With the economy in tatters and no hope of a revival in the next 10 years.
The real prospect of 500,000 unemployed within the next 18 months.
More and more people needing assistance from social welfare to fund their basic needs and those of their families.
Iceland faces a different but in many ways similar prospect:
Iceland: downfall of 'a foolish little nation' - Telegraph
"Inflation soared as import prices rose, hitting the many mortgages in Iceland that are index-linked. Repayments went through the roof and the overheated housing market collapsed. Unemployment soared towards 10 per cent. The construction industry seized up. Now, lifeless cranes dominate the skyline of Reykjavik, monuments to hubris.
The banks had done something else besides lending money they did not have. Thousands of Icelanders had been persuaded to swap bank deposits for what were effectively stakes in the banks themselves. For them, the banking collapse threatened personal ruin. "Many people who live in beautiful houses and drive beautiful cars are completely broke," says political commentator Egill Helgason. "None of it can be sold, they have lost their jobs. People look wealthy, but worry about the next meal."
Iceland's fall from grace has been swift. In 2005, it was ranked in the top 10 in the world in terms of GDP per head, and between 1996 and 2006 its economy grew by 50 per cent. It has routinely figured near the top of the human development index, which combines economic and social measures. Now, interest rates are 18 per cent and inflation 20 per cent; and each man, woman and child could owe as much as $250,000 to foreign creditors.
Tear gas had been used in Iceland only twice before last month in 1949, during protests against Iceland's membership of Nato, and in 1959, when a dance in a remote fishing town in the north turned into a riot.
Icelanders are not given to public demonstrations, but last month a mob pelted eggs at the car of the prime minister, Geir Haarde. Out came the tear gas and out went Haarde's Right-leaning coalition government. "
Is it time that we take a look at the idea of people growing more of their own food. Obviously this is not practical in highly urbanised areas. But then again how practical is it to live in a highly urbanised commuterbelt area when there is no work to commute to anymore.
Instead of subsidies to banks & developers, should the government be looking at subsidies to unemployed people who would lease a few acres with a polytunnel, mini tractor and a chicken coop?
Would any of you facing long term unemployment soon consider "The Good Life" in any way viable?