Between 1990 and 2005, the amount of retail space per capita in the U.S. doubled, from 19 to 38 square feet. In contrast, European countries generally have less than 10 square feet per person.
Mormons may be among the country's best prepared to weather the current economic hard times. Since the Great Depression, church leaders have preached a doctrine of self-reliance and selflessness, calling on members to plan for their own future while tending to the needs of others.
"It's a critical component of our theology," said Bishop David Burton, a senior church administrator who oversees the faith's worldwide welfare and humanitarian services programs.
Year's supply of emergency food
Members are encouraged to squirrel away a few months' worth of living expenses and stock a one-year supply of emergency food. Church handouts, classes and a Web site describe how to prepare, store and cook with emergency food supplies so nothing goes to waste.
No, let's face it. While 2009 could continue to be rocky, it can't get much worse than this, especially if Obama and the Democrats work some magic with a smoke and mirrors act to get people thinking positively.
Right now everyone is thinking negatively, and none of it is helped by our panicky government and its talk of economic meltdowns, food riots, martial law and other comments to freak out the citizenry.