For example, gun sales have risen from a long-term rate of about 8 million a year to the current 14 million, according to Colas. Analysts initially attributed the rise to fear of tougher gun-control laws after the election of President Obama. But the continuing climb two years into his term points to a “deeper sense of unease,” be it over government regulations, crime or some something else, Colas wrote.
In the same vein, a jump in demand for silver coins suggests a “fundamental lack of confidence among enough people in the population as to the long-term soundness of the dollar.”
And a rise in the number of people on food stamps –- currently about 43 million people, or 14% of the U.S. population –- points to the deep strains on lower-income people.