10.2%

The unemployment numbers are awful and, at the same time, wildly understate the depth of the employment problem. So where do we go from here? John Mauldin lays out the options. Note that all the options are grim and painful. Note also that several options are highly improbable due to the lack of political will in both parties. It looks like we’re in for years of pain, higher taxes, and reduced standards of living. Under the rosiest scenario, the Republicans will gain political control and ultimately get it fixed in 5 to 10 years. Under the worst scenario, the Democrats will maintain control and our condition will be perpetual, if not actually worsening. Reality is somewhere in between, so I think counting on a “lost decade” similar to Japan’s is the most likely outcome.

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