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No matter how bad things get, don't worry - it'll never be a Depression. This place could end up like Ethiopia and it'll never get worse than what every pundit, economist and newsperson is saying -- it's - at worst - ...

"The Worst Recession Since The Great Depression."

And the pundits and economists will be shouting this in their rags from their hovels and unrolling 20 linear feet of charts and graphs and statistics and history and histograms and bell curves and dozens of columns with thousands of numbers, ratios, random samples and standard deviations -- and therefore continue to prove to us all their case that things are better than everyone thinks.  In fact we're in a slow recovery.

All you -- the one living in the mud hut with your family eating slugs and drinking putrified water -- have to do is look up and see their unravelled scrolls of gorgeous, multi-hued Power Point charts glistening in the sun - and that should bring you a sigh of relief.

"Glory be!  My family and I haven't eaten for days, some of us have beriberi and scurvy and I have a fungus growing under my esophagus - but my Lord - look at that - GDP is still heading up!!!  Molly, we're gonna be ok after all!  More than that -- we ARE ok!!!"

Originally posted to dov12348 on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 05:33 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    "Yeah, like God couldn't play a better solo than that?" (reply to "Clapton is God" remark on You Tube)

    by dov12348 on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 05:33:57 PM PDT

  •  perhaps you over react (0+ / 0-)

    just a bit? We are on the edge but have yet to fall off.

    "No man deserves to be praised for his goodness unless he has strength of character to be wicked." La Rochefoucald

    by Void Indigo on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 05:40:18 PM PDT

  •  GDP is going up, they say, huh? (5+ / 0-)

    Here's what I say to that:

    Suppose you had one penny yesterday, but today you have two.
    Woo Hoo! You've got 100% growth! But here's the thing:
    You still only have two cents.

    Let's call this what it is: THE CONSERVATIVE DEPRESSION

    Our position is tax cuts for the middle class, theirs is tax cuts for millionaires, Stupid.

    by Jimdotz on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 05:40:26 PM PDT

  •  Yes, a depression is just (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    so... depressing.

    Let's just call it "normal".

  •  Not much of a diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murrayewv, terjeanderson

    I don't get it, honestly.  Things are pretty horrible economically, but I don't see the social capital and infrastructure disappearing.

    Also, what made the Great Depression the Great Depression was the fact that humans simply didn't have the economic technology to use government to combat it.  Hoover did almost exactly the opposite of what John Maynard Keynes would prove, mathematically, needed to be done.

    •  I think we have to shift forward. Comparing (4+ / 0-)

      today to the 1930's is disingenuous at best.  I think we need to slice off the top 10% who are doing well and then look at the numbers.  It would be a completely different picture.  Our income inequity is so extreme that we need to look at the economy by segment instead of as an aggregate.

      "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

      by lakehillsliberal on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 05:52:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually a main point of mine... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HamdenRice, shann, asterkitty that this situation is absolutely unprecedented...yet people insist on making comparisons.  You could probably sit here and fill up ten legal pads with the differences between the Great Depression tand this...this...whatever the hell this is.

      "Yeah, like God couldn't play a better solo than that?" (reply to "Clapton is God" remark on You Tube)

      by dov12348 on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 05:55:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Social capital, if by that you mean... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      postmodernista, bythesea

      ...things like education, are very much disappearing. Not that there won't be schools, but look at the number of kids per classroom, etc., for the real picture.

      Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 07:55:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Both of my parents were depression children (0+ / 0-)

        so I heard a lot about it growing up and frankly the comparisons between what's happening now and the 1930s baffle me.

        My mother starved.  For years.  Her parents broke up and her father, a driver of horse carriages in Brooklyn, had custody.  They survived on handouts of rotted food from the local grocery stores -- for years.

        My father was from a tobacco growing peasant family in Virginia.  The first year of the rural depression, they invested everything in a crop and then prices crashed and the tobacco agent offered them $5 for the entire years work.  My father was hugely envious of a cousin who visited summers from Brooklyn because this cousin had shoes.  My father's father then died coughing up blood for a month, unable to afford a doctor leaving my grandmother a widow with 7 children.

        Hundreds of thousands of children and teens whose parents couldn't feed them wandered the country side and hitched rides on trains, looking for work or just a handout of leftover food.

        There were no roads, no hospitals, no schools for poor whites or blacks (my father's county only allowed blacks to attend school up to 7th grade), no unemployment insurance, no food stamps, not even a right to vote for most rural people in "southside" Virginia.  

        There were no dentists, so most middle aged people's teeth fell out.  I watched a charming documentary about 20 years ago about the New Deal and an actor read from the letters of a dentist hired by the WPA to introduce dentistry to Appalachia and I remember his conclusion: this country suffers from bad government and bad teeth and needs more dentists and more democracy.

        That's what I mean by social capital.  You can complain all you want about health maintenance organizations or charter schools, causing a deterioration of social capital, but that's a different planet from 1930s rural America.

        This is a bad recession in an industrial and post industrial economy.  It is NOTHING, NOTHING LIKE the Great Depression.

        •  I'm not unfamiliar with tough times... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ...having lived the first eight years of my life without indoor plumbing, on federal surplus food that ran out at the end of each month (before food stamps were even a gleam in a reformer's eye). Today, we have children living homeless in urban areas where they can get food from soup kitchens and occasional shelter but do often go hungry. (I volunteer at a soup kitchen and I see them with my own eyes.) Many of them are only sporadically in school. Today, the only health care available to some people comes from mobile health clinics.

          Of course, things were worse for large numbers of people in the Depression. But that doesn't make what's happening in America right now in terms of the destruction of mental health services, overloaded social workers and probation officers, more students per classroom, etc., something to be sanguine about.

          Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Tue Oct 26, 2010 at 03:01:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "something to be sanguine about" (0+ / 0-)

            well whether the state of public services is "something to be sanguine about" wasn't the issue.  It was whether the Great Recession is comparable in terms of human suffering to the Great Depression.

            It isn't.

            Even in the mid to late 20th century as you noted the government distributed surplus food before food stamps.  During the Depression, those in rural areas who could afford food at all had a meal consisting typically of frying preserved pork in bacon fat, removing the pork and ladeling in black strap molasses, plus cornbread.  Malnutrition, pellegra, intestinal worms, parasites, fleas, bed bugs, lice and malaria were endemic in the rural south.  Things are bad for many poor children today, and many sometimes go hungry, but that's hardly the same as pervasive, endemic diseases of starvation which persisted in the rural south until the Great Society.  

            There was no rural electrification, no telephones, and despite our nostalgia for old radio shows, for most rural people no radio.  In most areas, there were no hospital emergency rooms (not even treatment followed by financial ruination), no mobile clinics, and even if there were, no way to get there except by horse and wagon over several days.  (My grandmother got electricity around 1960 but never got running water.)

            Things are bad, but honestly, I don't see how anyone can, without being callous toward history, compare what is happening today to what happened in the 1930s.

          •  Forgot to add (0+ / 0-)

            and this was my original point -- of all the things we didn't have in the Depression before 1933, the most important was the application of the theories of John Maynard Keynes to policy.

        •  It will be worse. (0+ / 0-)

          The denial reminds me of Germany before the war. The Jews could not imagine things getting too bad.

          "Yeah, like God couldn't play a better solo than that?" (reply to "Clapton is God" remark on You Tube)

          by dov12348 on Tue Oct 26, 2010 at 06:55:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Whatever they call it, a Thorn is a Thorn (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewfromct, dov12348, asterkitty, Sunspots

    Feels like a Depression to me.  A REPUBLICAN Depression.

    But never mind, when the commoners no longer have money to buy the  billionaires' trinkets, they can join us in our cardboard shacks.

    Somehow we will still have soup.

  •  It's just a flesh wound. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewfromct, dov12348

    We come well armed with organic leafy greens... not guns.

    by VeganMilitia on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 06:02:52 PM PDT

  •  I 100% disagree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I completely disagree that this is not going to be a depression for one reason: the  real pain in the financial industry hasnt even hit yet.  This mortgage documentation crisis is going to be HUGE.  People all over are starting to realize what the banks did with their loans.  The sad fact is that because the banks skipped so many processes required by law in many cases it means that the notes securing the home as collateral for the loan are not valid.  So what do you think happens when everybody realizes that they don't have to pay back their loans?  

    Now, truth be told, not EVERYBODY is going to be able to do this.  But many will.  For the rest, there are modifications and foreclosures.   Either way there will be massive losses on mortgages.  Now, when the bondholders and those that purchased mortgage backed securities realize the documentation problems and that their securities and bonds are worthless, not because they just lost value, but because the securities themselves were based on fraudulent representations about loans that were fraudulently made.   Who do they sue?   The same banks who are already suffering massive losses.  And it goes on and on.   This is already resulting in a huge credit crunch that is making credit hard to get or completely unavailable for most.  Did you know that government backed loans are now 97% of the mortgage market?   Thats right, if it werent for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, only 3% of homes that are currently selling would be sold.  There would be NO mortgage market.  No matter what, home prices are going to continue to go down, if not because of all of the foreclosures because of the lack of cheap credit.  And as go home prices, so does America's fortunes.  

  •  'The latest version of pretend' (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dov12348, Sunspots

    so begins today's Clusterfuck Nation, titled 'The Tombstone Blues.'

    The latest version of Pretend - going on a couple of weeks now - is the nation whistling past the graveyard of mortgage documentation fraud while skeletons dance around everything connected with the money system. Halloween came early this year. The USA is getting to look like one big Masque of the Red Death, so I suppose it's convenient that our pop culture has been saturated with vampires, zombies, and werewolves for a decade, coincident with the self-cannibalizing of our economy. Something in the zeitgeist told us to get with the program of a twilight existence. We're well-schooled now in the ways of the undead, operating under cover of darkness, going for the neck at every opportunity, even eating our young - if you consider the debt orgy, both private and public, as a way to party like it's 1999 by consuming your children's' future.

    We come well armed with organic leafy greens... not guns.

    by VeganMilitia on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 06:33:25 PM PDT

  •  Have to get some sleep. Thanks... (0+ / 0-)

    ...for stopping by. Back in the am.

    Maybe I shold have put this up earlier; some great responses.

    "Yeah, like God couldn't play a better solo than that?" (reply to "Clapton is God" remark on You Tube)

    by dov12348 on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 06:46:49 PM PDT

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