March 17th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Worried about a depression?


Life size bronze statues depict men standing in line during the Great Depression. (PHOTO CREDIT: MARK WILSON/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

More Americans are worried that our current recession might spiral into another Great Depression. A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows 45 percent of those surveyed think a 1930s-style depression is likely to happen in the next year; that's up from 38 percent who felt that way last December.

The good news is Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke isn't one of those people. When asked on "60 Minutes" if the country is headed into a new depression, he said "I think we've averted that risk. I think we've gotten past that."

This poll described the Great Depression as a time when about one in four people were out of work, banks failed across the country and millions of Americans were temporarily homeless or unable to feed their families.

Depression or no depression, the survey shows 89 percent of Americans describe economic conditions today as "poor;" only 11 percent say they're "good."

When asked how long it will take for the economy to recover, 10 percent say within a year; 32 percent say between one and two years, 24 percent say between two and three years. 12 percent say between three and four years; and 22 percent think even longer than that.

As for Bernanke - he says the recession will probably end this year - and a recovery will start next year. The Fed chief says stabilizing the banking system is the key to a full recovery.

Here’s my question to you: How worried are you that the recession will become a depression?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Mac from Michigan writes:
I've been unemployed for 17 months now and as I write this my wife is packing boxes for me to carry out to the truck because the bank is taking the house back. We have been married for 34 years and this January was the first payment of any kind we had ever missed. Her factory closed its doors in January. Yeah, I'm worried, real worried. But I don't know why, got nothing left to lose.

Jeff from Charlotte, North Carolina writes:
I think the worst is over. Not that everything will be all better next week, next month or in six months – it won't. But I see signs the tide is turning. In my area new homes are being started again, some out-of-work friends are finding work, the stores are busier, and I see some new cars in the neighborhood too.

Tony writes:
More worried now than a year ago. All that money going out the window for "social" programs makes me worry. Let's see, take money from people who earned it and give it to people who didn't. Will that incentivize people to start or stay in business? No. Well, as I said, I'm more worried now than a year ago.

Stacy from Florida writes:
It already is a depression for about 10% of the population.

Donna from Ontario writes:
I felt better after I got back from a recent trip to Disney World. It was packed. No shortage of little divas getting a makeover at the 'Bibbidi Bobbidi Salon'. The hotels and restaurants at Disney were all full. We kept saying "Recession, what recession?" Our flights from Buffalo were also sold out both ways.

Robert writes:
It's a terrible notion. Life is already bad now; I can’t imagine what a depression would feel like. I live in South Florida where homelessness is seen on every block. To think people I know and possibly me could be facing the same demise is unfathomable.

Carrie writes:
Yes, Jack, my own. Even my pills aren't helping these days!

Filed under: Recession
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. Bob D. Morristown, NJ

    Since the term depression is not clearly defined its hard to say. However I'm not terribly worried about a return to the economic conditions of the 30s. At that time we had Herbert Hoover and company doing all the wrong things that turned a recession into a depression, and we eventually recovered from that. I have confidence that Obama and company have the knowledge and political will to do the right things to shorten this recession and keep it from deepening too much. My only concern is whether the super wealthy who benefitted from the past eight years are willing to put aside their desire to foster their own agendas for the good of the country.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  2. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    Jack, I have to say that I do not think at this time that a depression is in the near furture. Yes, things are rough right now but I think many good and smart moves have been taken by the Obama administration and I expect to see things start turning around during 2010 unless something very unexpected happens. I personally am optimistic about our future and have thought long and hard about what I can do as one person to help things out. I have determined that I need to go ahead and start the projects my wife and I have carefully planned out and spend the reasonable sum of money necessary to complete the projects well. That is something I can afford to do and it will start money moving in the economy the way that it should. We all need to do our part and do it well.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  3. Norah

    I'm already in a depression, Jack ... depressed about constantly hearing how a depression is right around the corner. It's damn depressing! What is the media after ... a self-fulfilling prophesy? Repeat this mantra often enough and the bottom will finally fall out? Give it a rest already! We've just endured eight years of ineptitude under the previous administration and it'll take a good two years to work our way out of it, but it will happen.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  4. Jan From NJ

    Although I am enjoying your new book, I have to complain about this blog. I wish you would stop putting negative things in people's mind. You should know that media is a powerful influencing force. People need to keep a positive frame of mind to help this country pull out of this economic recession. Whatever happened to faith anyway?

    March 17, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  5. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    All the elements for a depression are in place. We are currently in an economic downward spiral. Unemployment is rising and the Fed has interest rates near zero. We have two wars, our industrial capacity has shrunk and the world economy is in a slump. Never fear, things will level off at the end of this year but not improve for another eighteen months. But if it doesn't, I have some AIG insurance.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  6. Don in Delaware

    What's in a name, Jack? For some people, it's already a depression... Poll numbers only add salt to the wound. Heck, we were officially in recession for a YEAR before the experts announced it. What does it matter what we call it anymore?

    March 17, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  7. Susan from Twn Falls Idaho

    I hate to break it to you Jack but recession is a misnomer. It doesn’t really matter what we call the disaster we’re in its how we deal with it. Worry and hand ringing won’t change a thing. The real difference between now and the 1930s is that then 99 percent of the jobless would take any job to earn their way. Now days so many want to live on someone else’s dime. With failing banks, mortgage meltdowns and folks on government subsidies we have our work cut out for us.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  8. Melissa

    No, I'm not. Just look at how the stocks are doing in the last week. Even the housing market has shown improvement. I'm inclined to say that its likely we hit bottom. We're going to hover up and down around that area for a little while and then it will very slowly start to get better.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  9. Eileen Peabody MA


    I am a Polly Anna, and I feel we will be in a slow recovery next year.

    That is with the high in the sky apple pie mindset that the Republicans will get to work....SOOOONNNNN.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  10. Greg Mechanicsburg, PA

    If God sees fit to allow the current financial crisis to deepen into a Great Depression, I am not overly concerned. It may be time for Americans to rediscover joys that affluence cannot provide. My Parents and Grandparents weathered those days and through necessity, the mother of invention they became talented mechanics, plumbers, carpenters and electricians capable of fixing anything in the house or neighborhood. The times brought families and neighbors close together to share not just their meager stores but their hopes for better days. Communities knew each other and cared for each other. You could walk down the street at night without fear. People often left their homes unlocked and doors wide open to let in the coolness of the night. Yes there are some wonderful things in life that a huge stock portfolio simply can’t compare.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  11. Solomon Adote

    I am worried that the options being proposed to the President might not be the fastest option to recover the economy. These stimulus funds going to banks that don't offer them in loans are not working. The answer is very simple. Place an executive cap on home mortgages and set it to about 2 %. With this level of interest all current home owners at the time of the law can be allowed to refinance. It will fix the prime mortgage situation, current home owners paying their bills on time can have more money to spend and that will rejuvenate the economy, shops will stay open and everything will at least start working. This is better than billions to companies that are spending them like free money.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  12. Dee, Los Angeles

    Jack, we're already in a depression. I am hopeful, however, that if we can get Wall Street gamers and the Republican obstructionists out of the way, our President can assist our economy in finding a way out of this long, dark tunnel. Hmmm...a new use for Gitmo perhaps?

    March 17, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  13. Ray-Scott Miller

    I am not worried about a depression, but I am worried that the government has enough control to tax my income if the public does not like my performance. I am nervous about the direction our government going. We are making emotion based decision rather than sound economic and policy driven decisions.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  14. Lavender Larry in Gay Paree,TN.

    Worried about Depression?
    Not anymore jack, the nurse gave me My Prolixin an
    Hour ago, I just sit in My rubber Room in My Straight Jacket
    and Di'Dees just drooling and watching the show.
    Alfred E, Nueman says "What Me Worry."
    He is in here too.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  15. Alan-Buxton, Maine

    Not long ago I would have bet a depression was imminent. Now I have hopes that the worst is over and the economy will rebound soon. We finally have someone with a functioning brain in the White House.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  16. Ken in NC

    In the interest of the conservation my remaining hair, I am no longer worried that the recession will become a depression. Besides, I was told that being bald on the top of my head made me sexy so I am in a holding pattern with the hair which means concerns about depressions must be held to a minimum.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  17. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    You mean it isn't now?

    March 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  18. Lucas M - Columbus, OH

    Not worried at all. People need to be more positive. Alot of the problem is the negativity the media portrays. Don't worry be happy. Every little thing is going to be all right. LIfe is good, depression or not. I'd rather be alive and poor then dead and rich!!!

    March 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  19. John Kaza

    Jack, whether or not the recession becomes technically classified as a depression is irrelevant. In South Carolina there is a town with 23.4% unemployment. I saw lines on the news of thousands of families waiting for food hand-outs. This is America and this is unacceptable. So to answer your question, I'm worried about the people here, not technical terms.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  20. teauna s. , WA

    ...let a couple of big banks fail and then ask me that question.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  21. Jeff Crocket

    I am not worried at all. Most of this hysteria is politically and media driven.
    New home construction just went up in a big way in February. With spring arriving we will all get out of the house and blow our cabin fever away with moving forward.

    Jeff Crocket
    New Britain, CT

    March 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  22. Carolyn in Houston

    Hi Jack,
    I saw Ben Bernanke on 60 Minutes on Sunday and I believe him when he said we had likely averted the risk Given President Obama's integrity and high moral tone I do believe his Administration will take steps to put the breaks on the unfettered and unregulated financial institutions. These safeguards should have never been removed in the first place. They were put there for a reason, i.e. The Great Depression of the 1930's. What were our politicians thinking when they removed the restraints? I guess they weren't thinking at all. Real bad stuff obviously happens when politicians fail to engage their brains and play politics instead.

    If John McCain and Sarah Palin had won the Election I would not feel this hopeful or confident. Had that horror happened, we'd all be very likely standing in soup lines and living in tents by now.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  23. Tamara Henson

    I don't know about the rest of the country, but we haven't had jobs in over a year, Depression??? Yeah... That's Depression!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  24. Sandy in Arkansas

    For many people it already is a depression. The higher you fly the further you fall and the bigger "depression" you make when you land. The greedy have been flying high and the foolish have done the same on readily accessible borrowed money. We have to have a revaluation of assets, lifestyles, reality, and responsibility. Will we have a full blown depression – I don't think anyone knows. My Dad always said that pinto beans and blackeyed peas had saved more lives than penicillin referring to what they had to eat during the depression. Maybe we need some of that reality to realize what is really important...it is not things or money...it is people and not just your selfish self but all people.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  25. DJ, Detroit

    Not worried at all Jack...I'm already depressed.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  26. Karen Wiesner

    With reference to the AIG nightmare; whatever happened to fiduciary responsibility? These clowns failed to keep their fiduciary responsibilities and, as such, they certainly do NOT qualify for bonuses!!!

    A depression??? I think we're already there!!!

    March 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  27. Adam

    No I am not worried, I think the US will be able to stop it before that point. And like I have always said, this cannot continue forever. At some point people will have to work for ANYONE to have ANYTHING. Just the rich cannot survive on their own, we WILL pull through this.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  28. Acyn From L.A.

    No im not worried. We survived the first Bush economic downturb. We should survive the second. What doesn't kill the economy makes it stronger,

    March 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  29. P in California

    Here in California we are already in a depression. Fiscally and emotionally. Mass foreclosures began here over two years ago. Many areas in the state are over 12% un-employment. Tent cities are popping up all over. The question in California is how long will the depression last!

    March 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  30. HD in Phoenix

    You've got my attention. While times may be different and a working definition for depression might be open to individual interpretation, one would be a fool to not pay close attention to the subject. I say this because many of the same national policies, legislation and mistakes made by Republicans over the last 9 years are analogous to the ones that set the stage for the Great Depression. The Phil Gramms of the nation who are nothing more than puppets for big businesses that wage war on the middle class are largely responsible for creating circumstances that lead to economic implosion. Their greed and robber baron mentality is currently manifesting itself on a national scale, the likes of which have not been witnessed since the Great Depression.

    HD in Arizona

    March 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  31. Matthew Schmitz Oxnard , CA

    Worried? I'm 17 years old and made $200 today in the stock market. Right now I'm having a blast investing in stocks for as little as 13 cents and watching it go up to a dollar in a day. So no Jack I'm not worried but I'm sure a lot of people are.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  32. Charles, Los Angeles

    I'm not worried. We're already in an economic depression–obviousy.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  33. ERICO Miami Beach

    It becomes more of a personal depression after finding out about the AIG bonus package and the millions that could have been used to help those in real need.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  34. Brandon

    I feel that the Media mentioning the word Depression often enough will send us into one. I would like to hear more about the positive signs of the economic recovery which is already beginning in many areas.
    Nobody mentions how much the new housing has shot up in California as a result of the tax incentives being offered. The prices in the L.A. area are even showing signs of stabilizing. Why not try and be a catalyst to recovery and focus on good news.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  35. Matt Lord

    Jack, I don't believe this administration will allow the country to go into a depression. There are already indicators that seem to underline Bernakies prediction that the recession will end this year and we will see a recovery next year. I have confidence that we are on the right track for recovery.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  36. Kristian Trick

    Yes! I'm worried it will happen, because theres a problem in this country, everyone likes to point there fingures and talk about what they should do instead of actually acting on the situation. Thats why I fear this country might fall, unless we start to act, and get rid of the bad apples in congress.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  37. charli

    I feel we are in a depression. I own a small business. My revenues
    are down 30% to last year and there is rarely a day that goes by that I do not hear from a customer about why they will be discontinuing my service. I employ 14 team members, mainly women, many single moms. To date, I have heard nothing in the stimulus package that is designed to help me, a small business owner.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  38. Brian

    There's enough money on this planet to make everyone a millionaire. "We the People" are ignorant fools. Depression? How is it even possible? Why is anyone poor?

    March 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  39. Terri in Rio Vista

    No, there won't be a depression. This rcession, though bad, has bottomed out – look at the stock market, housing starts, consumer buying – these positive signs simply would not be present unless we are on the way out of the recession. Read your history about the Great Depression and you'll see it does NOT describe our situation.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  40. mike in coldwater

    "Recession"? I live in Michigan. Wasn't that news from years ago? In Michigan, we've been depressed AND in a "depression". Yes, I am currently part of the 10% of the unemployed in Michigan...and will likely end up employed in another state.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  41. Eric VanSickle (Cedar Falls, Iowa)


    I think the policies Pres. Obama has been introducing and/or trying to put into place during these first 55 days or so of his time in office has been keeping us from getting into a Depression. Had Sen. McCain won the election in November, we would be in a Depression right now. He would have just stayed the course on our economic path, which would have brought us further into the depths and unemployment would reach 15 to 20 percent right now. Laissez-faire economics, like what McCain and his Republican allies have been proposing during these last few months, is what put us in the last Great Depression in 1929.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  42. George

    Hello Jack, Depression you say? There would be a lot of zoloft and wellbutrin to go around.

    George in Texas

    March 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  43. Rob Todd

    About the only thing that truly worries me regarding whether or not this recession will move in to a 30's-style Depression is not the decisions of the Fed, the administration, or Congress... rather it is the decisions of the leaders of China and India where a sustainable middle-class has been entrenched with buying power far outweighing anything that a economically weak US or Europe can muster.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  44. Michael Cash


    I was worried, but after watching and listening to Bernanke on Sunday's "60 Minutes," I feel much better. I believe him. I believe he is concerned about the average person's job and not about Wall Street's profits. I know he did not come with this administration, but we are lucky to have him there. I also trust Obama in this situation as out President. I am so glad that the Republicans are not in power during this recession. They have no clue.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  45. Ann in Asheville, NC

    As long as CNN keeps "accentuating the positive" like the stories you've been telling this week of people who are benefiting from the new programs put in place, together we will "eliminate the negative" and be back on track soon. Meanwhile, I hope we will have learned some important lessons about consumption, greed, and not having institutions that are just too big to fail. Let's become a more nourishing and positive society that focuses on what is important, and not on gluttony.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  46. Jeff Jones

    Poppycock! The night is always darkest before the dawn. The more negative the outlook from main street – the more positive the outlook on wall street. Now is the time for investors to start putting money back into the markets (before the masses begin to see the recovery happening).

    March 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  47. jerry in jersey

    I was born in 1939, so I don't remember the Great Depression myself. But it was the great event of my parent's generation (even more than war, I think) and I felt its shadow for a long time. Since we have a government that is actively using all the tools known to prevent the worst, I am not that worried about reaching the depths.

    But I am worried that if we should get anywhere near that point, the seeds for a right-wing reactionary solution, bringing on the prophecy that "Fascism will come to the Untied States wrapped in the American flag and carrying a cross." We already have our own Father Coughlin (that would be Rush) to stir up the mob.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  48. James M.

    For those who are now unemployed and homeless, it's already a depression.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  49. Jon

    How wouldn't I be worried about a depression, when more and more inflation is being created. The Federal Reserve loaning money to foreign banks, trillions of dollars for banker bailouts or so called "stimulus" bills, all add to this overwhelming inflation which is the root of the problem.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  50. Lowell C. Johnson

    Thanks to the policies, or lack of them, of the previous administration, which included unnecessary tax cuts and an even costly unnecessary war in Iraq, as well as GOP greed which contributed to the above, we may very well be headed into another depression. Having said that, I don't believe it will be as bad as the one in the 1930s, but it's still frightening enough for Americans to be worried.

    Lowell C. Johnson
    Lutz, Florida

    March 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  51. Damani

    Why is it that these people in the last administration and this one too sugar coating this depression and calling it recession. We are in depression. People are losing their jobs, their homes, committing suicide, soup lines, food stamps are on the rise and so is the employment lines. Banks are getting their candy and we are getting stale bread. What about the depression don't you know about.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  52. Susan

    As we are just selling our 525,000.00 home with ocean access for a 400,000.00 dollar loss! And are faced with much less ability to pay our bills......the grocery store shelves are becoming empty, and creditors are calling all day long it looks to me lie a DEPRESSION is already here. Most people we know are struggling greatly, even those with very comfortable incomes and assets.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  53. Eric

    If the Feds stay out of this financial situation and allow business hire and train workers we have a good chance of avoiding a depression. The notion that gov creates jobs is false. Gov only create gov jobs which are only paid via taxes

    March 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  54. Patrick, Austin, TX

    That depends on your definition of a depression. For the millions of Americans that have lost their jobs, and their homes, I would imagine they believe we are already there. Unemployment rates are in double digits in some states and tent cities are becoming normal in large metropolitan cities. As far as the banks failing, I think we all know the answer to that.

    Austin, TX

    March 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  55. Lee in MN

    With Bush and clan out of office and the conservatives a smaller minority, I believe we can avoid a depression and turn around this country. PRESIDENT Obama has accomplished more positive things in 2 months than Bush in 8 years. The Conservatives are still trying to hang on to the same nothing that got us here. They are the largest remaining negative factor and they are quickly becoming irrelevant. We as Americans are moving forward without them.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  56. Maurice - Two Rivers, WI

    We are already in a depression. Just look how much time CNN and other major news channels spend on this issue. Congress does not have a definition for a depression. I wonder why that is?? Go figure. Never re-elect anyone.

    Two Rivers, Wisconsin

    March 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  57. John Kaza - LA, California

    Jack, whether or not the recession becomes technically classified as a depression is irrelevant. In South Carolina there is a town with 23.4% unemployment. I saw lines on the news of thousands of families waiting for food hand-outs. This is America and this is unacceptable. So to answer your question, I’m worried about the people here, not technical terms.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  58. Joe

    I'm not at all worried about this recession becoming a depression. I'm actually hoping that it occurs, I have nothing to fear from a depression. I as an American have done what I was supposed to do. In terms of making payments on my debt, and being fiscally responsible. The only people who should be worried are those who fail to own up to their responsibilities (i.e. extending too much debt, not making payments, and being fiscally careless). It is those people that need a wake up call, and maybe their families spending a few nights on the street would be just what the doctor ordered.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  59. Jeff

    Actually I think we're in a depression - there are so many people out of work, or under employed– I'm a freelance web producer and I've seen my income drop from 150,000 two years ago to 25,000 last year. I think god my partner works full-time and I'm allowed on his insurance. I consider myself luck, but so many of my friends are not so blessed. Here in New York City, I see more and more homeless, and people begging for spare change - seems like that old tune "brother can you spare a dime" is replaying these days.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  60. mike adkins

    Harry S Truman said "It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job..It's a depression when you lose yours." If you have a job the recession will last a year or so. If you don't it's anyones guess!

    March 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  61. mitchell, arkansas

    I aint one dam bit worried, jack. i believe in the will of the american people and the leadership now in place. those 45% 'doom and gloomers' are probably the 30% of folks who still cling to the GOP ideology and a few independents that allow the GOP to scare them. times are harder than they were ,but, i dont see a crises here in arkansas, and i think the more powerful states will begin to turn around this year. my spending habits have not changed, and my faith in our President has not faltered one bit.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  62. Kathy K.

    Jack, I think we are already in a depression but that none of the people at the Fed and elsewhere want to admit it for fear of mass panic. Until people can get jobs and credit and not have to worry about losing either, or losing their homes or rented apartments, etc, nothing will change for the better. I have always been a glass half empty person.

    Chicago, IL.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  63. John, Fort Collins, CO

    It all depends. If you are unemployed, uninsured, and/or losing your house through foreclosure it is already a depression. For most of the rest of us it is a deep recession and we are scared spitless we might soon end up with the first group. For a few, like those at AIG and others in their sphere, no worry, it is business as usual: "An economic downturn? Let them eat cake."

    March 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  64. John A. Maloney Jr.

    No worrie's there Jack It already is a depression!
    John From St. Marys Pa.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  65. MacFab

    Jack, I am more worried about the divisive tone the Republican Leaders in the senate and house is striking than the looming depression instead of offering solutions to solve the enormous problems facing this Nation right now. If the Replublican party will work with the president to clean up the mess they play a very big role in creating, I am certain that we will get over this recession within a year and depression will be averted.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  66. Terrell Crudup

    I am not worried about the a depression. My God is a God of both the depression and the increase. what that means to me is that nothing is beyond the power of God. If God takes care of the sparrow, surely he will take care of us. Be encouraged.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  67. Worried

    I hear employed people with full benefits complain about petty workplace politics while I sit home, unemployed with nowhere to go when I wake up every weekday morning, burning through my savings to survive and unable to land one job interview.

    Employed complainers apparently out of touch with the suffering of the masses may not be worried, but for people like me, no matter how an official depression is defined for a society, it is a reality for some at least on a microscopic level.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  68. Ann from Charleston, S.C.

    I’m not in the least worried that the recession will become a depression for the simple reason that I believe worrying is a total waste of time. If it happens, we will deal with it. If it doesn’t, so much the better. I think that questions like this harm consumer confidence by getting people who already emotionally distraught even more agitated, which ends up making matters worse.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  69. Suzie


    I am boggled that 100% of Americans aren't clear about the facts;
    WE ARE ALREADY IN A DEPRESSION. If they haven't noticed then they are related to all those fat cats at AIG.

    Also, I Want my bail out. As a small business owner, lets just say our glass is less than 1/2 empty.

    For the first time in my life, the most likely to succeed and happiest person people ever met-well unfortunately I am now on an anti-depressant?? GO figure and to put the icing on the cake I HAVE NO HEALTH INSURANCE!!!!
    ps: My husband, and my three children are also un-insured.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  70. Jim from Chicago

    Things are worse than I have ever seen them, but the process should start turning around later in the year. We just have to regulate and curb the ongoing corporate greed and sense of entitlement and get the Republicans to quit confusing people with their "the government has to tighten its belt" wreckless mantra. Now is NOT the time for the government to be frugal.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  71. Turfkiller

    Not at all, it's normal to stand in a line of 600 applying for a job at the local grocery store. If we were in a depression the line would be what, a 100 people longer. Now that would be a real disaster! Remember a rich person's recession is but a poor person's depression.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  72. Happy Hermit

    You bet I'm worried Jack . Money will be our downfall .

    Nice to be a hermit in times like this . Plus I never get a cold because I

    never see anyone .

    March 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  73. Jerry,OK

    Jack, Reagan-Bush "trickle down" divided by Roosevelts "New Deal", plus Johnson's "Great Society", equals...no depression.

    Jerry N/Tulsa/OK

    March 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  74. Annie, Atlanta

    I wonder how the people who are living in tent cities across this nation would answer this question.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  75. Sheri in Tennessee

    More worried than I'd like to be. I am an atheist, but I'm beginning to reconsider. Here's hoping that if a Higher Power exists, he or she helps us navigate this utter mess we have brought on ourselves.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  76. Doug

    We're on our way to a depression. I wrote yesterday about what it would seem like with 6.5 billion people waiting for bread on a line.
    So I am worried but have been planning for about a year. I buy a little extra everytime I go to the supermarket, good that won't spoil. Have close to a years worth stocked up. Things like powdered milk, pasta, rice, flour, anything that can last a while I stock up on.
    I don't think the downward trend can be stopped by bailing out major companies. If the general public do not have the money to buy the products of the companies being bailed out, its just going to keep declining.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  77. Harrison - Mobile Alabama

    What? We're not already in a depression? Seeing as it took the Government a year and change to announce that we were in a recession, I can see them sitting on the Depression bomb for at least a year before they "make it official".

    Of course, it matters not what this crisis is called on paper. Ask the people living in Tent Cities around the country whether we're in a recession or a depression or if they're worried that this recession will become a depression. I'd wager that the better part of them will say exactly what I just said. "What? We're not already in a depression?"

    March 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  78. Roman Deutsch, Butler, PA

    Hey Jack. I don't like to sound like a pessimist, but we are already in a depression. Although, this depression is much different than what we had back in the 30's. We weren't fighting three wars, we are so far in debt in this country and China owns a lot of that debt. I like what Obama is doing however, since the oil companies Bush Cheney brought this misery to us along with their pales in the banking industry therein lies the problem. The oil industry are done...COOKED...time to build a car that runs on water...John Kazius radio wave technology...he lit salt water to 3000 degrees and all the money in the world will not bring us out of this mess until we start seriously thinking about the future...That future is in this discovery...What will it take for people to understand this...You know my writings Jack...the car industry must develop this technology.....

    March 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  79. Ron - Oklahoma

    I think it's all a matter of perspective. My parents had a saying for this. “A Recession is when your neighbor is out of work. A Depression is when YOU are out of work.” This is true to a large extent. Most are feeling the Recession now, but over 650,000 per month are slipping into the Depression segment. If we don’t get the job situation fixed, and soon, this could easily edge toward a Depression. There is a very fine line between the two, and it is getting thinner all the time. We’ll see how the Stimulus Package works out over the next few months. I’m willing to give our President the benefit of the doubt at this time.

    Ron in Oklahoma

    March 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  80. Donna Thomson St. Catharines Ontario Canada

    I felt better after I got back from a trip to Disneyworld on Feb. 25. It was packed. No shortage of little divas getting a makeover at the Bibbity – Bobbity Boo Salon . The hotels and restaurants at Disney were all full..
    We kept saying "recession, what recession!" Our flights from Buffalo were also sold out both ways. Maybe everyone had received their bailout money! Maybe everyone was a former AIG employee and their families!

    March 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  81. keith from north carolina

    Jack, we are heading off the cliff regardless what action Congress takes, and we'll probably take much of the world with us. We caused this mess and we'll have to hunker down and try our best to live through it. It may take this deep depression to bring America to its senses. We have lost our credibility as a nation, have forgotten how to be honest and fair with our neighbors around the world, have been the bully on the block, have killed 100's of thousands of innocents and have been arrogant in our attitudes and unfeeling in our actions. We have sold the other nations of the world worthless paper and have lost their trust. I hope we learn something from what we are going through. Its about time we learned something .

    March 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  82. Almir Ramic

    It is simple really. If this stimulus proves as fruitless as the last one, then the only thing we'll have going for us is market self-correction. Massive bank failures and everything being reset. There goes your depression.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  83. Ron from Michigan

    I still like Joe Bidens take on it, " When your uncle loses his job its a recession, when you lose yours, then it's a depression". Well Jack concidering how many jobs have been lost. I would have to say we are headed into a DEPRESSION, in a fast downward spiral.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm |

    I wasn't worried when Geroge Bush was president. I do not trust our president Barack Hussein Obama. He has members of his staff who are tax cheats and racist (Eric Holder) and also lobbyist. Reading the polls taken by Lou Dobbs from CNN, it shows Obama gets about 50% disapproval. The direction he is taking this country would have 60% chance of going into a depression. Fortunately, I can easily survive in a depression. Unfortunately the majority cannot.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  85. John K.

    Jack, whether or not the recession becomes technically classified as a depression is irrelevant. In South Carolina there is a town with 23.4% unemployment. I saw lines on the news of thousands of families waiting for food hand-outs. This is America and this is unacceptable. So to answer your question, I’m worried about the people here, not technical terms.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  86. Jacqueline Mongeot

    Recession? depression? it is a matter of semantics. Each citizen has his own definition depending on his own experience and how he is personally affected. Given the general circumstances in United States right now: the number of jobless, homeless,citizens, or totally destitute, businesses closing, repossessions, etc. I do believe that we are experiencing a depression. How soon might we recover from it should be the real question.
    Jacqueline, San Diego -CA

    March 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  87. Robin

    I am (age 59) not in the least worried. Obama and crew are working on it; we will pull up and soar again. Earlier in my life TV went off at midnight and there was no 24/7 news. Drama gives ya'll stuff to say all that time. FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real, and that my frien (ala 9th ninth ward of New Orleans) is fo tru cher !

    March 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  88. Karen Diamond

    We're already in a depression Jack, we live in Michigan.Could it get much more depressing between GM, Chrysler and AIG?

    March 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  89. Anthony..Swedesboro.NJ

    Depression is an almost romantic term applied to a time when all our institutions failed. America fell to its lowest economic standing and picked itself up and got back in the race.
    Many controls were put in place but greed like water always finds the place of least resisitance. This will always be the case and we continually need to seal the dike through diligent oversight. I have confidence under this administration that the ship of state will right itself and sail into a new and better future.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  90. Frank Cochran

    As for the depression, no it has not hit full force,, it give it 12-18 months beforer we really smack bottom.
    As for the Sec. of Tres. with AIG,, he has not had the time to get the pic of What that last Administration did to open loop holes for groups like AIG and others, more will be revieled as time moves forward.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  91. waymon

    jack i was just laid off back on 2/2/09 my wife works our bills are being paid i have a mortgage, car note ><but jack i have all the confidence in the world that this to will soon come to pass, i'm not worried, my faith will not allow me to do that, it could be a whole lot worse

    waymon from milwaukee

    March 17, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  92. me46

    The president's initiatives appear to be triggering some positive response in the housing, banking, and retail sectors and recent upswings in the market could be forecasting manufacturing activity. Unfortunately, the rapid loss of jobs is an alarm signaling greater problems ahead. Rapid job creation is needed to stem the loss of jobs an prevent unemployment from pulling the economy down further and pulling the country into a depression.
    – tom
    lost vegas

    March 17, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  93. Elaine Ackerman

    I truly believe things will be gradually getting better now, and
    without all the fear-mongering and naysayers Presidant Obama and
    his intelligent cabinet will lead this country in the right dierection.
    Elaine, from Sarasota, FL

    March 17, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  94. Michael Porter

    I am not the least bit worried about the current recession turning into a Depression. Americans are not allowed to suffer or even be inconvienienced by financial hardships. I am sure that President Obama can find the money tree to keep us all comfortable through the cold financial winter at the expence of our children. Plus with free medical care, and the God given American right to own a home, who needs to work any more. Maybe we could tax Burger King meals because it is the leading cause of obiesety and heart disease. If our ancestors could have only seen that the Roaring 20's didn't need to end with the great depression, they could have partied on the Governments credit card all the way through it. Bring on the stimulous, and Free stuff for everyone! Welcome to the next great Impression everyone, drink up!

    March 17, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  95. Jay in Texas

    I believe we've been in a depression for over a year. Our economy will get much worse before it gets better. Politicians just cling to the word "repression", because it sounds less ominous than the "D word", to keep from being tossed out of office as they so richly deserve.
    Brownwood, Texas

    March 17, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  96. Sandra

    Dear Jack, It's kind of a curious question. Does it matter that we're worried or not? What matters is that we didn't keep vigilant about whether financial managers, stock traders, CONGRESSIONAL oversight committee members, and SEC were "doing even a basic economics job". Only a few Economic professors wrote a book or got some light from the media warning of financial problems.
    Worried after the banks and insurance companies have fallen into a deep hole? Worried about depression? We'll a case of depression if the law and justice agencies don't move forward investigating and prosecuting the zillions of offenders of fraudulent practices. Then check the unemployment numbers on CNN. Let the public know how it happens, white collar crime could now be known as street crime.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  97. Al in Cali

    Jack, I'm not sure if a depression is actually on its way, but I'm sure we do have people in office now that are doing their best to head this (depresseion) off, weather right or wrong there is more than just an effort being produced. Moreover, with that in mind I don't think us as the middle citizens can get caught up with weather a depression is on its way, our concerns need to be with getting out there (the market, the workforce, schools) and begin readying ourselves for the future while also ensuring that our voices are heard by our elected officials to assist in offering guidance. Jack I truly believe that most citizens realize that this is that time when we have to do for the country while also realizing that the country is going to have to do for some of our citizenry. I believe most do feel we'll make it out of this mess, however, as president Obama stated, it may have to get worse before it gets better. I believe we're making headway and believe that the citizenry has the resilience to make it through this

    March 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  98. Jeff K Charlotte, NC

    I think the worst is over. Not that everything will be all better next week, next month or in six months, it won't, but I see signs the tide is turning. In my area new homes are being started again, some out of work friends are finding work, the stores are busier, and I see some new cars in the neighborhood too. Those who were able to hold on to work and their homes over the past months will probably be OK but for many who did not starting over will not be easy.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  99. Karen - Tennessee

    I doubt there will be a depression unless people panic, and I don't think that is likely. The media have kept us so immersed in bad news of all sorts for so long that we've become a bit numb.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  100. Dee McDonald

    We are sure to have a depression, if the Obama administration is allowed to spend and bankrupt the country. The media allows them to get away with all sorts of things, because anyone who points out their errors is immediately attacked. We have President who is on the campaign trail, ond oddly enough on TV everyday. Maybe someone should tell him he won, and that he should stay in the oval office for a change. "Change", I wounder how many who voted for him rally understood his socialist agenda.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  101. george tomaszek

    for a lot of people the depression is all ready here. i think there will be a lot more to come.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  102. toby


    I'm not worried about a depression. I know that I can to the gov't and get a bailout. Then, I'll look at it as a bonus and go on a trip!! (ha! Ha!)

    March 17, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  103. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    We were in a recessions a few months prior to our government announcing we were in a recession. I don't believe we will skip a depression, I believe we are in a depression and our government again is delaying that announcement until the end of the year.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  104. Dennis in Woodbridge VA

    Given the Great Depression was no ordinary depression.....and since I am not sure what the difference is between a depression and a deusey of a recession (which I think we are in)....the point may be moot.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  105. Marie K. Pollick

    No. What noone seems to be realizing is that the beginning of the Great Depression, during which I was born, starting with the stock market crash, was in 1929. It was in 1932 that FDR was elected and 1933 before he took office. That is a different scenario than what we are experiencing. Thankfully, Barack Obama, was elected and took office in the early stages of this recession and is doing, in my opinion, a masterful job of reviving the "patient" brought to the doors of the "ER" by George W. Bush and his friends. With Obama in office, we will recover.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  106. Robert Gleason

    It’s a terrible notion. Life is already bad now; I can’t imagine what a depression would feel like. I live in South Florida where homelessness is seen on every block. To think people I know and possibly me could be facing the same demise is unfathomable.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  107. Barbara Friedman of Delray Beach, FL

    I was born during one Depression, and I hope this one does not become a full-blown one as I recall the difficulties endured by our parents endeavors to shield us from their fears, failures, and really hard efforts to feed and shelter our little family of four. That "greatest generation" suffered unbelievable hardships before emerging, years later, as the best educated and mostly successful generation ever! I hope our new administration is capable of averting the worst financial mess ever inherited from conscienceless leaders!
    I hope this can be solved within a year or two, but I'm afraid my faith is being severely tested

    March 17, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  108. Don Silver

    Whether we call it a recession or a depression is a semantic argument. What I want to know is where were you guys the last 8 years? So far, you have blamed the government, the banks, AIG, CEO's and greedy Americans for the current situation. Where was the "most trusted name in network news" while this was all going on? You were all drinking the kool-aid and reporting on more "red herrings" than can be found in the ocean. You hypocrites need to accept your responsibility and come up with positive, workable solutions; from yourselves, not your 3 minute "experts". Look in the mirror, Jack!
    Don Silver
    Johnson City, TX

    March 17, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  109. leefigo

    I am not worried about a depression whatsoever. Jack, Nigeria has been leaving in a depression for almost its entire existence and yet i am here typing to you and about to get my engineering degree completed. We have no such thing as credit.Everything is pay as you go, people build there own houses when they have the money. If you dont have money to start you own business you just dont start one. Its tough, but we still survive.

    chicago, il

    March 17, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  110. Bryan, Pennsylvania

    How worried am i that the recession will become a depression?
    I'm pretty sure the situation is already fairly depressing... People wake up everyday more depressed over lost jobs, lost homes, bills they can't pay... And about these "bonuses" for AIG? What exactly did these people accomplish to merit such a reward? I'm in the military and when I do outstanding things there is seldom even a pat on the back. It takes giving up multiple more years of service to earn a "bonus" which might cover paying off a credit card, or maybe if I'm lucky "Duty Station of Choice"... If they're giving away millions for being a terrible bussiness executive that consistantly reports nothing but losses, I can do that with my eyes closed... make sure my resume gets to the top of the stack...

    March 17, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  111. Ronald Holst

    Jack For Me I am no longer worried about If get is going To be a depression For Me I am already Depressed .
    Ron Holst
    San Antonio ,TX.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  112. Lisa in Georgia

    Jack, I know we are in a recession. Today I watched my company let go 1/3 of its employees and it immediately became a depression. Although, I was one of the lucky ones to stay, seeing some of my friends being let go, made reality sink in. I think we are already in a depression, people are just too "depressed" to realize it!

    March 17, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  113. karen-phoenix

    NO! I've learned to live on $1000 a month. Did it about 10 years ago when a crooked stock broker stole my money. Its not hard. I live on Social Security! God Bless Social Security and DO NOT ever let it go to the stock market!! At 65 its all I have!!!

    March 17, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  114. Thomas

    No! I beleive God has the right Man in place to meet the challenges facing our country. I totally agree with President Obama. " we will come out stronger than ever". When God be for you, who can stand against you? I beleive God is with him and the United States of America! So drop the R, drop the D, drop the I and support your leader and pray for him, the American spirit will prevail! Fear not, for God is with us.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  115. Kim VA

    Hi Jack;

    Judging from the response to the nationwide job fairs, the ecomomy should turn by summer to mid fall, the deficit however, will be down better than Obama expects, if he gets the healthcare attached to a tax inclusive Universal plan, whether it be sales tax or 1 to 2% increase in income or social security.

    These programs were stopped on a 1972 budget and it's 2009, time to change the way thnings are paid for to accommodate the 300 million citizens who make this great country'S heart "TICK"

    March 17, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  116. Tom in Camp Hill, PA


    With all these bailouts and spending there's only one thing that happens to money you don't have to spend... It continues to be devalued. What happens when the value goes down because of all this inflation? A crash! And that means depression. This wouldn't just be an isolated financial crisis here in America, but would cause a ripple effect around the world. The way all this is transpiring, it kinda looks like this is what they really want to happen. The only feasible outcome to a global financial crash, would be an emerging global currency to take the place of the failed currency in it's wake. Our founding fathers warned us about centralized banking and big government. The Federal Reserve should be abolished and the return of sound money based off the gold standard should replace it. But what are the chances of that happening? Looks like depression is enevitable.

    But look on the bright side, we'll be one big socialist world after all this.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  117. Jorge in NC

    I seriously doubt we will have a great depression our country's economy although seemingly weak right now is still very strong. Those who depend to look at the stock market have an issue if you depend on the stockmarket to tell you how well we are doing you simply have too much time on your hands, bottom line go out and get a job, even a cashier at McDonald helps aid the strengh of this economy. Some people are going to have to suck up their pride and realize their salary jobs are not comming back anytime soon.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  118. Dale Curtis

    How can Bernanke say the recession will end this year; when we haven't addressed the problems with the automotive industry? If decisions have been made about a course of action and he thinks the end results will end our economic problems; then he needs to let us all in on the good news rather than make these predictions. There are a lot of ifs-that could go bust and yes we could be headed towards a depression. The comments of public officials that don't address the issues but try to spin an optimistic note aren't helpful but give false hope–I want the straight poop-I want some Truman like "The buck stops here." pronouncement.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  119. jack frost

    I am not worried although the worst is still yet to come. We still do not have a good grip on how many trillions of dollars we will need to borrow to get out of this perfect economic storm. I am more worried about rampant corporate greed than this depression.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  120. E.J. in Tacoma

    The only thing that I'm worried about is that the people will blame this current administration for what the failures of the last administration got us into the past few years! Obama is trying to do the best he can for the people of this country that are in dire need especially the middle class and small businesses while the greedy such as AIG get bonus's at our expence. We will carry them through the recession's and depression's just like people did in the 30's it's just a shame that people have to learn by past experience!
    E.J. in Tacoma Washington

    March 17, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  121. Chad from Los Angeles, CA

    With communication like it is today, we are more likely to just rumor ourselves into a depression, than be in a real one like back in the 30’s. Pessimism is as big a threat as the actual problems. Watch out for those self-fulfilling prophecies in economics!

    March 17, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  122. John Cosby in Orlando

    Jack if you are one of those unfortunate Americans who has already lost their job and /or home, I think you/they are already in "Depression" . As the saying goes, you are ina recession when your neighbor is out of work, you are in a depression when you are out of work. So it depends on who you ask, if they are in a recession or depression. But I do believe we as a country will recover.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  123. Sharon, Rockford, IL

    I worry some because so many legislators and business leaders are still operating within a failed model. All I see is fighting and looking for chances to point out failure. If everyone cannot find a way to work together we just might end up in a depression.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  124. Rick Hendersonville,N.C.

    Jack, I'm not all that worried personally. I have been homeless in my time in life so I know how to make it on the streets and I always remind myself I could always go back there with a snap of the finger. But I wonder and worry about the young and those who just don't know what it's like to live with nothing.It messes with your head,you find yourself in the unlikely places . My grandmother told me "The only way they made it was by coming together she said; familys making room for other family members go back to the basic and alot of prayer.. It's time for those who have land to help feed the people by gardening and recycle everything...(It works) My message to the people of the world; plz keep your head up,be strong and come together cause we are all rocking in the same boat but we are going to make it ONLY TOGETHER WE SHALL!!!

    March 17, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  125. Spencer/Newport News, VA

    Not worreid at all Jack. I think we'll see the bottom of the economy in a month or two. The way unemployment is up, you will think it was a depression. But I think the intervention taken by our President has diverted the worst from happening.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  126. Mike Syracuse, NY

    I'm not worried Jack. With the gutting of our defense budget by Obama, we'll be overrun by Al Queda before this becomes a depression.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  127. Marlena

    Depression? What depression? My net worth is skyrocketing...I am an owner in AIG, several banks and auto companies. Why I am so rich I can afford to pay out millions in bonuses too!! But for as much as I have "benefitted" from all this recent government sponsored "windfall" unfortunately I feel it will be nothing in comparison to what my children and grandchildren will have to look forward too.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  128. Jim Blevins

    Obama clearly knows what to do to prevent a depression. The only possibility is if Republican obstructionism is successful.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    March 17, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  129. chuck barnard

    Depression? Give me a break. The Depression mongers obviously were not alive in 1933. 8 % unemployment is not 24%. We aren't even close. People are hurting a lot in many places but we have a long way to fall to compare with the Great One. This is just a good time to re-adjust personal priorities, cut up some of those credit cards, spend intelligently, start saving a little and take some serious control of our individual lives. Everything else will fall into place.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  130. earle,florida

    When unemployment reaches 15%+,and then I might worry,big time! Happy St. Patricks Day Jack(:

    March 17, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  131. Paula Bradford -San Francisco, Ca

    I'm not worried that the recession will become a depression. It already has. Tent cities springing up. Middle class families living in one room in sleazy motels. If this is a recession, then the definition of depression is something I hope I never know.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  132. Linda in Charleston, SC

    I'm already in a depression as many people are. No jobs out there Jack, we need jobs

    March 17, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  133. Pugas-AZ

    I'm more afraid of repression. That is the ability of businesses, and populus in general to break the bonds of conservative financial thinking and start the economic engine going again. We got our fingers burned and it might take a long time to get over it. The feds are priming the pump, but will the water start to flow?

    March 17, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  134. Paul San Antonio, TX

    Zero. It seems like people learned from the Great Depression, and Congress and Obama are going through extreme measures to make sure that these banks don't fail. Keeping the banks stable, life from housing, and a stock market that's bouncing back after months of negative returns shows that we're on our way to slowing down and coming out of this thing.

    I'm with the forty-something percent that said we'd come out of this Depression and start rebounding next year.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  135. UrbanCnrtySoul of Nashville, TN

    Depression... I wish!!! A lesson must be learned and we hadn't learned it. When you do wrong there is a punishment.... we need the punishment. ALL OF US... as I was taught and reared... sometimes am sorry doesn't get it. A spanking or punishment is a reminder not to do it again.
    We can not allow others to dictate us... and we have two... China and foreign oil.

    March 17, 2009 at 4:59 pm |