Economists love their data because somewhere in the numbers lies the answer to the ills of the country. They also love to frame data in a way people can relate to. Such is the case with the famous "misery index."
Prices in a free market are determined by the law of supply and demand, yet the US government has recently given billions of dollars to rescue large corporations. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn whether or not the US is still a free market.
The economy imploded as US banks reaped the consequences of subprime mortgage trades. Controversially, Congress has provided emergency funding for the banks. Learn more about the agreement between Washington and Wall Street in this HowStuffWorks podcast.