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August 25th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Striking similarities between Great Depression & today?

ALT TEXT

In this photo from the 1930s, a group of boys on a residential street run after their homemade go-kart.  (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While the White House insists this is a "recovery summer," others say it looks a lot more like the Great Depression.

CNBC reports that economist David Rosenberg says like today, the Great Depression also had its high points - including big stock market gains and a series of positive GDP reports. Yet in both cases, these signs of recovery were unsustainable and gave people a false sense of stability.

According to Rosenberg, the U.S. economy is in "a depression, and not just some garden-variety recession." He compares how both during the 1930s and today people have a "euphoric response" to any glimmer of good economic news.

He says in the 1929-1933 depression, there were six quarterly bounces in GDP. So far, we've had four this time around.

Several top analysts have slashed their GDP projections for 2010... down to the 1.5 and two percent range.

The president of the Chicago federal reserve says that the risk of a double dip recession is growing, adding that the government programs meant to help homeowners aren't working.

Existing home sales plunged more than 27 percent last month - twice as much as analysts expected. And new home sales also fell by more than 12 percent to their slowest pace ever.

Economists warn that a double-dip in housing prices is also just around the corner - which could slow the recovery even more.

Add in the fact that there are no jobs, unemployment remains stuck near 10 percent, and the outlook is dark.

To top it off, Morgan Stanley says a global debt crisis is just beginning, and the bond market tussle we saw in Europe this past spring is just the beginning.

Here’s my question to you: What might it mean that there are striking similarities between the Great Depression and today's economy?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Andy writes:
Jack, It means that we are living at a time when America will fall as a world power. We're spending money we don't have. The two political parties have forced each other into a corner where they can not raise taxes, even though we may collapse if additional federal revenue is not raised. The scariest factor in all of this is that there is no politician that can inspire America to achieve excellence. We've 'outsourced' our jobs, allowed American corporations to move out of the country. We allow illegals to have more benefits than any American citizens and I don't see an end to what is going on.

Mark writes:
It might mean we are in or headed to a similar many-year economic retrenchment. But I think it more likely means we have too much print space and airtime to fill, so provocative comments like those of Rosenberg get play they do not deserve. This was a severe recession, but it is over.

Dave in Cleveland:
Not sure, but the similarities between the depression years and today are remarkable... It took a war to pull us out of that extended period. The direction proposed by today's administration is forward – forward over a cliff. We need some very tight fiscal policy, including the wind-down of many of our entitlement programs. No one challenges the fact that we cannot afford them, but not one leader is stepping forward with the truth and hard solutions.

Larry in Wisconsin writes:
I wish my Dad was still alive. He could answer the question, he lived through the last one. What I recall from the job situation, that he used to tell me about, I don't see it quite that bad just yet. He would tell of the government-sponsored jobs that were put in place to help with employment, like lumber jacking, and various other manual labor jobs. We certainly aren't doing that, but, should we?

Karen writes:
We are in a depression, but you can't say that because people are weak and couldn't take it. So we get these little glimmers of hope and a pat on the head and everyone goes about their business in a fog.

Dave writes:
The main difference is in the Great Depression people made real changes to their lives to correct things. Today no one wants to change. They want the government to fix everything while they waste time and money updating their social network pages and "tweeting" about it.


Filed under: Economy • Unemployment • Unemployment / Economy • United States
soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. Chris Gehring (San Francisco, California)

    What ever happened to the saying, "The world is what we make of it"? In reality, it's all about confidence. Confidence drives economies. If everyone spent less time moping and complaining about how we're in "the worst recession since the Great Depression" and actually got up, dusted themselves off, and did something about it, we'd be MILES ahead of where we are today. What's happened to American innovation? What's happened to the American spirit?

    August 25, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  2. Lloyd Bachand

    Rest assured, while the Middle Class becomes a thing of the past, the entrenched career politicians in Washington will still be lining their pockets. It's time to embrace true change, and vote out the career criminals. Florida was first............who's next?

    Lloyd in Vermont

    August 25, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  3. katiec Pekin, IL

    Of course there are simularities, Jack, as we are still in an economic crisis. But, I would bet you that during the depression the politicians worked together for our country's survival. Today we have a party that obstructs everything, regardless of merits.
    The only policy they support is a continuation of tax cuts, perks, benefits for the rich and Wall St. Recovery would be quicker if they started putting the country and us first, however, they prefer to spread propaganda, lies, fear, anger and have forsaken everything they were elected to do.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  4. Brett from Oriskany,VA

    Oh this is the Great Depression of the 21st century. Its just bad politics, Republican or Democrat, to call it that. As a senior citizen on a small income that got depleted by half in 2008, and as child of depression era parents, I don't see much different. If it wasn't for deer meat,I'd be eating just rice. The difference is in the 40's we had a war, that's what ended the Depression. I don't believe the monies I lost will ever come back, no matter how much better the economy gets. I'm beginning to feel we've been ripped off by the financial industry.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  5. Fred

    I agree... a recession is more in line with something that has a relatively short life. I don't think that the current indicators point to a short situation...I.E. employment numbers, housing, debt, etc.
    The government has taken steps to help things out but it's like putting on a bandaid when amputation is needed. The strange thing about this economy is that it seems to be bringing a bigger divide between the rich and the poor.... go figure.

    Fred
    Bakersfield, Ca

    August 25, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  6. JF

    The similarities do not mean anything. When you do not learn from
    the past, you are as the past. Every empire that was based on getting
    rich by using the little people, has and will always fall. This is a world
    that believe in riding the backs of the little people. " If this world is not
    going to be for you, why are you for this world ." Things are going to get
    very very depressing.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  7. Diane Wiley

    Are we in a depression? Or just depressed about everything negative that seems to be going on around us. Natural disasters, children disappearing and ending up murdered, political corruption, jobless rates up and housing sales down....the list of things to feel bad about seems to be endless. I, for one, just want to curl up on the couch and pull the blanket over me. And, I would if it wasn't so darned hot.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  8. texaslady2

    Sounds like a depression to me. Most of the jobs that have been sent overseas aren't coming back and employers are allowed to practice age discrimination with impunity when they replace older, more "expensive" employees with younger, "cheaper" ones. Maybe we need to admit that the USA is becoming overpopulated and reduce our levels of legal immigration and seal the borders to keep out illegals. The more people we try to cram into our economy, the more unemployment we will see because the jobs just aren't there.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  9. al corcoran

    jack

    i am not sue what similarities would mean but i do know the difference between a depression and a recession. a recession is when your neighbour gets laid off and a depression is when you get laid off.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  10. Scott Stodden

    I Wasn't Around During The Great Depression But I Can Say Today That Any Politician Who Say's We're In A Recovery Is Flat Out Lying To The American People And Giving Us All False Hope! Unemployment Is Higher Than I've Ever Seen, We're Still Fighting Two Wars, Our Foreign Relations Are Not Good At All, Etc.... We May Not Have Reached Depression Status Yet But We're Not Far From There In My Opinion!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    August 25, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  11. Kevin from Co

    It means this younger generation that has always had everything handed to them will be in for a rude awakening! They will be lucky to keep food on the table and a roof over their head and have to forget about all those nifty, expensive gadgets like cell phones and anything else that's a luxery item.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  12. inofritzn

    It means our government needs to stop spending money. Their stimulus packages didn't do the trick. Don't give me the 'it would have been worse' bs. It may have gotten worse throughout the recession/depression, but the recovery side would have been stronger. Now we have a stalled recovery, and once we(as in the American worker) pull ourselves out, a mountain of debt awaits. Bravo

    August 25, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  13. Bonnie in Arkansas

    We need jobs, but who is going to create them? They don't want the government to spend any money, but it's Obama's fault that jobs are not being created! Tell the big corporations to cut loose some of that cash they are hoarding, and get this country back to work.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  14. e smith

    funny our top economic advisors say depression obama says long term recovery i hope he is ready for our local parks turning into homeless camps oh wait they already are welcome to california.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  15. Bill Daily - Rock Island, IL

    How many people watching you on TV even know what it was like to live through the Great Depression? The Great Depression was so much worse than this, there is now comparison...yet.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  16. John Walton

    We already have had a double dip recession with the first dip starting in 2002 with a jobless partial recovery created because home prices at that time hadn't felt the rising impact of the financial industries reckless lending and brokerage practices. There will be similarities between this economy and the great depression, but their are also differences. Our dependence on technology to handle financial transactions, find employment, maintain relationships, etc. makes the impacts of this recession difficult to compare.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  17. gene on LBK

    It took several years for the 29 depression to take full effect. At that time the ratio of paper money to gold was 7.5 to 1. The current ration of paper to gold is beyond 2300 to 1 which means that if we do go into a deep depression it could be much more severe than it was in the 29 depression.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  18. S. Ogut

    It means we'll get out of it.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  19. jz

    The only people who do not know we are in a DEPRESSION are the Economists and Government.

    JZ Charlotte, NC

    August 25, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  20. Meg from Troy

    Jack–
    I'm out in the trenches so I'd say yes, we are definitely not recovering this summer–at least where I live. It's time for the President and Congress to start some serious working together.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  21. Mike

    The similarities means we are in a depression Jack. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck. Same with depressions. All the politicians can't say the "D" word because that would take honesty, guts and brains, none of which exists in Washington.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  22. Annie, Atlanta

    What it means to me, personally, is this Great Recession is really a depression. Thanks to policies of the corporate owned politicians in DC over decades, we’ve witnessed an obscene shift of wealth from the poor to the rich, and the destruction of the middle class. And I don't see a way out. It makes me angry as well as sad that "we the people" stood by and did nothing. What other history will we be repeating in the near future, like idiots?

    August 25, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  23. Gerri

    One of the big differences is credit cards. There would be no difference if people had to draw cash out of their wallets today. People stay afloat because they can charge groceries, gas, entertainment, etc. and not have to pull $50, $100, $200 in cash out of their wallets. If cash was required it would be a lot more uncomfortable!

    August 25, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  24. Samuel Markes

    This does have striking similiarities, although unlike the Great Depression (will we come to call it GD1?) there are a number of social support systems that seem to be staving off some of the more brutal issues of those days. However, those systems will doubtless flag and fail in the coming years of austerity. What seems to be missing from this present crisis are the large scale infrastructure and work programs that bolstered the economy in the 29-31 crisis. As it happened then, the recovery spending programs were cut off before true recovery occurred. It is tragically regrettable that our leaders are those that are farthest away from worries about how to keep their homes, feed and educate their children, and pay for their healthcare. We've still got a long way to fall and without real public servants as leaders, we will never reach so high again.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  25. Theodore R. Wade Jr.

    What it means is that 80% of the comuntry cannot find there assets with both hands. We keep sending the same ediots to Washington DC with their own party or personal agenda instead of sending them to Washington DC to "represent" us. I am sick of all of it, the government, politics, and our idiot population.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  26. Phil - South Dakota

    Jack, I'm not sure if depression is the correct word. Let's think about it. We are pouring money into 2 wars, we continue to send cash to other nations, our government is revenue challenged, we are not innovating as a nation, our entire education system is in a swirl, we continue to off-shore jobs, the debt and deficit are both rising at an alarming rate, unemployment will probably get worse before it gets better, consumers are spending less, the government is the largest employer, Wall Street continues to have high expectations, and on and on and on. Now, should we refer to this as a depression or is the country in the middle of an economic realignment? I don't know how to spin reality – we're in serious trouble that goes beyond the myopic definition of a depression. We had better get a clue and it better be coming real soon!!!

    August 25, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  27. Dick in Redding

    It means, simply, that our leaders have failed to read our History, therefore, thay have repeated it.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  28. Delia, Katy, TX

    Jack, unemployed off and on for 2 years now. It's a depression and if it's not - then, it's just that I'm depressed! Technology has meant the loss of many jobs, which will never return. For example, look at books, Kindle has replaced the need for books. Ipads are even used in lieu of school books. So, I can foresee the loss of several printing businesses. So, Jack, where are the jobs????

    August 25, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  29. Brett Lee

    It's clear we are in a depression. Whats worse is there is no appetite for the type of 'progressive class warfare' that set the foundation for middle class prosperity in second half of the 1900's. I'm very worried for my generation.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  30. Matthew in central California

    We have had at least 17% unemployment for at least two years in my city. We don't know what qualifies as a "depression" instead of a "recession" but the mood is very gloomy here. In the office I work in, 2 out of 5 people lost their homes (despite having a job) in the last two years. A friend of mine has been living out of her car for the last month. It is really tough right now and we don't see a light at the end of the tunnel yet. If this isn't a depression, then heaven help us.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  31. Daniel T

    The Republican Goverment has blooded out our economy for 8 years. This can not be fixed so fast. Unforunately this will need at least one year or two. The Irak war alone has cost the United States over 1 Trillion Dollars. And for what? Lets pray to God for a healthy future and recovery

    August 25, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  32. Brett Lee

    From Simi Valley, Ca

    It's clear we are in a depression. Whats worse is there is no appetite for the type of 'progressive class warfare' that set the foundation for middle class prosperity in second half of the 1900's. I'm very worried for my generation.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  33. frankie

    It means that a certain political persuasion, i.e. the Right, is spending a lot of advertising money to nurture a sense of pessimisim in the USA. As long as we allow the Federal government to function intelligently, there are safeguards today that make it impossible to have a great depression. That is, as long as we pay attention to the lessons of our American history.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  34. mike - oregon

    i am only in a depression when i think about who is running this country

    August 25, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  35. Liz Salgado

    Sure does, I just came back from a food line. After 2 1/2 years out of work, and without any site of relief anytime soon from Corporate America what do you expect. Looking at depression face on. Liz/NYC

    August 25, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  36. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    I think if you taek out the bogus GDP gains from inflated government spending there would be no doubt that we are in a Depression. I also think, like the Great Depression it will prolonged for years unless we change course and cut taxes and government spending drastically. People have no faith in the government and spending more money we have to borrow is ludicrous. True, sustainable economic growth can only come from the private sector. Since Obama has declared war on the private sector I dioubt we will see any recovery until 2013. Get used to double digit unemployment and pray that we can unwind the last 10 years of collective poor policy decisions.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  37. HillClimber

    This is likely to be even worse than we are seeing now with a collapse of the world economy. My statement is not based on what we're reading of results and projections, but the predictions of Edgar Cayce. Cayce foresaw the anti Christ (George Walker Bush of course), the man who would do his best to fix the damage and would be called by some the messiah (Barack Obama) but who is not the messiah and makes no claim to that, but will fail only to see the world economy tank. The events of 2012 just happen to fall into the mix, but more as a point of reference than the cause of or change to the status quo. Things will get worse, but we will survive and there will be a changing of how we deal with life in general. Less profit motive, more work benefiting spiritual advancement. It's near and will happening soon.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  38. Gary B

    In short, it means nothing. Isolated numbers do not add up to a Depression. Consider that the two key problems that devestated this Country during the Great Depression do not and cannot exist. First, savings in banks are not at risk. In 1930, if a bank went under all of its investors lost all of their savings (think Wonderful Life). Today, no FDIC insured account has ever lost a dime. So people's savings are safe. Moreover, a vast segment of the population, gravely at risk in 1930, are getting monthly checks NO MATTER WHAT! That is right, our elderly are getting their social security checks like clockwork, spending them on food, clothing, etc., and helping to prevent a total economic collapse by being consumers. Elderly with income, secure savings = greatly reduced risk of depression occurring (and lets not forget unemployment in a recession needs to be in the 20% – 30% range, not 10%).

    August 25, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  39. Midwest Jim

    This is nothing like the Depression of 1929 with it's 25+% unemployed and no safety nets in existence.
    Thankfully FDR and old Democrats put some safeguards in place.
    Unfortunately, for decades most people have forgotten the lessons of the Depression and greed has overtaken our society.
    Long-term the US needs to get smart and build green jobs, build our manufacturing base, develop clean energy, get control of deficits, invest in education, etc. etc.
    But partisan politics will keep that from happening... so we'll have something different from the 1929 Depression–maybe it will be worse.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  40. Sean

    It just means that with manufacturing gone, we have no hope to turn things around. The great depression had 80% plus of manufacturing made here. More blue collar jobs will eventually mean more white collar jobs. Free enterprise system does not work and the government should acknowledge that. Here in New York City we have Toyota police cars.... are you kidding me. More tax dollars wasted for non domestic products. We as americans should look carefully what we purchase for our country to survive.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  41. Jim Keller

    Jack,

    Those of us down here in the real world have been calling it a depression since 2008. I'm just glad the economists are starting to believe the facts. Not only is it conceivable that we're in a depression, denying it will only make it last longer.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  42. Stephen Charchuk

    It shows just what happens whenever the republicans gain enough power and control. It was over 40 years from the last time they held so much power to when Reagan bought the presidency when the current mess started.

    Under Reagan/Bush the national debt went from $1 trillion to $4 trillion. Bush Jr. copied just about everything that they did beforehand, even with some of the same people helping him and he got the same results on a bigger scale this time.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  43. SEBASTIAN BAENA

    We are not in a depression and things are looking great!!! Ask the GOP.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  44. Eileen Shively

    Jack: I lived the "30's". My dear Dad earned $33.00 per week. We ate boiled rice, with cinnamon and milk for DINNER, one night per week, another night was scrambled eggs, another was Pork and Baked Beans right out of the can; these I site as examples.

    Don't tell me today resembles the previous depression years.
    Check the pick up lines at Mc Donalds.

    People are so darn spoiled today, they have no idea of "depression".

    Eileen

    August 25, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  45. Jim O"Connor

    We are in a depression..... we just don"t realize it yet!

    August 25, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  46. Mark, Oklahoma City

    Of course...we have a President about as clueless as the one we had who created the Great Depression. History repeats itself, and as a teacher, I can tell you that our leaders are the last ones to actually "learn" this reality.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  47. Rick

    I believe the only folks capable of honestly answering this question are the ones that lived through the first Depression. You can have all the data similarities you want, but to see the effects on the street from those the went through the first one should give a better indication if this time around is similar.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  48. Jason

    Not really as we have everything disposable still around us. Back in the 30s they didn't have that luxury.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  49. David

    We are not in a depression thanks to 80 years (subsequent to the real Depression) of "raising the floor" of our standard of living. The "poor" in the US are not starving poor without a roof over their head. Our poor are doing quite well thanks to layers of government and charitable safety nets. Our unemployed are not destitute, they're just having a hard time paying off the loan on the 3-yr old car in the garage. We are not in a Depression until Wall Street traders start throwing themselves off tall buildings.....we can only hope.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  50. mark

    Too bad we didn't listen to economists back years ago who said you can't have two wars,tax cuts,new entitlement programs all at the same time without wrecking the economy. Back then where were the present day financial critics who are now yelling "Depression!" ? They were pretending all was well and helping get GW Bush reelected.Now the push is to give the country back over to the reckless spenders-another round of them and what we'll endure will make the Great Depression look like a day at the beach. Mark
    Byrdstown, TN

    August 25, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  51. Gary Duncan

    The comparison to the Great Depression is frightening. It could lead to millions dependent on the federal government for their livelihoods-more than already if that is possible. Then before you know it we are reliving the FDR programs that made generational dependents of many groups and lays the foundation for multiple Obama terms. Can the country survive that again? NO!!!

    August 25, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  52. Ken New Baltimore

    Mr. O makes a saint out of FDR. I believe he sees himself as the 2nd FDR, therefore, he needs a Greater Depression to come out of. He ignores that all his economic remedies are making the patient sicker. "Brother, can you spare a dime", is becoming the Administrations motto.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  53. Jim

    I hate to be a doomsayer, Jack, but I recall what my folks (who lived through the Depression) would say. They said that it was World War II that really got this country out of the Depression. Get ready for the draft, roll up your sleeves, and call Rosie the Riveter. We're heading down that same path. -Jim, Cleveland

    August 25, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  54. James

    It means, Jack, that we might be better for suffering another Great Depression. My grandfather lived through the last one and his generation did pretty well. This time maybe we will treat the people who actually do the work in this country better and not rip them off with record oil prices and then ship their jobs overseas.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  55. Dave

    If today is like the Great Depression, maybe we will get some progressive, New Deal-type policies instead of blindly following the pro-corporate, tax cuts for the rich ideas which the U.S. seems intent on following.

    Dave,

    Kitchener, Canada

    August 25, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  56. Susan from Idaho

    You're comparing apples to oranges. We may be worse off than they were in the thirties. Folks that have jobs will sell them out to the lowest bidders, mostly likely illegals, and back then a man would cut wood for a meal, not wait for a hand out. Also people put off being married and having children because they simply could not afford it. Now days they make rabbits out of themselves with no thought of how they are going to take care of them.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  57. Josiah, Rochester, NY

    Although on the surface the difference between now and the Great Depression may seem nominal, there really are stark and strong contrasts: for one thing American consumerism has run amok and our standard of living has exploded into decadence creating a lot of easy targets for the morally bankrupt credit industry. The mean square footage of homes has over doubled in some areas in over the past fifty years and our economy is based more and more on things people don't need but are fed by marketers that they do. While my heart goes out to those that are truly suffering because of our economy, this may be time for American's to redefine what prosperity truly is.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  58. Stacy

    It took two years for them to officialy say we were in a recession. It will take two years to admit we're in a depression... it doesn't matter if it's named or not!
    Do the right thing and tax the top 2 percent until they squeal, 50 percent pay cuts for Congress, start major infrastructure projects and make Elin Woods Queen of the U.S.A for half her divorce settlement.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  59. Ty McCallum

    No we are still in just a recession. The unemployment # are not high enough yet. If we don't watch our Ps&Qs we could go into a depression. Still a good chance to hit a double dip recession too. In the S.E. Michigan county I live in unempolyment is around 15% with 22% of the population receiving some form of public assistance. I have been unemployed for a year and a half and just now I'm starting to get interveiws for skilled trades so that a good sign.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  60. Ken in Mt

    It means that we learned nothing from the first time through this, The difference being is that now we are in a couple wars and up to our eyeballs in debt from profligate republican tax cuts. Sooner or later we have to learn that we shouldn't give more money to rich people as they already have plenty.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  61. Newsh

    I hope this is not true but the recession has lasted twice as long as a normal recession. Its hard to listen to what the "experts" are saying though. Where were they 3 years ago? I don't think there is any experts. Wasn't Greenspan on top of the world with his policies only to admit he miscalculated and they were extrememely detrimental to the economy? I balk at anyone claiming to know what they are talking about going forward.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  62. William

    It means that some economists see the glass as half empty or worse. Money magazine this week has an article giving 5 reasons why we will not have a double dip recession. Who's right? Wait and see. In the meantime, let's stop depressing us all more than we already are. The 24-hour news media is a part of the problem!

    August 25, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  63. PiedType

    Come on, Jack, stop feeding the fear. We haven’t seen a total stock market collapse, or nationwide runs on most of our banks. We haven’t begun to approach the Great Depression’s 25% unemployment. We don’t have breadlines forming in every major city, or tent cities and shantytowns — “hoovervilles” — springing up everywhere. Nobody's happy with the current reports, but we're a long way from The Great Depression.

    Sarah
    Denver, CO

    August 25, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  64. Roanna Martin

    It means that the GOP is getting their wish. They came into power in 2001 with the plan to "starve the beast." They looted the treasury and gave all we had left to the very richest. They more than doubled the debt in 8 years, and bankrupted the US for years to come with Medicare part D, two wars, tax cuts for the ultra-rich and a fat Wall Street bailout. They hope we hit a fiscal bottom that will allow them to take power, get rid of social security and Medicare and achieve the permanent majority they have longed for. Obama will take all of the blame, they will walk away scot-free and the United States of Amnesia will not realize it for 50 years.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  65. Texas Progressive

    Jack, you're asking a serious economic question of a population generally lacking in even the slightest understanding of the principles of economics. We expect unprecedented levels of government services, cheap imported goods, low-interest loans, low-cost medical care, and low taxes. We don't save for the future, we "invest" in big-screen televisions, botox injections, and gas-guzzling cars. You'd get a better answer if you asked about Lindsey Lohan's rehab...

    August 25, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  66. Peter

    What depression?? Didn't Mccain and Scott just spend tens of millions to win a chance to get a job that pays around 100 thousand??

    August 25, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  67. Brian, NJ

    GOP gets back into power and a Depression is guaranteed

    August 25, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  68. Harry

    Jack we are very close to a depression now,.Once the stimulus money runs out then I think we will be for certain. The only way to mend this economy is to bring back the jobs. Also force companys to use E verify (no jobs for illegals).Then restrict the number of visas issued every year as there are plenty of educated/skilled labor folks available here.Many companies are just trying to import more cheap labor.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  69. Bob Houle

    The only reason the Great Recession hasn't be correctly labeled "Depression" right from the beginning was the correct perception that the US public doesn't have the maturity or courage to face the truth, on this or many other topics. "Recessions" we can handle, "depressions" are much tougher. Rather than inspire the electorate, the politicians chose to treat us like children that can't take bad news. Unfortunately, that was probably the correct thing to do as the lesser of two evils: avoid the panic!

    Bob Houle
    Davidsonville, MD

    August 25, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  70. Lucille Martin

    i AM 87 and lived through the Great Depression and when turned our economy was turned into a basket ball court that started dribbling a dole I said then we were in a depression and not a recession

    WHY? Because there are no jobs to got back to and If they had put all those doles into infrastructure we would have good jobs by now and this is what I have been telling them but no one listens.

    We are now governed by a new breed of UNTOUCHABLES unless you have a bag of money to take to the and it the fault of the voters that keep putting the same NESTER'S back in office.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  71. David

    The parallels between the depression and the current economy are striking right down to the same anti business and pro big government message from Washington. It was FDR's Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau who said: "We have tried spending money. We are pending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. ... After eight years of this Administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started ...." Senator Michael Bennett recent said: “We have managed to acquire $13 trillion of debt on our balance sheet in my view we have nothing to show for it.”

    Yes, the parallels are stunning.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  72. Dave in Philly

    It means the Republican's dogma is wrong. A Republican got us into the Great Depression and another Republican did it again! The Bozzo's in Washington need to change or get out.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  73. Gerald McCarthy

    Our economic bubble burst because we all overspent. It's like overeating. We now need to go on a spending diet and none of our economic experts have the guts to approve to approve this remedyy.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  74. vsmit

    We're not even in a recession as bad as the ~1980 Carter recession.

    Comparing the current economic downturn to the depression is just comical.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  75. MIke in TX

    It reminds us of two things Jack. First, in spite of the demands of today's society for an immediate fix, these kinds of turnarounds take time. And second we are reminded that we are one heck of a country and together, just as we did back then, we will come through these troubled times.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  76. frankie

    One hundred years ago, people all over the world were sending millions and millions of picture postcards every year to tell guests what time to arrive for dinner next week, to announce a birth or death in the family, not just to write home from a vacation. Postcards were the modern way for average people to communicate in 1910, tand he U.S. mail was delivered twice a day. The more things change, the more they stay the same. It's just human nature!

    August 25, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  77. Roger Willingham-Fayetteville,Pa

    It means we are heading for a real depression,especially if all governments (federal,state,local) don't act quickly and act if as the recession is real. So far, most people have no idea what hardship is..and I believe our government's attitude of "Full steam ahead" is only compounding the problem.Denial is ultimately going to lead to disaster in the economy and civil unrest,perhaps worse.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  78. Mike in KC

    No Jack not even close. Food lines? Nope. CCC and WPA? Nope. Unemployment rate in 1933? 24%. Right now? 10%. Your question is over-simplified and absolutey ridiculous. Unfortunately the "News" nowadays centers around the media generating some sort of hysteria to get people's attention. Your question is the latest incarnation of that trend.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  79. Paul K

    There are a lot of technical factors that define a Depression. We really haven't hit any of them – let alone reached the depths of the 1930s. Technically, GDP has to contract by 10% to reach the threshold of a Depression. That hasn't happened. Unemployment in the 1930s was about 25%. But of course, back then, they didn't count women because they weren't mainstreamed into the workforce. So really, they were at about 50% unemployment if you make that adjustment. Today's rate of 10-15% is tragic but, again, not Depression-era. After 20 years of ecomomic expansion and an almost unlimited appetite for consumption and indulgence, America has finally reached its credit limit. It's a rude awakening that is triggering a lot of personal depression, but not an actual economic Depression.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  80. Demotard

    Yes, Ron Paul called it during the last presidential campaign and was laughed at.Yea let me ask the current president how reality kept up with his assessment during the campaign.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  81. Natalie

    As a 17 year old, I find many similarities between my generation and the great depression's generation. I am learning to save my money and not trust it in stocks. I am learning that the rich will keep getting rich if the stock market is not regulated and that this will happen again and again unless we fix it. What this means is that my generation will pick up the mess and become the second greatest generation to live!

    August 25, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  82. Jeff Hatton from Burlingame, California

    Bad management of the land lead to dis-placed communities who were looked down on as being inferior. Milk was poured into the gutters to keep the price stable while others hungered. Bank foreclosures and gangsters ran the contraband. Life was cheap.

    For a party, people brought illegal hootch, others brought beans and so on. In some respects, community became closer. In others, the gap between the "halves" became wider to the "halve-nots".

    My 87 year old Mother told me she felt like low-life when asked to come and go by the back door because her play friend was affluent. Her husband jumped from a window after the '29 crash.

    What-ever the correct answer is, if you lose your money, don't lose your mind, America.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  83. Tony

    The Economy Stupid! Jack Governments around the world are afraid of the word "Depression". They are in denial and is afraid to create a panic. What is a double dip depression? Shouldn't a second round of recession indicate that we are in or heading towards a depression? The people are not stupid. Check with the unemployed and they will tell the story. I have known people out of jobs for almost two years. This is certainly a striking case for depression. Something tells me they are fudging the numbers when it comes to unemployment and do not want it to go above 10%. Smile Jack!
    I love you – you are the man to bring up these realistic issues. Thanks again. You have read my mind.

    Tony

    August 25, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  84. Vernal E Richardson

    Some people are always in a depression, others always in a state of prosperity, others constantly shifting somewhere between the two conditions. To speak of our national economy in these terms is to indulge in perceptions, trying to generalize an average in a shifting population. If the population perceives that we are in a depression, we are!

    As I recall, in the Great Depression people were trying to cling to whatever employment they had, trying to stretch their income to cover many responsibilities (mostly to family), trying to express faith that a better day was coming, and trying to order their priorities to emphasize lasting values and stability. It seems that there are "striking similarities" between those people and the typical person in today's economy. (Young Harris, GA)

    August 25, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  85. Gigi Oregon

    I see no similarities between today and the thirty's. But bring the Republican party back and we could by 1015. Unless you are fortunate to have a family album with pictures from that area you would never understand the poverty that the American people lived through. We just had a family reunion where our families lived through those dark days. Most food you had to eat came from the ground the river or a hunting gun. No fast food, soap, washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, even bed frames. And this was most of America. The churches were poor, their wasn't much anyone could do. They did sing, visit and know their neighbor, help when able and pray. If we don't stop corporate America our children may get to experience what their Great grandparents went through. The only similarity is The republican party is too close for comfort.

    The Republicans took office with a surplus and ran the debt out of sight and tried to blame it on the Democrats. Now they want to take back the country and finish us off. If your dumb enough to do it, Then best you experience some eye opening experiences.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  86. Peter s CA

    Jack! thats a perfect question which you should ask the party of No! . For sure Republicans love depression because the bourgeoisie will have the chance to exploits labor because its the labor which produces all value. However, during depression wages are held to abnormally low levels because there is an “army of unemployed,” which allows the bourgeoisie to extract an unearned surplus (profit) for their own use while breaking the backs of the middle class!!

    August 25, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  87. Jim Blevins

    Talk about old news. We were told two years ago that if certain steps were not taken, we would end up in another depression. Obama and team clearly know how to solve the problem, but it takes time. The danger is that the Republicans want to drive us into the depression. The question is can Obama do what needs to be done, or will the Republicans succeed.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    August 25, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  88. mario L.

    Not sure what it means, but it's quite obvious we going into whatever's ahead with blinders on. Politicians, mainly Republicans seem to think the magic bullet is lower taxes and more the what they did to get us here in the first place and Wall Street acts like they aren't responsible as they sell us junk investments, charge us outrageous prices for everything, and send all our jobs oversees. If we then ultimately become broke, caused mostly by their design, how can we possibly support this economy? It's pretty sad to see supposedly such bright minds destroy the greatest economy in history out of pure greed.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  89. Jon King

    Anyone that does not get that Bush almost cratered the banks and insurers is foolish. Obama had zero good choices. I wish McCain would have won, the Repubs would have had total ownership and been out of office for 30 years.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  90. Rod Aissa

    Jack, nobody in their right minds believe that there are similarities between today's environment and the Great Depression. This is nonsense. It's not even close. Other than the unemployment numbers (which has been stuck at close to 10%), and the home sales number that just went down 12.4%, the stock market is holding up at a reasonable level, and the economy is growing: real gross domestic product, the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States, increased at an annual rate of 2.4 percent in the second quarter of 2010 (that is, from the first quarter to the second quarter), according to the estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 3.7 percent. Although unemployment is relatively high, there are a lot of jobs posted in the industry. What's happening is this is a phase were the industry is going through a transformation, and companies are getting more and more selective in their hiring process.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  91. katiec Pekin, IL

    Jack,
    During the great despression we had politicians working together for the survival of our country. As is today, it took years for the diasters to come to a head and, of course, there are simularities as we still have financial crisis. But, the big banks have not gone under, big businesses did not collapse due to stimulus, people are not starving because of the extension of unemployment, teachers, firefighter jobs were funded.
    However, when you have a political party who are obstructing our survival, have voted against everything to help us and our country, yet push a continuation of tax cuts, perks, benefits for the rich and Wall St
    than we still have a tough road to travel, that is, unless they finally start representing our country and the American people.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  92. James

    They also had hamburgers during the Great Depression, just like today! OMG we're in a depression!! The Great Depression had unemployment greater than 25%. 1 in 4 Americans who wanted to work could not find a job. Until that similarity is met we are not in straights as dire as those of the Great Depression. However, we are absolutely in a depressed economy, and after the damage the economy sustained we should not expect a speedy recovery.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  93. DMC

    If you have to ask, you're not in a depression. Those that were didn't wonder.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  94. The Mudshark in Oregon

    Not a depression, merely a transitional phase while all of the world's wealth is concentrated into the hands of the richest 1%. I prefer the word "adjustment", because all the rest of us (the 99%) better adjust to a lower standard of living without the security of reliable health care. We'll need to get used to living in a world where only the very wealthy can afford education. We will have to become used to wondering where might our next meal come from.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  95. Rogi

    What this reminds me of is a pre-war turbulence that has been evident and seen across the world in any civil wars, including those that were greater such as the WWII. The idea of it frightens me, but is very realistic given the tensions world wide between many countries, and the issues over middle-east and Israel. How do depressions get released and resolved? Would some kind of a great war solve that answer, because it does kill all economies, currencies and not to mention population which in some minds would definitely reduce unemployment, and increase production and economy growth...because after every war, you start at zero, and build up. Lancaster, PA aka. Amish Paradise

    August 25, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  96. John LaBare

    You've got to be kidding me. The great depression.??? Having payed attention in history class I remember that during the great depression people had to stand in line to get bread and milk and sometimes they could not even get that. When I see kids running around in $100 nike shoes and 7 elevens around every corner, I don't think this downturn is even close to a great depression. This is just another nonsense fear tactic that the great fear mongers want you to believe.

    Lets be realistic Jack

    Wantagh, NY

    August 25, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  97. Chris in Los Angeles

    Not sure about you, but I am.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  98. Robert Drew

    Perception is often the predictor of reality. A positive production atttude is the fundamental solution to a depression. fear is the enemy. We need to invest and purchase and encourage business to share the gains they are having their with their work staff as well as their exective leadership. In short they need to hire and we who have a reserve need to spend and down play fear. Some one once said that our greatest fear is fear itself. If we promote fear we become our own worst enemy.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  99. Gene in Michigan

    Jack...we are definitely in another Depression. Government statistics for things like unemployment and GDP have been massaged to appear better then they actually are. What it means is that people who were fortunate enough, and wise enough, to save their money will be the winners when things eventually get better and opportunities present themselves. Those who took on excessive debt to have all the big homes and toys are going to have a tough road to hoe.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  100. Alec

    To quote American author Chuck Palahniuk: "We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy stuff we don't need. We're the middle children of history. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives."

    August 25, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  101. Jeffrey Hartman

    What might it mean that there are striking similarities between the Great Depression and today's economy?

    I believe it could mean we are in for a catastrophe. A depression in the thirties, with it's low-tech society, no high-leveraged stock market, and mortgages only a fraction of today's, was no match for what could happen today. We could see a total collapse of our living standards for the last few decades. The problem we have, until it actually happens, is that our political leaders are all liars, and we cannot determine where we are really at, based upon what they say. Republicans say the heavens are falling upon us, the Democrats say we are absolutely in a recovery. Which of the liars do you believe? How do you really know what awaits us? It could be BAD!!

    August 25, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  102. Ralph Spyer

    Back in the 1930s men were men the fabric of our country has change; we have become a country of whinners we were a country of winners. We drank a shot and a beer now we drink non fat ,extra wip, decaffeinate soy juce

    August 25, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  103. Scott N, Dallas

    The similarities mean, to me, that we have only delayed the corrections that will have to take place in the economy before we see a return to true prosperity. We may not have soup lines but food stamps are the replacement. Deflation and a high steady unemployment rate are here for a while. A balanced budget amendment is needed before we have a collapse of the dollars value on the world market.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  104. Kate

    My mother's comment to this same question was, 'But, people are not on the street corners selling pencils or apples like they were during the Great Depression.' Who needs a pencil? I say we're in a depression but the government would prefer not to use the "d-word."

    Denver, CO

    August 25, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  105. Brian - Illinois

    During the Great Depression unemployment was said to have reached as high as 25 percent. By that yardstick we are not anywhere close to that. But to many it seems like it if for no other reason than we have become the "I Deserve It" society. And when the money is no longer in the budget to be able to shop in upscale stores, dine in upscale restaurants, it then seems like a deprivation. We may not quite be there yet, but there is no guarantee that we won't be as it is so hard to get a job and all sorts of mind games are being played to keep people from getting jobs, such as denying people jobs if they have poor credit scores. In most cases it is because folks have been out of work and unable to keep things up. If double digit unemployment is going to be the new normal, then other means are going to have to be created to produce income and purchasing power, period. We are being fed a feel good message in the media and yet underneath there is an opposite message.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  106. Kevin from Co

    It means this younger generation that has always had everything handed to them will be in for a rude awakening! They will be lucky to keep food on the table and a roof over their head and have to forget about all those nifty, expensive gadgets like cell phones and anything else that's a luxery item. Only time will tell how they handle it, or don't.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  107. Tony

    What we need is a spending freeze around the country. States are spending like there is a bottomless pit of money. We are an overpriced and overpaid society. The rich are getting richer at the expense of the poor. Just take a look at CEO pay, State goverment pay, as in Bell County, California and around the country and Wall Street bonus, just to name a few. Don't even get me started. I could go on and on about waste in the government. You get the drift Jack!

    Keep up the good work.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  108. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    It means that finally today's financial situation is being called what it actually is – a Depression. This was one of my biggest fears and it seems to be becoming a reality. Time to tighten belts.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  109. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    Jack,

    I don't think what we are experiencing is a depression, but it is a deep recession and it will likely get worse. Those of us who exist almost entirely on Social Security (I am one of those) did not get a COLA increase in 2010 nor are we going to see one in 2011 even though nearly every thing I must buy has gone up from 5-7% from 2009.

    I had hoped to sell my town house, bank the equity and rent, but housing sales have tanked yet again. Life sucks.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  110. Michael

    Lord, here we go. Typical cry of the liberals: "tax the rich to death". Yeah, let's try to punish the successful who actually create the jobs. I do not know any poor people who hire, do you? But just to let you know, I felt the same way when I made poverty level wages. It wasn't until I put myself through college, busted my butt, and became successful until that mindset changed. You cannot punish someone because they are the "haves" and you are a "have not". The rich will just not expand hiring. They will take their ball and go home. I agree with Texas progressive. People care more about snoopy, shucky, or whatever the heck that idiot is named than they do about this country or their own existence.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  111. R.J. Connors

    Jack, this is much more than the 'garden variety' recession, because among the triggers was the oil-price spike, which will resume when the economy shows the slightest sign of recovery. In fact, as production shifts to ever-more-costly sources, like tar sands and the ocean bottoms, rising energy costs will kill most world trade, and severely hamper agricultural production. We are in for a long, slow unraveling of the industrial economy, and there is very little that can be done about it, except find alternative energy sources.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  112. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Jack:

    My dad shot rats and varmints for 5 cents each during the great depression. I am hoping that with inflation I will be able to survive following in his humility. Although one difference might be, he never said he "ate" any !

    August 25, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  113. M.Larry

    We are in a depression! Private industry will not create jobs ! President Roosevelt had to create jobs via the WPA.! President Roosevelt did not have to face the outsourcing of jobs OVERSEAS. The Republicans will not approve the jobs bill for Small Business.WHY SHOULD THEY. ! An America in trouble means more VOTES for them.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  114. pete

    What is unexpected about housing going through the floor when the buyer credits ran out? It was totally expected. If anything, we'll finally see the much needed real home prices devaluation that will allow home buying to actually pick back up. Certain areas have already bottomed out, but around me the 10% devaluation we've seen just didn't level off the bubble. That still needs to happen.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  115. Thinkforyourself, OK

    Gee, Jack! I think it just might mean we are suffering here.

    While the uber rich and politicians yuk it up and hid their heads in the sand, the rest of us are trying to figure out what is gonna happen when it all collapses.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  116. honest John in Vermont

    There are similiarities and there are big differences in comparing the 1929 Depression and today. Yet it is overwhelmingly clear we have a very serious economic problem which is not in any kind of recovery mode and it is not being addressed effectively by Washington. The only people who have had any kind of Recovery are the banks and Wall Street which caused the meltdown. Too many people have lost/are losing jobs and nobdy is hiring. The Depression of 1929 did not really end until WWII and we sure don't want that timeline. Job creation is the # 1 priority.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  117. suzi

    I guess we should have been yelling doomsday talk about eight years ago. Instead their was tax cuts for the wealthy, two unpaid wars, deregulation, and sending good jobs out of our Country. We should have started yelling fowl then. This administration can't be blamed for this one. Check into all of the wealth that was made and who prospered from it. You can bet they are sitting back laughing at all of us dummys that allowed it to happen. All we can do is Pray for our great President to be guided as to how to handle the mess.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  118. will

    At least I don’t have to stand in a food line just to get a cup of Soup. I say thanks to God, thanks to that Democrat named F.D.R., thanks to the new deal, thanks to Barack Hussein Obama II, thanks to the Stimulus money, thanks to Heath Care Reform, and thanks to Finical Reform. Just maybe my children want have to worry about losing everything they have saved and invested in like so many people in America have done while the Republicans was in control.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  119. Bill

    Similar but we are worse off now. During the 30's we were not in debt, We still had our manufacturing in place, Almost everything in our stores were either manufactured or grown here, and we had plenty of our own oil. If we crash now, it will make the 30's look like a picnic. One thing will be certain, the politicians will still get paid to disagree on what to do.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  120. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Yet politicians are spending money like drunken sailors while telling us how bad the economy is.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  121. Wzrd1

    I've been saying that we're in a depression for over a year.
    Apparently the only people who disagree are the Whitewash House and some economists, who were they half as good as they claim to be, certainly wouldn't be wasting profitable time giving sound bites to the media!
    I'm just waiting for someone to offer me a New Deal.
    And perhaps, a fireside chat or two.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  122. Pat Riot

    I will tell you one thing. I am depressed. I would have thought I would be in a better position 4 years out of college with a degree in Economics and Business. Instead I am in a job lays off people quarterly and squeezes all they can get out of the rest. Benefits are disappearing daily and there is no hope of promotion. What happened to social responsibility? I have decided to work on a designation and study for the GMAT in the hopes that more education will either help me in starting my own business or make me more appealing to the only positions companies value, executives.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  123. M.Larry

    I forgot to add the Great Depression lasted about eight years. We are only been in this Depression about three years. Five more years to go.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  124. Susan Ciconte

    What does it mean? This won't be solved with one administration. And, this country may see a big change in how we approach education at home to encourage a more talented, educated workforce in areas where we can use them on our own soil, or at least in ways to bring the dollars to our country again. With the implementation of high speed trains in this country and the requirement of electronic heath records – these initiatives could just be one way to keep the jobs in our country. I hope to see the business world – which got us to this depression level with its greed – have to take a back corner and the emphasis on science and technology take root again in this country.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  125. Robert in NC

    It seems that we tend to forget that depressions don't happen instantly and neither do recoveries. The stock market "crash" of 1929 was a blip on the screen compared to what happened over the next decade. Given that we don't manufacture anything in this country any more, I wouldn't trust a declared recovery at this point. All we do here is write software, make missles and bullets, and mow each others' lawns (services). This isn't exactly an ideal formula for growth or recovery.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  126. Steven Mather

    Depression, I don't think so. Public assistance and programs have kept families fed and housed. Unemplymentis not as high (if you can beleve the figures. It doesn't count people no longer eligable for Unemployment checks or part time workers eeking by). However, I can see an upswing in the technical job market, the jobs are coming back. I do't see soup lines, or entire families living under a bridge.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  127. Rick

    Just this weekend my wife and I went on a little tour through the area we live in and peered into a dozen empty homes that have been setting for months on end empty, grass over grown and faded for sale signs hanging loopsided near the streets. It hit me are these homes where once loved,familys gathered, children played, gardens tended and today they are empty homes owned by the bank. They are Spirtless homes.and they are throughout our communitys. Forbstown,calif.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  128. Susan Ciconte

    What does it mean? This won't be solved with one administration. And, this country may see a big change in how we approach education at home to encourage a more talented, educated workforce in areas where we can use them on our own soil, or at least in ways to bring the dollars to our country again. With the implementation of high speed trains in this country and the requirement of electronic heath records – these initiatives could just be one way to keep the jobs in our country. I hope to see the business world – which got us to this depression level with its greed – have to take a back corner and the emphasis on science and technology take root again in this country.

    Albuquerque, New Mexico

    August 25, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  129. gordon

    Both were caused by Money-Changers promising more than is possible and Money-Grubbers taking the bait.

    It's a natural cycle in a capitalistic economy with the advocates and detractors ebbing and flowing from too much to too little regulation. Couple that with voters whose idea of a long term fix is a week or less and this will continue forever.

    Las Cruces, NM

    August 25, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  130. Mark from Boston

    Jack,

    It means we have been in a DEpression for some time now, and that light at the end of the tunnel is a train. Even during the depression the fortunate were not drastically effected. But, like now, the less fortunate suffered and are suffering. ..'been to Detroit's 7th mile, East St Louis, or the south side of Chicago lately? That should be a MANDATORY field trip for all freshman college students.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  131. Ed - Spring, TX

    According to Republicans, whatever we're in will self correct itself and we needn't worry – just like the Great Depression self corrected itself.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  132. Willie12345

    Yes, we're in a depression and it's getting worse. Calling it a recession is just so much propaganda. We may not have wide spread food lines that go on for blocks, but this is just the beginning. Gather you're children around you and you're families. Tough times are ahead of us.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  133. Chuck from Houston

    In the real Great Depression, we didn't have a 24-hour news service reminding us that we are all in dire straits. Confidence in the market begins when we turn off the television.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  134. Donald in CA

    The biggest problem i see now is the country is so divided that the two parties are not willing to work together to solve these problems. The wicked right want this president to fail so bad that they love it when the market is down and unemployment is up. No more brother can you spare a dime. The rich get richer and the gop demand more tax breaks for them as they say no to extending unemployment benefits to those who have lost their jobs. The world is watching this mess..

    August 25, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  135. Angela in San Antonio

    I didn't live through The Great Depression, but I do know that Americans didn't have all their jobs outsourced to China. When I pick up a product in a store, I always look to see if it was made in China. If it was, I ask myself if I really need it. Usually, I don't. If other Americans feel that same way, that could be one reason that sales are down.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  136. tom k in ca.

    Jack, We are begining a second Great Depression only the republicrats can't admit it.During the first Depression most people lived on farms and could eat. this time around most americans live in cities,and have to depend on others for their food water and fuel. We live in very interesting times indeed.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:11 pm |