Conservative Beliefs: Are We Facing Another Great Depression? Part 1

by CJFosdick on January 5, 2009

Portrait shows Florence Thompson with several ...
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Much is being said now comparing the Great Depression with today’s economy. I researched the Great Depression to write my novels, The Bjorngard Trilogy,* and found there is little comparison. Part 1 of this message will talk about the economy and physical differences, and Part 2 will address the differences in attitudes and values.

The Depression started in 1929, when the stock market crashed. The economy spiraled unrelentingly downward until it hit bottom about 1933. Nameless families squatted in doorways, ragged folks huddled in schools for lack of fuel, burning their own wheat that they could not sell, and starving farmers raided grocery stores, unable to feed their families any other way. Unemployment was around 50% and in some states as high as 90%. The latest unemployment figure now (2009 report) gives 6.7% unemployment.

The Dow Jones average in 1937 was 190 and had been lower in 1933. In 2007 the Dow Jones reached an all-time high of over 14,000. Wow! Since September 2008 it has fluctuated almost daily, but hovers somewhere around 8,500. It has a ways to go to reach the depths of the 1930s.

It wasn’t until the outbreak of World War II in December 1941though, that the Depression finally ended — twelve years. Twelve exhausting years of desperately hard living! To our modern world, it seems unbelievable that America survived.

I tried in my three novels* to show the Depression as accurately as possible, yet I have friends who lived through these twelve years tell me the family in my books lived in luxury compared to how they lived back then. Believe me, times were hard.
We today have no idea what hard times are. We are struggling trying to figure out needs vs. wants. For example, senior citizens living in a group home recently complained that they had had to cut in half the amount of money they gambled in their card games. My solution to this “pressing financial crisis of these poor souls” is to gamble with match sticks and be thankful they have money to gamble. Gambling is hardly a need.

Keep in mind, bad news makes much more of an impression than does even so-so news. Good news doesn’t hold a candle. America’s news sources want to scare people as much as they can. This is the nature of news reporting — get people to believe things here in America are far worse that they actually are.

*The Other Son, Ripples in the Water, and I Ride a Wild Horse are all available at Jones Harvest Publishing. 1-877-400-0075

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