The Next Great Depression
The Next Great Depression
For the record I must admit I don’t know if we’re currently in the next Great Depression or just a fairly deep recession. Only time will tell whether this economic downturn rivals the Great Depression of the late 20s and early 1930s.
I got on this topic after talking with my granddad yesterday during the ride up to his church. Since he can no longer drive I agreed to give him a ride to his Catholic church service because yesterday was a holy day celebrating the immaculate conception of Mary.
So the discussion turned to talk of the economy as we pulled up to a stop light and a bum was there holding a sign asking for money.
This got granddad to talking because one of the local bums had been adopted by a family out here in Dripping Springs and he was wondering how the economy was affecting the bums.
He started talking about how during his childhood they were very fortunate because his dad had a state job. He said “Even though the state was broke too they issued warrants to their workers and the banks honored the warrants at $.90 on the dollar.”
So it was like an extra 10% tax on them during those lean times. But they always had food on the table he reminds me and steak once a month.
He also said his family did better during the Depression because prices remained low. Once prices started to rise again his dad’s state salary stayed the same but obviously their buying power was less.
He was really young during the Great Depression being that he was born in 1933 at the very trough and deepest part of the Depression.
He remembers details of white businessmen in full suits knocking on his door begging to clean the family gutters, rake the leaves, or mow the lawn in exchange for a meal… they didn’t even want money just a meal or even leftovers from the family’s last meal.
He said today he never believes this would happen. Because we live in a different time he believes people would resort to stealing, looting, and rioting before they would dare go hungry.
It was different times back then and people did deal with hunger and even starvation while maintaining a sense of civilization.
It got me to thinking what exactly would happen if things got uber bad.
Would my young generation the millennials and Gen Xers deal with hunger? Or would civilization break down into anarchy?
I tend to lean toward the breakdown since as Americans we’ve been very spoiled over the last 40 or 50 years compared to the rest of the world. Such hardships would be hard for our countrymen to accept.
One of the biggest reasons Third World countries remain fairly under control and civilized is because they don’t know any better. But once you give people something they haven’t had before the game changes.
Should you attempt to now take that thing away which they’ve become accustomed to having that’s when rioting and unrest usually spring up.
As this thing comes full circle I’m reminded of how the more things change the more they stay the same.
It gave me great insight into my granddad which is a first because I’ve never really understood him too well.
His father was a state worker and they had the security of always having food during the Great Depression. My granddad in turn was a state worker working both for the police department and the fire department for a time. And had he not had a heart condition causing him to be dismissed for medical reasons he would have gone into the military.
My mom also got this desire for security as a high priority in her life and started working for the state when she was a 19-year-old and just retired about two years ago.
I worked for the state for a short time and being in a cube just wasn’t for me as I started having suicidal thoughts. It was just the tip of the iceberg but I knew I had to get out of there before any kind of depression or any more serious conditions set in.
As we look at these uncertain and troubled economic times it did give me some insights into how things tend to repeat themselves. And how we tend to follow in our parents footsteps.
So do what you can to prepare financially for this economic turmoil. And also keep a close eye on the kind of example you’re setting for your children as well as the kind of example you want to set for your children.
If you have any theories about the economic turmoil or why you ended up like your mother or father post them in the comments because I’ll look forward to hearing them.