It's easy to get caught up in the doom and gloom promulgated by the press. While certainly we are operating in unprecidented times, it's important to place things in perspective. I came across this chart which may help you understand where we really are. There's no doubt that this mess will be with us for a long time. And short of a major modification in entitlement programs; a dramatic shrinking of government; and a major overhaul of our tax system, our grandchildren's grandchildren will be inheriting quite a debt. But we're no where near a depression and those of my readers who move forward with confidence will be rewarded.
It's times like these that I refer to what's become known a the Stockdale Paradox (Admiral Stockdale was the highest ranking POW of the Vietnam era, incarcerated and tortured for seven years), which is paraphrased below from Jim Collins, author of Good to Great.
"On the one hand, stoically accept the brutal facts of reality. On the other hand, maintain an unwavering faith in the endgame, and a commitment to prevail as a great company despite the brutal facts.
In a nutshell…act carefully, but keep the faith and keep on truckin'.