There’s a new New Yorker cartoon I’m using in a presentation today to a health plan titled, “Starbucks goes downscale: drinks for the post-latte economy.” Three new drinks are offered in the economic downturn-menu: instant coffee with Cremora, the Big Gulp of “American joe,” and my personal favorite, “The Floyduccino.” It’s this last drink I forecast will have the biggest uptake given the blues that we’re all feeling due to economic woes.

The Floyduccino is coffee with a shot of Wild Turkey: “good for what ails ya.”

In the latest Gallup poll published May 12, 2008, 9 in 10 Americans feel the economy is getting worse. Furthermore, prospects for improvement are gloomy: combining the current state and future personal forecasts, 80% of Americans share a negative outlook.

In April, Gallup conducted a survey into Americans’ personal views on retirement. When asked about their financial worries in Gallup’s April 6-9 Economy and Personal Finance poll, 63% of Americans say they are worried they will not have enough money for retirement. Retirement finance overtook health care finance worries with 56% worried about not being able to pay medical costs in retirement.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: There’s another New York cartoon I’m using in today’s presentation called “Gas ‘N Health Care.” This cartoon features a service guy at the pump asking the driver-customer, “Your oil’s fine, but your blood sugar level’s a little low.”

In my PowerPoint version, I change the “N” to “Or.”

In the post-latte economy, Americans aren’t just choosing the Floyduccino, perhaps instead of the fluoxetine. They might choose gas over health care.