Laura is demoralized. I’m feeling luckier every day personally, but I’m seeing signs of “things are not so good” around me. A neighbor lost a job he held for nearly 20 years. The discount grocer around the corner is going out of business. A guy on the corner was advertising that they’re selling off even the fixtures. Old Navy reduced its square footage, giving over a chunk to the defunct nail salon next door. Involvement? I’m as bad as the rest. I do read the papers. I pay attention to who to vote for, but I do not go to the meetings–council meetings, school board meetings, etc. I do sometimes download the minutes. I’m with a lot of Laura’s commenters. I feel disempowered. Nothing I did helped anything. I didn’t cause nor could I prevent the financial meltdown. My family and I have been lucky to avoid much of the fallout. Tenure and being in a good field has saved my husband’s job. Hard work and being in the right place at the right time landed me a job. The real estate in our area has been remarkably resilient. We lost money in our 401k’s but have time to rebuild them. A lot of our money was in a basic savings account, which isn’t gaining much, but didn’t lose anything either. We mostly lived within our means. I feel lucky. Really, really lucky. And I feel terrible for people on the other side of that luck.