Great Depression   Leave a comment

My parents lived through the Great Depression of the 1930s. Use your imagination a little bit. Imagine your town in that era. Call up every movie you’ve seen about that era and ask yourself what it would be like to live through that time, now.

Do you think it could not happen again?

Of course it could. It almost happened again in 2008.

Do you think we’re safe today? Of course we aren’t. Our national government was about $6 trillion in debt when it started and is now $17 trillion in debt and borrowing $1 for every $3 it spends. If Barack Obama stays his course, he’ll leave office with a $22 trillion national debt. Some of that is owed to American investors who will wait on their money, but the majority is now owned by Europe, China and Japan, who may not. We could default on those loans, but not without severe consequences to the worldwide economy that would affect us every bit as much as it affects other nations.

We’re in trouble, folks! There is no easy solution to what ails us. Sooner or later, we’re going to have to face the consequences of our national profligacy. If we’d allowed it to happen in 2008 when our national debt was $6 trillion owed mostly to Americans, it would have been a tough 1-3 year correction that might have returned us to economic health by now. We padded our national corners with massive deficit spending and so when the inevitable comes that correction is going to be much deeper and much longer.

The Great Depression is something you and I can know in our lifetime and it’s almost certain that our children will know a time of great economic downturn. Maybe a technological miracle will prevent it, but that’s counting chickens that are not only unhatched, but that haven’t been laid yet. In fact, regulation seems to be killing the hens.

When I talk about preparedness, I have to include an economic disaster like the Great Depression. My parents lived through it. My mother’s folks insisted that the family survived it not because of what the government did to help, but in spire of what the government did to help.

There’s been a lot of scholarship over the last decade showing that the policies of both the Republicans and the Democrats during the 1930s were the cause of the Depression continuing for 12 long years. I know that’s contrary to what they teach in public school, but it’s worth a look to see if there are parallels to our times.

An economic depression is coming our way. The only questions are:

  • When?
  • How long will it last?
  • Will it be a “great” depression or just a normal market-correcting “depression”?
  • Do we have what our grandparents had to survive it?

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