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View Poll Results: Do you know a Depresssion survivor personally?
I know a Depression survivor 141 90.97%
I do not know a Depression survivor 14 9.03%
Voters: 155. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-17-2008, 10:06 PM
6,585 posts, read 23,636,583 times
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Grandparents (now deceased) lived through The Great Depression. Even though their dads still had jobs, they remember everyone being equally poor. None of their friends had anything either so it didn't really matter that anyone was poor and there was no embarrassment. I don't remember them telling me anyone went hungry, but they had no extras whatsoever. It was a horrible time they said, but there was also this "We're In This Together" attitude. They walked a long way to school - which at the time only went to 11th grade.

They were still mad about it decades later. Did not ever trust the stock market again. Their money all was in CD's. They were very tight with their money and did not use credit cards. They lived simply their whole lives as a result of the Depression. They found joy in little things like a pretty flower.

What we are experiencing now does not seem like what they experienced then. Back then seemed much much much worse. Course we started out with a lot more now than people back then ever had as far as things and stuff.

I re-read The Grapes of Wrath recently in honor of our country's troubles. Interesting stuff.
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:49 PM
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,299 posts, read 12,848,619 times
Reputation: 8068
Sure the govt can pump liquidity ("print" money) and sell off bonds until few will buy them ..... but my understanding is that there are consequences down the road for that, it's not actually free money.

It's very strange to me how people think .... a visit to a local mall shows that it was busy on a particular day, and therefore the US economy isn't very bad and is about to turn around. WTF?

Of COURSE it's not that bad now, especially if you haven't been laid off from your job. But everyone is forecasting between half a million and a million more jobless each month for at least the next 4-5 months .... state revenues are falling to the point that some states like California are about to go bust from lack of ability to print it's own money (and like California or not, it's the biggest powerhouse of the national economy).

It's just STARTING to hit ..... it's not "hype", and it's going to get very bad. Be patient ..... tell me in 6 months how hyped it all was.

People don't have much savings and many are about to become unemployed. That's a recipe for homelessness once unemployment checks cease, which was on the rise even before this mess started. There have been soup kitchens and food pantries all along in every major city - they're going to be incredibly stressed soon.

How much can states borrow to keep unemployment insurance going? How about the two forthcoming waves of home foreclosures recently discussed?

The point is not that this play out exactly like the last GD, but that it WILL be a depression and not just a recession, and this time few will have farms to fall back on. There will be increased homelessness of entire families, and likely there will be increased hunger or at least a severe reduction in variety of foods among those unemployed - yeah, I'm talking about stale bread and beans at the soup kitchen, and rice and beans at the community food bank.

People will eventually cope, but it will be hard to learn the sort of frugality necessary to keep some sort of roof over one's head. And once you're out on the streets it's very difficult to get back into a place, no one wants to rent to some smelly hobo with his raggedy-ass family, who can't come up with much of a security deposit.

That's what happens when there's massive unemployment, few savings, and govt safety nets being given the heave-ho because of lack of revenue.

When pressed for information, my Dad told me reluctantly of how his father had a job as a security guard, of course poorly paid .... in the fall he bought most of the food for the entire year at harvest time when it was cheap .... a huge bin of potatoes, carrots packed in sand, onions, hams, sauerkraut, sausages - many of the fresh potatoes and veggies started going bad after a few months into the long winter.

When he was a teen he was apprenticed out in another city, and told me that sometimes he was lucky to be able to afford a single apple to eat in a day. I still remember my father scowling as he talked then refusing to talk further.

My mom didn't talk much about those days, except for some nicer things like how everyone in her family was required to learn a musical instrument, sing, or do something for nights when there would be guests. They made their own entertainment back then, and were quite happy about it.

Last edited by Woof; 12-17-2008 at 10:59 PM..
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:51 PM
Location: Keller, TX
5,674 posts, read 5,558,378 times
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This is the Hidden Recession around here.

My step-grandfather lived through the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Tough times. What I really remember is my mother's parents (now deceased). They were extreme savers. Grandma recycled ziploc bags. They saved everything and never spent anything, even decades after the depression. It's kind of sad, really. When they died, in the same tiny cold creaky house they'd lived in for decades, they left behind the better part of a million dollars in various investments. They never spent money so they never knew much about money. They just knew to always save it and never spend it. They didn't know how to spend money. They could have lived nicely, used heat in the winter, bought a car that works, traveled the country or the world, gone out and done things, etc. But instead, even during good times, they were conservative to a fault.

Then my grandmother, months before she died, got hoodwinked by an Ameriprise advisor who put the money into trust for the children and grandchildren, invested it in 5.75% front loaded Ameriprise funds, takes 3% annual "management fee" for doing nothing, won't release any money for wedding, schooling, transportation, home purchase, or medical expenses, and set up arbitrary ages before which no one can touch any of the money. Sweet deal for him, but that's another story.
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:53 PM
Location: Keller, TX
5,674 posts, read 5,558,378 times
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Here's an article about a hypothetical next depression: Lines at the ER, a television boom, emptying suburbs. A catastrophic economic downturn would feel nothing like the last one. - The Boston Globe
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:43 AM
Location: Heartland Florida
9,324 posts, read 24,690,523 times
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My parents were born and raised during the depression. I grew up learning about it. Now I get to see it again as an inflationary depression, a much worse fate.
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Old 12-18-2008, 01:21 AM
2,141 posts, read 7,376,489 times
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My parents and aunts and uncles were all in their early teens during the Great Depression. Unlike my generation, they are very frugal. Some of them are very wealthy now and still clip coupons, save, and give purchases much thought. They price shop constantly and always seek bargains. Some observers may call them cheap. They consider themselves conservative with spending and will say that they are wealthy (lots of cash in the bank and no credit card debt). They also all live in the first house they bought. They never refinanced and didn't keep moving up and starting 30 year mortgages over. So by the time they were in their 50's, they were mortgage free. They also expected their children to take out student loans and work through college. The 'new parenting" style seems to put a lot of responsibility on parents paying for college. Some people of their generation paid, but they didn't feel the peer pressure to do so and some had too many chlldren to even consider it. My father, a WWII vet, paid for his cars in cash and would drive them into the ground before he bought a new one. He bough American cars and had them for 10 years. He also used them as little as possible, taking public transportation to work. An observation that I have over Depression survivors is that they really want their things to last. They take great care of things and use them as little as possible. I remember that when my dad bought cars, he shunned electric windows and things he felt were mechanical and would cost more to fix. He was a lawyer and had the money to buy a car with all the "bells and whistles' but always thought ahead to what it would cost to repair those "bells and whistles". People of that generation did not feel a need to live in McMansions and have gourmet kitchens. As a woman, I laugh at how many other women that I know who have outlandish $100k kitchens and barely cook or freak out when they have to have 10 people over for dinner. Today we need a automatic dishwasher, a microwave and all sorts of things to make our lives easier. The differences between generations is really amazing.
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Old 12-18-2008, 01:44 AM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
26,905 posts, read 44,987,053 times
Reputation: 31037
Originally Posted by nightbird47 View Post
My dad grew up on a farm with ten brothers and sisters. They never lacked food or shelter but it was a hard life ....
This is definately a BIG difference this time... during the 30's many city folk moved in with their farmer relatives, I know my dad's family in Nebraska hosted 2 families from NJ. Eventually my dad had to move to town and work in a grocery store to support his grandmother. The storekeeper would give him a candy bar every Saturday, but the keeper told Grandma that he had done that, and then she made dad bring them home to her ~! nice gal

I would venture to say that not too many folks today can move back to the farm, and a even fewer would be of much help. As mentioned there are still a lot of $$$ being circulated. I do wish the administration would enable a program similar to WPA & CCC for folks who care to work. There are many worthwhile projects & the lodges could use some renovation. I'm grateful for getting to use the trails and lodges, but I'd say we have all paid for them a few times over.
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:06 AM
Location: Forests of Maine
32,447 posts, read 52,776,300 times
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Both sets of my grandparents were farmers, and lost their farms during the dust bowl era. Became migrant farm workers along with my parents. My earliest photos show me in a cloth diaper tied to a row of berries, as my siblings picked berries. I was the row marker.

I got a 20-year government pension, and then bought a farm.

Building that farm up now, to be ready.
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:23 AM
28,461 posts, read 76,034,829 times
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From the Boston Globe link above
The odds are, most economists say, we will yet avoid a full-blown depression - the world's policy makers, they argue, have learned enough not to repeat the mistakes of the 1930s.
Keep sucking down the FEAR UNCERTAINITY & DOUBT that the MEDIA WIZARDS are pumping out and soon you sheep will be BEGGING to have our health care federalized, our retirements accounts seized by the idiot do-gooders, and our free choice snuffed out.

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Old 12-18-2008, 09:40 AM
5,409 posts, read 10,329,247 times
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Chet, you still seem "challenged" (is not that the new word for "special" since we cannot say retarded, anymore? ) about general looking ahead? This thread is an application of the Worst Case study. It is a lesson in learning by looking towards others' prior experience.

Maybe think of this as what I tell my kids --
1. Some folks learn by reading and others' example.
2. Some folks learn by having to experience things.
3. And some folks do not learn at all.

Lakewooder is doing this as a model of the first method -- study others' experience and examples. Great thread in that regard.

Applying that to a couple year "look ahead" and what we are seeing in your cited industry --

Within a couple of years it is very possible that the Medical Industry will be BEGGING to be at least partly Nationalized as the banking and auto industries have of late.

Folks and family I know in the Medical Industry are telling me they are watching business volume fall-off 30% or more.

Tell me where a fall-off in business leads in our All Greed All The Time Business Model of Must Grow to Survive?

Have we not just watched that in Housing, Banking, Energy, Retail, (insert next sector to go over the event horizon into the Black Hole)? Medical is in that line, as well.
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