the recession), but through individual responsibility. We should all live within our means.