Can This Economic Crisis Become a Depression?

November/26/2008 2:00AM
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Unlikely, that’s what all the experts say. God forbid it should. My parents lived through the Great Depression and they never really got past the effects.There is still a fear with my Mom who will be 94 in another three months that another is coming. My Dad worked in a CCC camp because there was no work anywhere. 

As I recall their stories and all I’ve read about the Great Depression, they were much better prepared to cope with all that brought than we are today. If we transposed us into the 30’s what differences would we see?

America was poorer then. Very few people had a lot of comfort and luxury. Many, like my parents grew up on a farm and learned to work with their hands, grow food, and fend for themselves. Crime was less of a factor.There wasn’t an if they have it, I’m going to take it attitude. The 25% who were unemployed just found ways to scrape by. They were used to scrapping by and could cope with living that way. How would you and I, our kids and grand kids cope? Much harder to go from where we are to where that generation had to go. 

Would there be riots? I fear there would. Would there be violence? Probably. Would crime be rampant? More than likely. If you had anything, you would be pressed to keep others who didn’t from taking it. 

During the Great Depression there were thousands of homeless roaming the country seeking work and food. They may have resented the more fortunate, but they didn’t inflict violence on them. They didn’t feel they were entitled to what those with a job and a house still had. I’m afraid we have created three generations that would not behave that way. 

How many of us could get by on almost nothing? Our obese population glued to couches and pop culture seem eons from my parents’ generation. The Greatest Generation is called that for a reason. My Dad could build a house alone, and did. Some of my work went into it, but for the most part, he built  it. He could pour cement, lay brick, weld, roof, plumb, do the carpentry, and do the wiring. He could farm and usually had a garden. He could hunt and fish and clean and cook the game. His hobbies were all working with his hands. He was pretty self sufficient. He was much like the majority of the population in the 30’s. 

Compare that with us, our kids, and our grand kids. If it was hard for Mom and Dad to survive a depression, what would it be like for the current population?

I don’t even want to think about it. Even those of us who are retired and think we are prepared to face anything need to rethink that. If your retirement savings continues to be wiped out you may find security is hard to find in a depression economy. If what you do have is subject to the needs of your extended family, it may not go around. If what you have has to be protected 24/7 from those who would take it, you may find yourself in a war zone.

I read where some guy who predicted the fall of the Berlin wall and the tech bubble bursting is now predicting world wide economic depression. We need to pray every day that he’s wrong, because this country is far less prepared to deal with that crisis than it was 70 years ago. 

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Comments (2)

  1. asthecrowflies says:

    Something to read to your children, after putting the last piece of government issued wood on the fire.

  2. bill robertson says:


    What a great response.

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