You can't take two steps these days without running into somebody who's been laid off — or is planning to be. Suddenly, we're all transformed from grasshoppers into ants, and the only markets we're betting on are the aisles at Costco. Some of us aren't quite old enough to remember those high school home-economics classes where girls learned how to sew a muumuu out of fabric scraps or bake a pie with a couple of dollars' worth of flour, lard, and sugar, but such quaint skills are feeling a lot more practical every day. My neighbors down the block have already traded in their hulking, flame-red Hummer for a tiny, lemon-colored Smart Car — I kid you not — and when they're not bitching about the price of gasoline, my friends are all bending my ear about the cuts they're planning to make in their... More >>>