How well, or bad, things seem depends entirely on your perspective. Not necessarily your philosophical perspective, sometimes all you need is a different physical perspective.
Take, for example, the economy, especially the stock market. If your perspective is the dollar the Dow Jones average peaked in October, 2007, lost a bit over 50% of its value in a year and a half and is now showing some signs of life (see chart above).
If your perspective is gold, then the stock market peak happened in the year 1999 and the entire eight years of the Bush Administration was one prolonged unmitigated financial disaster. The stock market decline, measured in gold, is nearly 80% and the recent uptick is an insignificant blip - less than a fly spitting in the ocean.The chart was created by Chart of the Day.