I don't think the United States can emerge from this long term economic slump without somehow restoring the housing market. There is still way too much inventory left on the market after the boom years, and foreclosures are just now starting to ease up. Because equity in their homes is the greatest collective asset of average Americans, I am of the opinion that no sustainable economic recovery is possible without a true recovery of the housing market. This will lead to a more stable banking system, easier credit, increased spending, and new construction jobs, all of which are necessary to climb out of this hole. Unfortunately, in the short term, I see no way to make this happen.