So much for hope: We're apparently not exactly feeling it. A new poll indicates that a record number of Americans think the country is headed toward a depression -- with a capital D. I joined Gretchen Carlson for a Fox News Channel "Power Panel" Thursday to discuss just why we're so bummed out by the one-two punch of unemployment and foreclosures. And, they're not mutually exclusive -- the new number one reason for foreclosures is not subprime mortgages. It's losing your job.

And the malaise is broader. Even if you're worried about losing your job or are underemployed, that's enough. After all, fear is the hallmark of depression. Plus, even if you're not officially "under water," your feet are probably a little wet. Your nest egg is worth a goose egg. Not having the fallback position of being able to sell the house "if we ever really needed to" is unsettling. It's just not that liquid an asset in the clutch.

How unsettled you are is relative, and some economic Prozac may be in order. What's striking about the poll is they didn't just throw the term depression out there. They actually preceded the poll question by explaining just how bad the first one was: 1 in 4 workers were unemployed, banks failed and millions were temporarily homeless and unable to feed their families. Even when banks were failing and there was a knee-jerk reaction to race to the ATM machine for cash in 2008, the poll numbers were better. If you look at the data across polls, pessimism seemed to pick up when gas prices started to rise.

As Peter Goodman, executive editor of Huffington Post Business points out, Americans don't need government reports and abstract data to get this ... it's visceral. They feel it in their bones. Forget "Morning in America." The economy -- in Arianna's words -- feels more like "Permanent Darkness."

President Obama seems -- even for a guy who prides himself on being cool under pressure -- to lack a sense of urgency. It is, as noted by Ben Feller, hard to imagine he's going to hit his 8% unemployment rate goal anytime soon.

The only silver lining for Obama will be if it is not as bad as expected. If things are tight come 2012, but not as tight as you feared they'd be. If happiness really is reality divided by expectations, here's hoping the numerator picks up in the form of job growth, because our expectations (the denominator) appears to be heading toward zero. And, dividing by zero is -- fittingly -- impossible.

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Paul Puckett

Interesting point of view and well-written article. I would like to contact you by email to discuss the issues raised in your article. My email address is

July 07 2011 at 4:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What's Chitnneys up to these .

June 21 2011 at 4:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

BTW, Google The Foreclosure Defense Handbook. Quite interesting.

June 21 2011 at 2:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

bestsolutionsfl said...
There are presently 8 to 12 million home owners in trouble,defaulting,defaulted or soon to be defaulting.
The worlds "braintrusts" have stated that recovery MUST
come to the housing market and housing prices Must be stabalized.The Fed Chairman stated,when asked how
much money would be lost?,answered,we will only know that after the housing market is stabilized.
ALL 8 to 12 million homes can be stabilized,and can become a 100% asset based AAA note.At NO
cost to the taxpayer.Rather at a profit for the taxpayer.
Just by using legislation already in place with a modification.
THEY SOLVED THE PROBLEM with the "Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008"
It simply has to be implimented....not as a guarantee for profit making bank,but rather Fereral Reserve Banks
making the loans with low interest rates...AFFORDABLE that is..
and MAKE 100% of the ASSET AS THE GUARANTEED LOAN!(NOT % of age)
The Fereral Reserve Bank will be the lender !
The worlds "braintrusts" have stated that recovery MUST
come to the housing market and housing prices Must be stabalized.The Sect. of Treas. (then Paulson) stated when asked how
much money would be lost?,answered we will only know that after the housing market is stabilized.
The " NEW" "Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008" would create over 4 million jobs in construction and real estate,as well as pay off the NATIONAL DEBT.Let the taxpayers make the profit ! The interest returned could pay off the national debt.
Who would like to challange a plan that:
...makes all homeowners current
and all gladly paying the mortgage
...get the lender 100% of Fair Market Value.
...NO more foreclosures
..No cost to the taxpayers with a bonus of "profit"

bestsolutions at aol

June 20 2011 at 7:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why does everyone seem surprised ?The answer to the present dilemma is to quote Hank Paulson, interviewed by FOX News, was asked, " of the $737 Billion TARP money how much...will be lost?"Mr Paulson answered, "WE WILL NOT KNOW UNTIL THE HOUSING CRISIS IS RESOLVED"
Perhaps,it was too good to be true,because they have done EVERYTHING else but resolve that issue.They tried giving billions to banks,but they,the banks, used that money to make money (can you believe that..banks using low cost money to make money instead of fixing a problem ? )
THE SOLUTION: will stabilize prices : increase employment and lower the national debt.
Mr. Ben Bernanke ,Chairman of the FRB has shown us the way.With the use of QE1 and QE2 ,he has used the US Treasury to print money that when properly used does not cause inflation and does not increase the national debt.Money that does not go into the money supply becomes money that is not an exchangeable commodity.The newly printed money was used to purchase an asset (US Treasury Bonds) and as long as they are held by the US Treasury there is no demand on these funds.?Noble Prize Material ??
QE3 is the possible "solution to the present financial crisis.

The Federal Reserve Bank is to purchase ALL "underwater loans,Toxic loans and foreclosures at Fair Market Value plus 10%.The FRB will use...QE3...for up to $10 trillion dollars and make new residential loans.
This is an immediate solution to the housing crisis! creates some 4 million jobs in construction and real estate .And as crazy as you might think it would reduce the national debt .

The FRB with QE3 money will underwrite ALL new loans with a special assumable mortgage
with a 36 year term with an interest rate @3% and to qualify you must have paid taxes for two years and showed earnings that would allow the LOW AFFORDABLE MONTHLY PAYMENT.A $100,000 mortgage would be less than $600 per month for PRIN + INT.
Taxpayers bailout for Taxpayers by Taxpayers
These loans would provide a $10 trillion dollar TAXPAYER PROFIT! Goodbye NATIONAL DEBT.No increase in debt because notes will be assets marked to value.
They would kill if nesessary , rather then lose the $20 trillion profit they would make from the present bussiness model.
Mr. Bernanke can do this QE3.State Banks are taxpayer owned and are for taxpayers to make and retain any profit.The Federal Reserve Bank has and even GREATER option for
the taxpayers.Taxpayers helping taxpayers and by paying interest in turn paying taxpayers.
No income tax,just taxpayers paying interest on money borrowed from the FRB !
???Residential loans....$3 Tillion profit??

June 20 2011 at 7:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

...For those who are at least open to learn something that may be new and unfamiliar, do their own research, and come to their own conclusions. The content and various topics (on the left-hand side of the web pages) to click on and read are absolutely free. Are you really free?????? Read the topics from the link, below, and you be the judge.

Without prejudice, reserving all Unalienable God-given rights, powers, and privileges waiving none ever. In My correct capacity as beneficiary of the original jurisdiction.

June 20 2011 at 6:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thanks, Obama! (For the lousy economy.)

June 15 2011 at 3:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Shop american, and only american. Try it for one month. What do u think will happen if the demand for american goods go up? In other words, what would happen if you were in control of yourself. Anybody old enough to remember when someone would be talking about a new gadget they had, and a friend says, oh yea!, we make those where I work!! Don't hear that much anymore.
America is no longer appreciating in value. There is no chance that we are getting out of debt if left up to the powers. Only american consumers can fix that problem. You still have a choice. I would love to see all americans simply buy american for one month. What do u think would happen if five million GM cars/Trucks were sold in one month? GM would pay back the govermnment, thats what would happen. Oh, wow! Who knew??? Quit whining about whoes fault this is and use your energy to fix it. Only we have that power. Invest in america. (Thats what china is doing.......)
Also we are so manipulated in this country by big business. Example; When you walk down the corridor of many airports, your reaction to advertisements on the walls is being monitored by video. That info is then used by marketeers to manipulate your behavior to buy what they know u already like. Most shoppers buy on emotion. Like stepping on a trip wire. When u buy a sale item at the grocery store, like pop or canned goods, the store monitors these sales and makes every attempt to change your behavior so u will buy expensive items too, not just whats on sale. Sales are nothing but bait to reel u in. Lets quit being manipulated in this country. Its time for a peaceful rebellion. Imagine that: buying american like its almost illegal!!

June 14 2011 at 9:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Give people who are self employed a break in refinancing their homes . Instead of 1st home buyers all the breaks. Sad to limit achievers in opportunities. That is what is going on in the realestate business. Shame on you!!!!

June 13 2011 at 8:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Its too bad large corporations are not required to choose either higher corporate taxes or the insourcing of jobs.

June 13 2011 at 5:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gberes7's comment

Either ignore opportunities to maximize the efficiency of your operation, or we'll steal your resources? Brilliant!

June 13 2011 at 8:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Trevor's comment

They might steal from for you. After all, you are really really dumb. The rest of us deal with corporations on a voluntary basis. Since we aren't really really dumb, we only transact with a corporation to the extent we value what we receive more than we value what we are required to give.

June 13 2011 at 10:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down