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Old 03-03-2008, 09:44 PM
 
Location: on a northbound train
477 posts, read 646,688 times
Reputation: 327

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According to who you listen to out there, there are those still going back and forth as to whether we will actually even see a recession... in our near future. That financial genius, George W. Bush, well... he is one those taking a rosier outlook on things. But then again, anyone with a pulse and the ability to count to 10... usually can decipher that anything Bush (aka "The Decider") says... usually turns out to be half truths... or out right lies. It's like he speaks in code: With all he says... turning out to be the exact opposite.

I will admit that I've never known much about the inner workings of our economy. But over the past six months or so, I've tried to educate myself the best I can as to what is really going on... and from what I can tell, this country is in a whole lot of trouble. (Obviously!) Everything I see leads to the fact that we are heading for the "Perfect Storm" of economic crisis not seen since... the Great Depression.

So... some of you might have seen this segment on CNN... with a well respected economist, named John Williams. He out right predicts that this country is heading for not only a major recession... but a full out... economic depression. And as I said, he is not the only one predicting this. The link to this interview is below.

Very interesting, and also very frightening.

So the question I ask is.... hypothetically speaking, what would happen in this country if we did experience another "Great Depression"? Everyone has the images in their minds of the terrible strife that took place during the last depression in 1929... but it makes me wonder... how would modern day America handle another Great Depression? People are much less self sufficient... and...used to too many creature comforts. I can picture things getting very ugly, very quick.

I don't mean to be an alarmist... but with many respected economists actually saying this is not only a distinct possibility... but a probability... I think one has to take this advice and prepare for the unknown. Even if there is just a slight risk....

Is it time to "Head for the Hills?" And stock up on canned food and shotguns?! Ah....

And oh, wouldn't it be just the icing on the cake... for this administration... to leave as it's finally legacy.... "The 2nd American Great Depression?" Nothing would surprise me. The insidious spending on the Iraq "war" has driven this country so far into the ground... coupled with insane policies to flood the market with easy credit..... and... bingo. You got yourselves a mess... that almost looks like it was done on purpose..... ahem...... And oh, not to forget the Fed... printing money... like it's going out of style - which the dollar just might be heading for! Amero, anyone?

Remember the old saying...."Nothing in politics... happens... by chance?"

Here is the interview... there will be a short commercial first.

Free Video - Business and personal finance news from CNNMoney

Last edited by Berkshires413; 03-03-2008 at 09:57 PM..
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Old 03-03-2008, 11:04 PM
 
47,585 posts, read 35,922,569 times
Reputation: 21593
This country cannot handle anything like the Great Depression because back then people were more rural, more people lived on farms and could fall back on gardens. People were more self-reliant and independent then and also had better family and neighbor ties.

Today we're not nearly as united, we're a more fractured society, split into different races and ethnicities and many no longer view themselves as American or part of the American people and the level of violence and mental illness is much higher today than back then.
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:10 AM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
16,126 posts, read 14,144,920 times
Reputation: 4935
Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
This country cannot handle anything like the Great Depression because back then people were more rural, more people lived on farms and could fall back on gardens. People were more self-reliant and independent then and also had better family and neighbor ties.

Today we're not nearly as united, we're a more fractured society, split into different races and ethnicities and many no longer view themselves as American or part of the American people and the level of violence and mental illness is much higher today than back then.
The first paragraph is correct, the second almost completely WRONG. American society was MUCH more segregated by class and race in the 1920's (in the run-up to the Great Depression) and 1930's than it is today - it's not even remotely close. Back then races barely interacted at all. Furthermore, the level of violence in the 1920's and 1930's was far greater than today. That was the era of prohibition and the most famous gangsters of all time and the level of violence was the about the same as in the 1980's - which is a lot higher than it is today.

Have to admit I have NO idea about the mental illness levels.

Ken
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:16 AM
 
Location: Roanoke VA
2,032 posts, read 4,070,204 times
Reputation: 817
Default What If?

A depression is just a very deep prolonged recession. From what I've read about the Great Depression the rich folks never experienced much inconvenience. It seems many wealthy New Yorkers saw people in soup lines waiting to be fed and just pretended nothing was wrong, as it cenrtainly would never touch them. I think that type of attitude is still valid in New York City and Washington DC in 2008. I think we are heading for a total economic
reversal simply because the rich are getting much richer at the same time the poor are getting poorer. If such a calamity does occur what will happen to the wealthy capitalists trying to hold onto to their wealth at the same time the masses are demanding change? When the masses are hungry, their jobs have been sent overseas how long will this democracy stand? While the working man is hit the hardest, the rich cannot take comfort knowing their capitalist country has fallen apart.
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:24 AM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
16,126 posts, read 14,144,920 times
Reputation: 4935
Quote:
Originally Posted by roanoker 4 View Post
A depression is just a very deep prolonged recession. From what I've read about the Great Depression the rich folks never experienced much inconvenience. It seems many wealthy New Yorkers saw people in soup lines waiting to be fed and just pretended nothing was wrong, as it cenrtainly would never touch them.
Well, there were plenty of rich folks who lost their fortunes in the Great Depression - and those that were positioned so that they had little impact as well. It all depended upon their circumstances. Over all, however your basic assumption has some truth. Certainly there were those who suffered few ill effects, and as a general rule the wealthy tended to have a less devasting experience.

Ken
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:34 AM
 
Location: southern california
50,274 posts, read 47,603,261 times
Reputation: 41667
the root of it all. unions made this country rich, absence of unions, will take us back where we were. remember 5 cents a bushel peach pickin. it won't be poor mexicans people doin it, it will be us. just when did we decide the government & corporations would treat us fairly, we dont need unions? the permaparents cannt defend their kidult from what happens next. black folks & mexican people already know hard times & suffering, but the kidults are the ones who are really going to suffer. when you go to the fields to report for work dont bring your skateboard, you won't need it.
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:18 AM
 
1,571 posts, read 2,711,216 times
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Rich people did "suffer" in the great depression, just not as much.

I don't think there will be anything like the Great Depression again, the economy is too dynamic for a hard crash. We might see a decade long Japanese style contraction, though.
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Old 03-04-2008, 02:04 AM
 
98 posts, read 222,100 times
Reputation: 26
I think if a depression hit today, people would go back to farming lol

I do think socially we are just as segregated as in the 20's. Back then the races knew their place. Now everyone tries to mix, but they realize it is not always possible. We are experiencing more and more segregation as more and more different cultures come into America. Segregation not by law but by nature.
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:48 AM
 
11,128 posts, read 8,724,626 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berkshires413 View Post
So the question I ask is.... hypothetically speaking, what would happen in this country if we did experience another "Great Depression"? Everyone has the images in their minds of the terrible strife that took place during the last depression in 1929... but it makes me wonder... how would modern day America handle another Great Depression? People are much less self sufficient... and...used to too many creature comforts. I can picture things getting very ugly, very quick.

I don't mean to be an alarmist... but with many respected economists actually saying this is not only a distinct possibility... but a probability... I think one has to take this advice and prepare for the unknown. Even if there is just a slight risk....

Is it time to "Head for the Hills?" And stock up on canned food and shotguns?! Ah...
While I doubt it will since the greater symbiosis of the global market place allows for a great deal more "cushion" for screw ups and bungling. Hypothetically if it did, then yes, I would suggest the whole, "head for the hills" type mentality but probably not literally since we hill folk are already stocked up and well armed, and I would bet were a might fair better aim than average Joe accountant.

James Burke used to do a show called Connections that went into the interconnected nature of people and events. Also how these various connections started chains of events that led us to where we are today. One of his programs was called the Technology Trap, and is in my opinion one of the must watch hour's of programming out there. Just to show how much people are reliant upon modern trappings of technology and easily it can break down.

Here is a link to the 1 hour show in 5 parts (10 min) from James Burke's Connections, "The Technology Trap"


YouTube - Connections, Episode 1 Part 1 of 5

If another Great Depression were to happen today, I suspect it would be much worse as people have for the most part lost their ability to use the land in an intimate manner. Hell, most people would die from lack of Starbucks and Ben & Jerry's before they had to forage for food or god forbid, plant a garden. McDonalds were to collapse, there would be millions of children in America who would starve to death because their parents never cooked a meal that wasn't out of a box or from a drive thru.
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:15 AM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
16,126 posts, read 14,144,920 times
Reputation: 4935
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerblaine View Post
I think if a depression hit today, people would go back to farming lol

I do think socially we are just as segregated as in the 20's. Back then the races knew their place. Now everyone tries to mix, but they realize it is not always possible. We are experiencing more and more segregation as more and more different cultures come into America. Segregation not by law but by nature.
Not true at all. Clearly you have a very limited knowledge of history.

Look how many mixed race couple there are for example - that was VIRTUALLY UNKNOWN in the 1920's and 1930's. American is FAR more mixed now than it has EVER been.

I need look no further than my own family. My Mom and Dad are White - he was born in Lancaster County PA (one of the "Pennsylvania Dutch") but ended up being raised in Germany (was a kid there in WW II). My mother was born in Dublin but raised near Manchester England. My dad met her while serving in the US Air Force in the 1950's - nothing too different there (at least both are of the same race - though religion and nationalities were different). However, being raised as an Air Force Brat and living in many, many places - including roughly half my childhood in Europe - I of course found that most of my friends were other Air Force Brats - and they were of ALL races and nationalities. The military is no longer segragated as it was back in the 1920's and 1930's and many American's serving overseas return with foreign brides, so my friends were White, Black, and often half-Japanese. This would NEVER have happened 70-80 years ago.

I am one of 4 kids - all of us Babyboomers. My wife is a WASP, Our daughter is married to a WASP, but our son is married to a smart lovely girl from the Philippines who is of Chinese decent. My sisters husband is half WASP (actually back to the Mayflower) and half East-European Jew. My other sister is married to a terrific and brilliant software engineer from India. One of her two sons (from a previous marriage) - a brilliant young software engineer in his own right - is currently dating (and will likely marry) a nice young girl from Japan

On my wife's side. one of her sisters is married to an immigrant from France, another to a immigrant from Mexico, another to a Hispanic (American citizen), and one of the other sisters's daughter is married to an African-American.

All of these marriages are successful and there are a load of mixed-blood kids in our extended family. Indeed, we are a perfect example of what American is becoming. No purebreds here. We are muts and proud of it. We are as American as you can be - with all different colors an religions.

Virtually NONE of this would have happened in the 1920's and 1930's.

But these changes are not just within my own family, I need only look around my neighborhood. I have Chinese neighbors to the left and right of my house, a black family behind me and another diagonally across the street from me, a family of Mexican immigrants across the street from me. Next to the black family across the street are several homes with White families, same is true down the street in the other direction. We all shop at the same stores and our kids and grandkids all go to the same schools. We all live together in peace and get along fine.

NONE of that would have happened in the 1920's and 1930's. Even in the 1950's - when my Mom first arrived from England to America - her and my Dad first lived in Baltimore MD (where I was born) and she had her first encounter with racism - separate bathrooms and even separate drinking fountains for Blacks and Whites . No more - those days are long gone (thankfully).

I think perhaps YOU see America as more divided simply because YOU believe it should be that way - but I have news for you, it ISN'T. it SHOULDN'T and it WON'T BE.

And that's a fact.

Ken
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