There is a sense that there are not too many effective tools left in the government toolbox. The era of frugality is back. Today it is not a stock market or residential real estate crash but a crash in confidence that will constrain the effectiveness of public policy and have long-lasting impacts on the consumer and, thus, on the economy. The historic American optimism has dramatically eroded. The Great American Dream is no longer a house in the suburbs. It is now a secure job, but almost any job will do.
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