Recession, recession, recession. And perhaps even depression, depression and ditto. Everywhere you look, every newspaper you read and on almost every broadcast outlet every day, the same thing.
There's the agony of job losses and company closures. It hurts, all this - but quite possibly there's something precious we might be ignoring while it's happening. For a start the recession signals the end of Far Right economics which drove a rich/poor wedge into societies, recruited the corporate press as cheerleaders and reduced debate to mumbo jumbo over economic statistics and the movements of share indices. So R.I.P the New Right, and good riddance.
What this long overdue exit has delivered is a concept which many of us yearned for through all the barren years of the economic priesthood. It was simple. It was community. It was us. Its values of co-operation and sharing ran directly against those of the defunct orthodoxy which emphasised competition, individualism, money and Me.
Now instead of that there's a possibility of seeking out the new Us, the new We which has to face an insecure future. History is a good guide. History shows how much neighbours co-operated to get by in the Great Depression. The Great Society produced the great middle class in which babyboomers grew up. At the time, America's President FDR set the tone for recovery. Seventy-four years on, President Obama is doing the same, consistently emphasising our connectedness as citizens.
There is, as some observers have already pointed out, no time to waste. The other side of the promise of these times is the prospect of widespread social upheaval and some academics have begun to track the incidence of riots in places as different as Iceland and China.
The legacy of the rich/poor divide propelled in part by globalisation, doesn't help. The Irish Times reported four years ago that 500 individuals world-wide have a combined income greater than that of 416 million people. Given that the recession hits those on low incomes worst, the possibility of social unrest can't be ignored.
But if we make the transition peacefully to older, more enduring values, what a wonderful irony we would have witnessed: Who would have thought those Masters of the Universe on Wall Street could have killed off the very ideology which sustained them - and in the process offered us a chance to recreate communities afresh?