The Way We Live Now: Broke as a joke from coast to coast. They're selling heroin in Maine. They've sent everyone on furlough in California. And in the Midwest, you can't even leave salt outside without enterprising Americans swiping it.

Perhaps you thought you could live way the hell up in Nowheresville McFrozenTown, ME, and be safe from the worries of the outside world? Sorry, Charlie. You are just a fresh, promising, "emerging market" for sellers of heroin, one of the world's last marketable goods (others: tampons, snack cakes, matches).

Perhaps you would like to get a driver's license, or conduct some official state busines in California today? Sorry, Charlie. Government offices are closed today, in order to pay workers less. Go out and enjoy life, why don't you? Oh. Because you don't have a driver's license. Too bad.

Perhaps you are a sex offender in Miami? Your parole officer would like you to live under a bridge. Seriously.

Perhaps you would like to be a family living in a house, in America. Good luck!

Perhaps you thought you could just leave a big old pile of road salt sitting in a storage depot in Washtenaw County, Michigan? Two hundred tons or so? Without round-the-clock armed guards. You foolish, foolish person. It is all gone. "Those responsible must have needed at least a dozen dump trucks or loads to haul away the salt."

That's a good omen for GM.