Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Great Depression

Today we feature the famous picture of the woman of the Great Depression. The photograph was taken in 1936 by Dorothea Lange. This picture has become synonymous with the Great Depression.

With the economic news of the last few days, posting this picture seemed appropriate. I am really concerned about the financial state of the country. While I hope things bounce back, I worry that there is a lot more pain that we must endure to purge the excesses that had been in the system. It is as if we have been living in the 1920's, and now we have to face the 1930's. Over the weekend several major financial companies went under, and others are hanging on by a thread. The Dow Jones Industrial averages were down by over 500 points yesterday.

The thing I notice when I look at these old pictures that I post every day is how much more stuff we have today than what our parents had. The truth is, I wonder how much of this stuff we really need. Maybe a realignment of our attitudes about what is wanted vs. what is needed would be a good thing.

9 comments:

  1. The thing we have to remember is...we did make it through the Great Depression. Many individual families were deeply scarred and hurt,still the country survived. We must have faith in our country even in hard times and know we will survive.

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  2. Unfortunately, I fear it's a little late for "faith." Instead of just sitting idly by and believing in a country that has been steadily declining, we need to roll up our sleeves and get politically involved.

    And I'm not stumping for John McCain or Obama. Though no one hates Republicans more than I do, as a former teacher here in liberal Seattle, I grew to hate Democrats even before George W. Bush stole the White House.

    There are reasons for the economic storm that is gathering all around us. Rather than follow the example of mid-twentieth century Germans and Japanese, who followed their "leader" over a cliff," we need to stand up and fight back.

    David Blomstrom

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  3. While we DID make it through the Great Depression, the USA was NOT a superpower beforehand. A US G.D. #2 will be far worse for the effect it will have globally. A major (?world?) war would almost certainly follow in that kind of upheaval.

    As far as a "re-alignment of values" being appropriate - remember the story of the woman pictured. She was a migrant farmer that fed her children captured starlings in order to survive. If the US falls to the point where this becomes "a normal down-on-their-luck family", I don't think folks will see their good fortune in being reminded of the benefits of the simple life.

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  4. We need Jack Welch for President, not Obama or McCain. This country is facing bankruptcy and we need a turn around man, NOW. I fear we are going to have, if not a great depression, then a bad depression. Credit card debt will be the next bubble to burst. People are already living way outside their means. Those of us who try to live within our means and put a little away each week are going to suffer mightily for such foolishness. The American Dream is not free OR an entitlement, which is how some people act these days.

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  5. Norico is correct, the US is in for a financial storm that will seem to approach the Depression. However, I strongly believe the we are a very tough breed of people who can weather and adjust to the demands that are coming. Look at the rapid shift to more ecomomical cars as the price of oil shot up.

    In the same manner we will adjust to the ideals that Norico discussed as the financial fallout of the bank crisis develops further. The houses will still be there and have value, so the surviving banks will work carefully with new and past potential borrowers to try to get them into housing.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that we will come out of this a stronger and, hopefully, a wiser nation. God has truely blessed America!

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  6. I don't know a thing about politics, but I do know this country is in trouble. Gas prices rising, pay is low, living without health insurance, can't pay the bills on time. I would say we ARE in a depression. No one just realizes it yet.

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  7. Ours is a society of excesses.

    Many live a life of luxury beyond their means thanks to financial credit. It's a bubble.

    Eventually all bubbles burst.

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  8. And what is at the root of all this trouble? Greed. Any free economy is profit-driven, but there is a huge difference between people who start a business and offer useful goods or services in the hope of success and the out-of-this-world profit expectations of many large corporations and financial institutions. Tragically, it is any owner of shares who demands this revenue growth at any price. What we need is an acknowledgment of the fact that our wealth are the goods and services that people provide, without which our money that buys them would be worth nothing, and that making profit with buying, downsizing and re-selling businesses, or with breakneck financial operations, are attacks on our economic system and our liberty.

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  9. I have read with great interest all the comments and one quotation comes to mind. It is M.K. Gandhi's - "The earth has enough resources for our need, but not for our greed."
    I wish we could truly follow this idea and then this precious earth of ours would breathe again.

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