When the masses are confronted with a paradox, the path of least resistance (and therefore road most travelled) is usually to adopt a willful ignorance wrapped up in a comforting cliche. Recently, the economy has been showing some very much-trumpeted signs of improvement. In fact, the worst is probably behind us by now, right? It would certainly feel nice to believe that. I mean, France, Germany, Japan,... - they have officially emerged from the global recession already, so we have to be right on the verge of economic growth again, too. Right?Ok, ok, there are just a couple of extraneous details that will need to be squared away first. No big deal. We just need to stop the unemployment rate from continually increasing while we find a way to stave off the new waves of calamity that will be unleashed as benefits expire for the already unemployed. It would also be nice if we didn't need to teach any more new numbers to the general public in order to explain the magnitude of our rapidly burgeoning budget deficit.Well, it's a paradox. The worst is definitely behind us in this increasingly bad recession.