I know times are tough. Jobs are hard to come by and the pay is terrible. You are feeling the pinch and life is hard. However this does not mean you get a pass from being polite, considerate and doing whats right. Yea, I am calling you out.
For instance, if you have to glance over your shoulder to make sure someone isn't watching you do something maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. You are feeling guilty, its called your conscious, you might want to listen to it.
And as a company if you are more concerned with your bottom dollar, than placing people in harms way, then you shouldn't be surprised if people stop frequenting your company.
As an employer if you treat your employees like dirt because everyone is afraid to loose their jobs let me be the first to tell you what goes around comes around. In 2 years, when the job market is what it once was, you might find the only employees you have are the ones the decent companies don't want.
Using the Economy as an excuse to be a scrooge only works if you weren't a scrooge before. "Even children are known by their deeds." You ain't fooling anyone. Especially those who know you well.
When times are hard you can either become a Bitter person or a Better person. This is a challenge to everyone, become the better person. Our children are watching.