Renewed prosperity seems uncoupled from renewed confidence, and a shaken America timorously steps into the new future of uncertainty. The official storyline of the economic recovery began in 2009 almost as soon as the stock market lost half its value, and masses of unemployed people listened to cheery reports that the recession was over because businesses said it was over. “Technically, the economy had already escaped the grip of recession,” one wit said in September 2009
, while unemployment surged to 10%. With waning confidence in our institutions and leaders to guide us, people seem to be at a loss to define a shared future of abundance and beauty. Insidious corrosion has eaten it away in all the traditional places, and a sea change is slowly shifting the character of this country towards a new and different future.