• Got a job?  Count yourself lucky.  America’s latest employment report showed a loss of 263,000 jobs and a posted unemployment rate of 9.8%.  This is the worst jobs reading that we have seen since June 1983.  To give you some perspective, America would need to churn out 125,000 jobs just to keep pace with population growth.  Sadly, this is probably the new norm we will be facing for a while: Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was quoted as saying that unemployment would likely persist above the 9% level through all of 2010.

    But what does 9.8% unemployment really translate to?  If we add in all of the unemployed workers who acquiesced to taking part-time work or have given up the search completely, that number would be closer to 17% of the eligible American workforce.  Now, pile on top of that those who show up to work every day and wonder if their job will still be waiting for them.

    Add it all up, and I don’t know exactly how many you get.  But I’d guess it’s something to the tune of a helluvalot.

    Our current saving grace: non-existent inflation.  Keeping prices stable goes a long way towards im­proving international trade and getting household spending back up and rolling.  If we begin to see inflation ticking upwards, though, it will become a two-front war.  And that is a scenario we as a coun­try cannot afford right now.

    Okay, I don’t mean to be a downer, but I do want to effectively communicate the gravity of what is happening out there.  This is big deal.  This is worth your attention.  It is my sincere hope that these newsletters I put out get your gears turning and get you to make some important decisions about your family’s financial trajectory.  I hope you’re taking pride in your work.  I hope you’re trying to mitigate debt.  I hope you’re planning for the worst and expecting the best.  I hope you are appreciating all the many boons in your life with a renewed sense of fervor.

    Yes, there’s a lot of fear out there, and for good reason.  But fear without action is just a way to make yourself fat.  I don’t know if the actions our government is taking is the right recipe needed to get us out of this.  Here’s a tip: neither do you.  Here’s another tip: even if you DID know, it wouldn’t make a lick of difference.  What matters is YOU.  What actions are YOU taking to increase your value?  What discipline are YOU putting yourself through to become leaner and meaner at what it is you do? 

    Congrats to Rio de Janeiro on getting the 2016 Olympic Summer games.  Now, if they can just coordi­nate an army to do Capoeira moves in perfect synchronicity a la China, I’ll be officially impressed.

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