Oct 29 2010

Crowd at New York’s American Union Bank during
a bank run early in the Great Depression.

The stock market crashed on Tuesday, October 29, 1929. I suppose everyone knows someone in their family who was ruined by The Great Depression. When I speak with people about those years, most everyone suffered and had to cut back on their living standards. In addition, however, were those who were living in wealthy circles and overnight, lost great fortunes, relegating them to what they considered poverty.

“Anyone who bought stocks in mid-1929 and held onto them saw most
of his or her adult life pass by before getting back to even.”

Richard M. Salsman

There was a high level of prosperity during the 1920s.
Most people felt the country would never go back

Rethinking the Great Depression is a very informative book by Gene Smiley. It is good for formally educated economics students and also, for beginners without such a background. All readers will have a better understanding of the Depression period which technically only lasted from 1929-1933, but whose repercussions are remembered as lasting throughout the 1930s.

If you would like to learn more about the great Depression and the effects it
had on all facets of American life, hover your mouse over the link below:

Rethinking the Great Depression (American Ways Series)



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Filed under: Loss,Money — admin @ 3:09 pm Comments (0)
Oct 28 2010

For many Americans, futures are dark and without direction.

I am amazed at how unaware people are of the financial situation of many Americans. It seems that unless people’s personal finances have been lessened, many have no idea that many Americans are suffering as never before in this country. When I mentioned my idea of a blog to connect the dots on family finances, bankruptcy and the currents times to the Great Depression last summer, she felt that “aren’t enough people with an interest in a blog like that.” She continued by asking “How are homeless people going to access a computer?”

Whoa! That was a real, “Let them eat cake” comment for me.  There are plenty of people with computers suffering in this downturn. In fact, it is shocking how many people, who have worked all of their lives and done all of the right things are suffering and sometimes homeless. Here in this video of a 60 Minutes documentary are those who have access to a computer and are realizing the long term effects of the financial situation now dominating their lives.

In California, we see those who have exhausted their
99 weeks of unemployment benefits and are still unemployed,
are calling themselves “99ers.”



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Filed under: Loss,Money — admin @ 3:08 pm Comments (0)
Oct 17 2010

Soup kitchens were and are well attended. Here the Navy
staffs a recent soup kitchen in Salinas, California

The Great Depression and what is happening today financially seem very similar. No matter how these times are labeled compared to the Great Depression, there was hardship then and I know there is a great deal of hardship now.  That’s from practical experience, from reading books and searching the Internet and I’ve learned it must take a great deal of research to sort it all out.

I never feel like I’ve gotten to the heart of the matter with all of my questions answered.  So, as there is safety in numbers, I’ve decided to take you with me to see what you think about it all and share some information, hoping that you’ll respond about what’s happening to you where you are in the country, or the world.

First, here is an interesting comparison page on CNN, that you can access by clicking here.

Then I found an article, also on CNN, that says this is definitely a recession and not another depression and explains the ramifications of each, and you can find that here.

This video finds more similarities than not between the Depression and whatever is happening today, however you want to label it. To me the video was helpful in adding another point of view. Love the song, by the way…

Housing Bubble vs. Great Depression

Then, to top it off, here is an article on saying that the only difference between a depression and a recession is the length of time…whoa! After all we’ve learned in other places, that’s heavy. You can see in the article that “a depression is a protracted recession.” Here, you can read it yourself,  or read this except to get the gist of the discussion:

Recession versus Depression:

“It’s pretty easy to understand depressions once you get the concept of recessions. A depression is simply a prolonged or particularly excruciating recession. Economists don’t really have a watermark to indicate a depression. Believe it or not, there’s even an economists’ joke that describes the ambiguity between recessions and depressions: A recession is when your neighbor loses his job; a depression is when you lose your job [If you need a more technical explanation, click here.] While the presence of a recession is debatable, when a depression hits, the issue is no longer up for debate.”

H-m-m-m. Sorta’ seems like when you’re a kid and ask grown-ups, “How will I know when I fall in love?”

They always answer, “Oh…YOU’LL know.”



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Filed under: Bankruptcy,Money — admin @ 8:40 pm Comments (0)
Oct 01 2010

How could I have a web site theme of The Depression Era and not mention John Steinbeck’s book, The Grapes of Wrath written in 1939? I couldn’t. Nope, can’t be done. The Grapes of Wrath has to be mentioned and in detail. So, here goes….

On the Amazon web site, one of the reviewers sums it up pretty well. Let’s hear from Ned Middleton, a British professional underwater photo-journalist and author, when he writes,

“Today the world is either in recession or emerging from the dark grip of this latest financial catastrophe. Whilst we may live in a time when millions of families are no longer allowed to starve to death – well, not in the developed world at any rate, I earnestly believe there are lessons to be learned from this book about the rich and powerful who care not for their fellow man but only for personal gain. More importantly, those lessons are as relevant today as they were in 1939.”

Yep…I’d say that connects the Depression to the Recession better than I ever could. But wait, there’s more! Here are two current videos that connect the dots between John Steinbeck’s book and our times as well:

How John Steinbeck came to write The Grapes of Wrath.

 

Gabe Johnson, New York Times, discusses
the similarities between the 1930s and today.

 

If you are interested in previewing the book, hover
your mouse over the link: The Grapes Of Wrath

For an enlightening discussion on the connection of The Grapes of Wrath to the struggle of the Exodus in the Old Testament click on this link.



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