We are in the process of a paradigm shift, debt is not good, it is enabling, in the same way that a fake ID enables young kids to drink alcohol. We worry about Greece defaulting and low consumer confidence, but let us look at some factual things.
Since I have an amazing career at John Deere let me tell you about business. We can not find finite element structural analysis engineers. If you are looking send me an email. If the economy is so terrible why is it impossible to find anyone with FEA experience? Second we are hiring for our new Chinese construction and forestry operation and it is even harder to find FEA experience in China. India on the other hand is swimming in FEA experience. John Deere recently announced the new construction factories in Brasil worth something like $124 million. Third, we are having great orders for much of our equipment. Why the stock is down at 61 from 95+ a few months ago I don't know. (disclosure: I don't own any John Deere stock, but I plan to buy some within the next two years, perhaps as soon as this week although I don't have enough money to buy many shares at all right now.)
Things are not going to return to the way they were, at least I hope not. "Sustainable Growth" is 0.0% anything greater results in consuming the world eventually. We can not spend 101% of our income as a nation and expect to sustain that. Oh wait, that already collapsed. What necessitates a growing economy anyway? Why is a recession defined as two negative quarters instead of two quarters with growth of -3% or worse? What good can we do sweating the small stuff?
My advice, graduate with an engineering degree asap (and some FEA experience). If you are older, uneducated at the college level, or have a degree which only cuts you out for grad school, I have no advice. I suppose what you can do for yourself is come up with a value proposition for your career. What is my value proposition? Good question. Something like: capable of using his manufacturing experience from three companies and creativity from two patents pending along with an MS in materials science and BS in aerospace to create structures that are stronger, lighter, and thus more energy efficient than current products. Sounds good huh? All of that only took a minutes to come up with as well. If you can't come up with a reason to be hired instead of someone else you will have a more difficult time finding a job.
Finally, the iPhone 4S or 5 comes out today and orders will be huge! I realize that income distribution plays a part in Apple being so successful and that is part of the problem. I'm just saying that business and the economy is far better than a bunch of disconnect-with-business and disconnected-with-America media people and Wall Street people are saying. I probably listen to more NPR than them all as well.