I feel like the past economic cycle was a shadow cycle. From 2003 till now, we have basically gone nowhere. Well, we dug the debt hole a little (or a lot) deeper. We went through an economic 'upturn' that created remarkably few jobs, saw flat to down real wage growth, and was sustianed on a very temporary basis by the unsustainable rise in home prices and corresponding removal of equity from said homes. (You should ask yourself who owns your mortgage. If you own your home free and clear, then you shoudl ask who owns your neighbors mortgage because only about one in three homeowners are mortgage free.) Are we in a better position than we were six years ago? Do you feel like America has properly positioned itself for long-term success?
I realize it's a loaded time to ask such questions with companies hemorrhaging jobs, at least one iconic car manufacturer on the verge of disappearing as we know it, and financial companies that are amazingly 'profitable', but that's only because they took your money under threat of jail. (Hey, it's your tax dollars and if you want to know what happens when you don't pay them, you should ask Wesley Snipes. This is why you do NOT always bet on black. Oh yes, I did just work in a Passenger 57 reference.)
Yes, it's all down right now, but we can choose how long this lasts, but that choice may decide how soon we find ourselves down again.