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Old 08-14-2012, 07:16 AM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
4,245 posts, read 5,967,117 times
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Maybe I'm romanticizing, but I think for the most part, there was more honesty, innocence and character in people in the '30's.. The masses of people were affected; whereas today it's "sectional". Their situation was dire.. No one had to be persuaded, you just had to look around and you saw it, unless you were one of the very few that were well off. Who needed propaganda to be pursuaded in the '30's?

I think "propaganda" is far worse today than anything people of the '30's had to deal with. We have cablevision, news channels, financial networks, talk shows, many of them so biased. The media brings us every possible pov there is to offer. Just pick and choose "your version of the truth".
Good post. Actually, a great post. Neat to see someone else saying what I've been thinking.

@@@@

One thing about the Great Depression is that it lasted a long time, until defense spending leading to WWII pulled us out.

In our case, we have a technical "recovery" (the GDP is growing, albeit slowly) but there is no decrease in unemployment and we are pegged at around 8% - 9%, which would be considered recession-level unemployment during the postwar era. We are seeing recession-level unemployment lock-in during a time of recovery and GDP growth.

So yes, I can see this as a form of Depression, like the 1930s or the 1870s...which was another era of long-term unemployment and economic weakness.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:40 AM
 
Location: New England
398 posts, read 580,960 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex Vermonter View Post
We are living in perilous times. I believe that the economy is far worse than anyone reports in the media. It sickens me that so many people are unemployed or underemployed, and the media focuses on all stupidity that is out there. I really don't care about hearing about which celebrity got divorced, or politicians talking about birth control, let's talk about getting people back to work and improving this horrific economy! I always cringe when I hear the unemployment rate quoted on any of the major news networks. The truth is that it is so much worse than what they report.

America is indeed in a depression, but nobody wants to admit it. The number one focus of the country right now should be getting the economy back on track.
Everything that I personally see points to a resounding YES, while almost everything that I read points to a resounding NO. Sometimes it's all I can do not to toss out these magazines and newspapers in disgust, that claim lowering unemployment numbers, and even one recent Newsweek claim that America is "coming back," experiencing a boom, or something equally ridiculous. I am reminded to stick with what I see around me every day, and the local news that was never meant to be sensational and retains some semblance of objectivity (thanks, Maine!).

As for TV news, forget TV anyway because all it was ever meant to do was entertain. Inform, maybe sometimes if you're lucky, but it was meant to entertain, and you know what, in a funny way it does.
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:33 PM
 
1,100 posts, read 1,964,084 times
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BBC ran an article awhile back on how a great depression would look. Back in the 30s the riches people were the fattest. Today the poorest people will be the fattest because they live on fast food. Back in the 30s a poor person dressed in rags. Not in this depression because you can buy cheap clothes these days. People today have TV so you won't see them out on the street as much as the 30s. The gist of the article was that one would hardly know there was a depression by looking around.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Limbo
6,475 posts, read 6,165,622 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex Vermonter View Post
We are living in perilous times. I believe that the economy is far worse than anyone reports in the media. It sickens me that so many people are unemployed or underemployed, and the media focuses on all stupidity that is out there. I really don't care about hearing about which celebrity got divorced, or politicians talking about birth control, let's talk about getting people back to work and improving this horrific economy! I always cringe when I hear the unemployment rate quoted on any of the major news networks. The truth is that it is so much worse than what they report.

America is indeed in a depression, but nobody wants to admit it. The number one focus of the country right now should be getting the economy back on track.
Keeping the focus off the bad things is what keeps politicians in their jobs. If we didn't have sports, reality TV, or celebrity dysfunction, the news would be forced to report important things, and that would peeve a lot of people in power off.

I agree that the situation is much worse than reported. We really do not make much anymore in the US, everything has been outsourced for cheap. So now when it comes time to find people real jobs, there are none to be had. I'm young, but I feel I can say this: People used to take pride in building things -- cars, buildings, furniture, etc... those must have been the good times.
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Old 08-18-2012, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
8,671 posts, read 7,639,349 times
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Its not an invisible depression. Its right there in front of your eyes. The reason it does 'seem" as bad is that the media doesn't talk about it much. The media is very left wing in this country, and props up the image of its democrat President Obama. If there was a Republican in the White House, the perception you would have of the economy presented in the media would be much worse. I've seen this over and over. Under Bush 43, remember how they hammered him on Gitmo. Gitmo is still open. Obama promised to close it, but no crying about it. Why. Media uses its power to support the left. I remember that Bush 41 got hammered on the homeless issue. Clinton takes office, homeless are still there, but you never hear about it. Its all the perception that people have that is presented in the media. They believe everything they see that the little box tells them to believe. They used to do articles on soap operas. People would write letters to the characters as though they were real people.

If you want to see a great movie or two on this issue watch "Network", or "The Matrix".
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:37 AM
 
5,640 posts, read 17,283,744 times
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"forget TV anyway because all it was ever meant to do was entertain. Inform, maybe sometimes if you're lucky, but it was meant to entertain" YES, I took a political science class in college and the professor told us this. It really changed how I viewed things.
Media is owned by corporations, corporations want your money - what they report on determines whether or not they make a profit.
To stay on topic - Yes I do think we are in a depression (as much as I know about economics). We are in a new global economy and it is gonna be ugly. People in America are having a hard time adjusting with far less. Politicians are making it worse. Our standard of living is dropping, get used to it. People who grew up or worked through the 70s and the 80s when we had bad recessions seem to be dealing with it better though.
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Old 08-18-2012, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
55,626 posts, read 54,217,529 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Yes, for a number of reasons. Because people mistakenly think a depression is merely a more severe recession when they really are different in causes and how they play out.

First a recession is essentially a price adjustment. A depression is a balance sheet adjustment. It typically stems from a credit bubble and takes any number of years to unwind. We are in a depression and, just as the Great Depression really began getting underway in 1928 as rural banks began to collapse and before the Stock Market Crash, the real depression likely began in late 2007 or early 2008 when players such as Bear Stearns began going belly-up. Right now, even though real estate has shown signs of stabilizing we're seeing it continue to play out in municipal bankruptcies and on the international scene in Europe and (Gulp) China. What's more, when you take underemployment into account, we are looking at a situation almost as bad as the 30s. Sure, there are no soup kitchens. Instead, the people who are on the dole might be standing next to you in the checkout lane of the supermarket, swiping their card instead.

But the signs are there for anyone brave enough to look beyond the happy talk foisted on us by politicians. Even today, the unemployment levels remain elevated, household net worth is not even close to being what it was five years ago, and large numbers of homeowners remain underwater. Until that number begins to come down, we'll remain in serious straits. Pray that there will not be some new serious dislocation in the next year or the cycle will start all over again.
Although I agree with you about the people on the dole swiping their Families First card at the supermarket, cpg, I beg to differ about there being no soup kitchens.

Up the road from me is an affluent town with popular restaurants and theaters and jazz festivals that attract many people, especially in the summer tourist season. However, one end of that town is rundown and filled with immigrants and the poor. There are not one, but TWO soup kitchens feeding hundreds of people daily, as well as providing clothing and other services. One also runs a food pantry, which along with other food pantries in neighboring towns, are struggling to keep their shelves loaded and are constantly reaching out to the public to appeal for donations.

The Families First (that's what food stamps are called in NJ) program is not making it through the month for too many people.
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Old 08-18-2012, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Mt Pleasant, SC
638 posts, read 1,408,283 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gardener34 View Post
"We are in a new global economy and it is gonna be ugly. People in America are having a hard time adjusting with far less.. Our standard of living is dropping, get used to it. People who grew up or worked through the 70s and the 80s when we had bad recessions seem to be dealing with it better though.
Interesting thoughts about the global economy adjustment. I agree; it is going to be a major adjustment for most of us. Americans are too used to wanting more, having more. And for some reason, the more we have, the more we want... it's like a rolling snowball. We're the ones in this global economy that are going to have to learn to cut back on the fat.

My husband worked in auto manufacturing from the 70s thru the 90s. When times were good, they were very, very good. When times were bad, they were dismal. It was always a given that when a recession hit, the layoffs would hit the auto industry pretty fast and we knew we'd have to switch over to a rice, beans and cornbread diet and cut back on spending and be prepared to move again. I always compared our life to yo-yo dieting.

Learning to live frugally is going to be difficult for a lot of Americans. Mow your own grass, clean your own house, give up Starbucks, take your own home-made brew in a thermos; eat at home instead of eating out; get a cheaper cell phone/internet connection, quit shopping for "useless things". Little adjustments add up.

The downside of it all is... if everyone did this cost-cutting, it will eventually affect the stock market .. and all our investments will tank. As if our 401's weren't already doing little to nothing.

I don't see great things happening down the road. Please forgive me for being pessimistic.
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Old 08-18-2012, 06:31 PM
 
4,984 posts, read 5,046,731 times
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Yup, "greatest" generation was going hungry and freezing (but not rocking the boat) until the ruling elites herded them like cattle and put them to work/fight in a war of their (elites) making. Everybody just point to the fact that WWII ended the Great Depression, yet nobody point to the fact that the global system that relies on such immoral imbecility to "rejuvenate" itself is beyond hope. I just don't buy this greatest generation stuff, starved but obeyed, herded and shipped to fight despite having trouble finding Germany on the map, etc.. If that would a truly greatest generation they wouldn't need a war to deliver 25%-40% of population from abject poverty. Keep in mind that "greatest" generation was going hungry at the time when few people ever heard (not speaking of caring) about resource depletion, soil degradation, oil peak, climate change, ecology etc.. They just silently starved among plenty of resources just because of the insanity of their (and ours) economical system. From standpoint of a primitive man, it's beyond stupid.

Nothing changed since then really. Once "free" market spits out significant chunk of population for whatever reason, once that chunk runs out of their money (and assets) they become nothing, an empty space from the "free" market standpoint. It's virtually impossible to enfranchise those masses back into economy unless, "elites" will find a use for their pauper' arses as gun or production meat in a victorious war.

Saying all of that, I don't think USA is experiencing silent depression, Wall Mart shoppers attack electronics & entertainment not food isles on black Friday. Everybody is muddling through somehow.
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Old 08-18-2012, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Florida -
8,751 posts, read 10,778,845 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairieparson View Post
Its not an invisible depression. Its right there in front of your eyes. The reason it does 'seem" as bad is that the media doesn't talk about it much. The media is very left wing in this country, and props up the image of its democrat President Obama. If there was a Republican in the White House, the perception you would have of the economy presented in the media would be much worse. I've seen this over and over. Under Bush 43, remember how they hammered him on Gitmo. Gitmo is still open. Obama promised to close it, but no crying about it. Why. Media uses its power to support the left. I remember that Bush 41 got hammered on the homeless issue. Clinton takes office, homeless are still there, but you never hear about it. Its all the perception that people have that is presented in the media. They believe everything they see that the little box tells them to believe. They used to do articles on soap operas. People would write letters to the characters as though they were real people.

If you want to see a great movie or two on this issue watch "Network", or "The Matrix".
There's a world of truth in what you are saying ... and I perceive that most people realize it; (at least the people I know), but, still, the media and a large part of the voting public seem oblivious to what is so obvious to the rest of us. But, then, the 'liberal left' seems to honestly believe that the 'right' either doesn't care about people or are all wealthy and oppressing the masses.

A prime example is that every time the politicians come-up with another 'program' designed to pander to the voting instincts of those who don't have to pay for it, the media paints them as compassionate and caring. Then when the right asks "How is it going to be paid for?", the same media paints them as heartless and mercenary. Meanwhile, our economy is going down the tubes and it seems like the only things people can think about are meaningless, extraneous things like birth certificates, tax returns, celebrity divorces, new TV shows (perhaps like Rome when the Emperors gave them spectacles instead of real food).
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