And just in the last 4 months, we saw the bottom drop out of the oil market due to weak demand. That's a signal. Not that there's a massive oil-production conspiracy (I'm not saying there isn't) - but that demand is falling because the economy is failing.
You understand, of course, that there is literally a massive oil-production conspiracy? It's called OPEC, and they have a history of manipulating the market. In this case, it seems that they're looking to make oil unprofitable for us until the small players have to go belly up.
We're seeing it in the 9% drop in CS grad starting salaries.
We're also seeing the industry start to mature as well as competitive pressure from abroad and through the H1B program. Programming is not as sexy as it was in 1998.
We're seeing it in the mass layoff at IBM.
You may have something here, but indirectly. IBM has been on a collision course with failure ever since they started chasing imaginary dividend numbers in order to appease shareholders. They've mortgaged their future in the name of short-term profit and the chickens are coming home to roost. The root cause, of course, would appear to be shareholders' intolerance for companies engaging in long term investment and actual research. They would appear to be happier to gut companies and distribute their value to insiders. This is the strategy that is dooming our competitiveness in the long term and killing our middle class.