Okay, so...I have this theory.
The reason why the economy keeps going down instead of stagnating or going back up is because they keep telling us it's bad. And that it's going to get worse. So then, what do most people do if they're told things are going to go from bad to worse? They start stockpiling. This includes things such as money.
The plus: people are finally saving money.
The drawback: it means the economy is going to keep spiraling because people aren't buying shit any more.
Today our assistant city manager was telling us that sales tax revenue went down in the last 13 months. Well, yeah. No shit. You gave us pay raises that didn't even equal inflation so now we're effectively making less, which means we can't spend it on stuff. No wonder the sales revenue went down. But of course this mostly means that there's a good possibility that we won't get pay raises next year. Which makes us buy even less shit now because we're now going to try to save our money. Which will make the sales revenue go down even further.
See what a vicious cycle it is?
What they need to do instead? Tell us that they're optimistic that next year is going to be better and they're trying their darndest to make sure we get pay raises. Yes, it may be a bit Pollyannaish, but that's kinda the point isn't it? Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
Which brings me to the next random step of my Financial Independence thing. Step 6: Keep track of every penny that comes in and every penny that goes out. Track what you spend it on to see trends. Not that you'll necessarily cut anything, but usually just knowing that you have a weakness for soda from the vending machine may make you buy that $2.29 twelve pack instead of paying $9 for the same amount.