Two-thirds of the American economy is driven by consumer spending. But with all the layoffs, the stock market's deep decline, and the housing market's implosion, consumers aren't really in the mood to spend. Consumer confidence is at an all time low. Even the people that haven't lost a job or a home are cutting back on spending. If we have money, we're paying down our credit card balances and building our savings accounts instead of buying stuff.
"Life temporarily assumes a more human pace. For a while, at least, we are not all rush-rush here and go-go there. We revert merely to talking on our cellphones while driving instead of talking and texting and trying to download pics of that sweet retro Harley we are thinking of buying with our bonus this year.
If we're not eating out as much, perhaps we're eating home more often, maybe even as families."