Calling all fans of the Great Depression

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by vintage68, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

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    Just for some perspective, the average length of a recession in the U.S. is 10 or 11 months.

    Here's Ben Stein on recessions:

    Even in a recession, more than 90 percent of workers who want to work will be employed. Even in a recession, most businesses will make a profit. Even in a recession in this era, more than 10 million men and women will need cars and trucks. Many millions will need new homes. Tens of millions will need retirement investment products and life insurance. In the United States, even in a recession, there are plenty of people with money to spend.

    Those who tend to their work, who get to the office or showroom or shop early, stay late, work hard, stay on the phones dialing for deals (as my pal, Barron Thomas, puts it), will make money. Those who stay sharp and make a point of befriending their clients will make money. Yes, some extra effort will be needed, but it'll pay off. There's still money to be made, even when the economy itself has slowed down.

    It's the guy or gal who puts in extra effort who stays ahead and even prospers when the economy is in a slowdown. The easygoing, laid-back time-servers get tossed overboard.​

    I'd just add that those in industries that are continually in demand are more likely to make money.
     
  2. pigeon toe

    pigeon toe One Too Many

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    I was recently at my ex-boyfriend's house, digging through his family's fridge, and commented on how empty it looks. He responded with something akin to rent and bills taking priority over food for his family right now. His mother was laid off a month or two ago, so it's just his dad's factory wages and my boyfriend's retail job supporting the family (which includes his sister and her three young ones).

    Right now I'm worrying more for those who do not have the stability of a steady career. I think that is who is going to be affected be most by the economy if a depression occurs.
     
  3. Fletch

    Fletch I'll Lock Up

    Could have been written in 1931 by the personal-responsibility crowd of that day.
     
  4. vintage68

    vintage68 Practically Family

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    From CNBC this morning:

    "The U.S. government should take stakes in banks in order to recapitalize them rather than instituting a $700 billion bailout package, as the economy is one step away from depression, Hugh Hendry, chief investment officer and Partner at Eclectica Fund, told CNBC on Thursday"

    Here's a link to the full article:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/26985941

    If this is true then the house vote on Friday won't help things. Also interesting to note that almost all the "no" votes in the Senate were from senators up for reelection. Almost everyone in the House is up for reelection when they vote on Friday.

    Has anyone here read The Forgotten Man? A fascinating history of the Great Depression, and how gub'mint intervention actually made it worse.
     
  5. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

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    One of the partners at the CPA firm where I work has commented that most people in congress think the "bailout" is a good idea, but they don't want their opponents accusing them of corporate handouts or whatever. They all want other people to vote for it.
     
  6. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

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    I'm sure he's a smart man, but TV shows select guests based on how well they do in that medium and how good they'll be for ratings. And there was recently a thread on how people can be misrepresented on TV.

    The chief investment officer of our wealth advisors company had this to say, among other things, in a letter e-mailed to us yesterday:

    Our economy and markets have experienced many shocks over time, including several during the span of our investing careers. These include 9/11, the collapse of the tech bubble in 2000-2002, demise of long-term capital management and the Russian debt crisis in 1998, and the savings and loan crisis in the late 80s and early 90s. Our economy has survived each of these crises, and returned to prosperity. We will likely experience more volatility in the weeks ahead, but we believe that the U.S. economy will survive this crisis as well.​
     
  7. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

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    Just to be clear, I know from experience that it's possible to be a good worker and still be tossed overboard. "When good management meets a bad industry, the bad industry wins."
     
  8. warbird

    warbird One Too Many

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    And he is right. Look, when an economy is on a downturn or a depression the worst thing you can do is feel guilty about having a job and then not doing it. We have to work harder and realizing that there is pain being experienced keep an optimistic attitude about the quick recover and a bright future.

    Believe it or not attitude has a lot to do with the strength of the economy. No one should relish downturns, but working hard and creating money is what will drive the economy back up. Obviously those who have lost jobs and can't find work will experience hardships, but those that do have jobs must work hard and succeed as that is what will bring us out of it. At the worst of the depression 75% of Americans had jobs, as they felt they could spend again the economy went back up. And truthfully with all of the gov plans and projects and such even with the optimism of Roosevelt it took Hitler to get us out of that funk, which was way more issues than the stock market as issues like overfarming and the dust bowl and food shortages all hit this country at once. The deeper seeded the malaise attitude, the harder to climb out. We will have some tough times coming and it will be harder to get credit for housing and cars and such. There have been a number of downturns since I was born and we will have more to come, but this will get very bad if we lose sight of ourselves and are talked into a panic.

    We can't allow ourselves to wallow. This is a shaky time and for instance unemployment is at its highest since 2000. However, that is still far better than we were in the 1970's. Heck until the 1980's we though full employment was around 6%, now we know its more like 4.5%. There are weaknesses and there are good things happening as well. Of the foreclosure crisis, they are way way up yes. However, it's all in one sector of mortgages, those with variables. Those with conventional loans the numbers have been stable throughout. As for values, vaues have plummeted in bubble areas, however in most of America values have still gone up because they never had a great bubble. Don't lose sight of that. It's not easy for those who suffer with hardship and loss and we have to appreciate that, but we can't have the attitude the sky is falling and we are all doomed an hole up, or your own fears we come true.
     
  9. vintage68

    vintage68 Practically Family

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    So let's move this discussion along. Does anyone have favorite movies about the Great Depression? Or books?

    I read a book a while back called Water for Elephants, a novel by Sara Gruen, about a guy who joins the circus during the depression. Excellent reading.

    Anyone else?
     
  10. Rachael

    Rachael A-List Customer

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    I know it's an obvious pick, but my favorite Depression-era novel is The Grapes of Wrath. It was the first thing that brought home the fact that real people went through this, and got through it.

    The thing that has always fascinated me about this era (and WWII Europe) is stories about those who could have given up but instead chose to continue living in hope. When faced with obstacles such as those the Greatest Generation were faced with, Hope in itself is a heroic act. I wonder if I would have been up to the task.
     
  11. Feraud

    Feraud Bartender

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    There is a good book called Riding the Rails by Errol Uys.

    It discusses the nearly 250,000 teenagers who hit the rails during the great depression to fend for themselves.

    Readings on the subject makes me reject the romanticized view (although not entirely inaccurate) of the depression era family sense of community and brotherhood. When children choose or are forced by parents to ship out and fend for themselves you tend to not view the past as somehow better than today.

    I highly recommend the book.

    There is also a documentary based on the book I have been wanting to see.
     
  12. jake_fink

    jake_fink Call Me a Cab

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    That's in my pile.... a few books down though.

    Edward Anderson's Theives Like Us and Hungry Men are great books about the Depression.

    [​IMG]
    .Woody Haut on Edward Anderson LA Times on Edward Anderson


    Let us Now Praise Famous Men is justly famous.


    Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

    I love Ask the Dust by John Fante and Boxcar Bertha is worth reading.

    Post Road on John Fante Salon on John Fante
    [​IMG]

    The Canadian novel Waste Heritage combines some of the elements of Hungry Men with Boxcar Bertha and is out in a new edition.

    [​IMG]

    One of the best visualizations of the Depression is Bound For Glory, the Hal Ashby film of the Woody Gutherie story.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    "Veterans on the March," by Jack Douglas, with a forward by John Dos Passos.

    This isn't a literary look at the Depression, or an after-the-fact history. Rather, it's a definitive, first-hand account of the 1932 "Bonus March" on Washington DC, written in 1934 by an actual participant. It's an extremely rare book -- published by a small "progressive" publisher, and distributed little, if all, thru commercial channels, but it's absolutely essential to understanding this particular incident in Depression history -- an incident which probably more than any one thing sealed the doom of the Hoover Administration.
     
  14. Nathan Flowers

    Nathan Flowers Head Bartender Staff Member

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    To look at the bleak side of things back then, read Caldwell's Tobacco Road.
     
  15. RetroToday

    RetroToday A-List Customer

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    Because my father is very much "into" railway and railroad history, years ago he introduced me to the movie "Emporer of the North (Pole)", which I now love. The bulk of the movie was based on some of Jack London's books.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_of_the_North_Pole

    Set in the depression, it shows life from the perspective of two hobos riding the rails, one a young hotshot nicknamed Cigaret (Keith Carradine) and the other a seasoned 'bo, A#1 (Lee Marvin).

    Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine and Keith Carradine all make great performances in this movie.
    Check it out if you can find it - I believe it came out on DVD a while ago.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Hondo

    Hondo One Too Many

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    Fans of the Great Depression?

    I don't think so, not by along shot, I see no endless lines for hand outs, soup kitchens, you wouldn't see us (U.S.A) sending troops over seas. My parents were young kids during the depression.
    Many families couldn't afford, take care of children, sent to other members of family or given up, very hard, sad times.
    But I don't think were in a "great depression" just sorry state for now, I think we do need to take better care of our Country and Citizens. Economy, we did it once, we can do it again!
    No fan of the Great Depression.
     
  17. Forgotten Man

    Forgotten Man One Too Many

    I hate to say it, but even those who are "locked in" to a good job can be cut due to down sizing.

    No body is safe from a true Depression. Many people who had it all set in the 30s lost everything... it's a long drop from the top.

    I pray that this upcoming situation will not be as bad as the crash of '29!
     
  18. Foofoogal

    Foofoogal Banned

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    Vintage Land
    Isn't this fun. lol We just put our home on the market 2 days ago. lol Can anyone say timing. It is on 2.227 acres with 1.75 more available so one can plant a garden, keep chickens or raise a cow, goat or 2 in case of bad times.
    Willis, Texas by Lake Conroe. We are looking to God to sell it. lol
    Arkansas here I come ready or not.

    Whenever I think of depression era I think of Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck and my father's family that lived in tents in West Texas due to oil rush, boom or whatever you call it.
    It made my father who he was which made me who I was. Still turn off lights automatically when I leave a room and you almost have to make me throw anything and I mean anything away with force.
    Maybe we will be saved from ourselves and self destruction. May be our finest hour as Americans. Sure hope so. We pulled together some when 911 happened. Maybe we will more now.
    I think the moment that people started putting names on their hineys back in the 80s we went off deep end. Maybe a little reality check will help.
    As I get older and older I appreciate the smallest things like a pretty flower or bird singing. Since the hurricane all my redbirds have disappeared. I used to have alot of them. They either flew North or got pushed North I hope once again. Maybe they will join me in Arkansas.
     
  19. Burnsie

    Burnsie Registered User

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    Location:
    Virginia
    I recently finished reading The Worst Hard Time - The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl byTimothy Egan and it was FANTASTIC! I mentioned it in another thread but this is a good place to mention it again. My fascination with this time period has nothing to do with wanting to be hungry or out of work, I do have nothing but admiration for the folks who lived through it and went on to live through the Second World War.

    If you haven't seen the 1939 film version of Of Mice And Men that's another great "Depression Era" flick - like a Dorothea Lange photo come to life.
    I was recently joking with a pal that if another depression hits I'm all ready with my overalls and newsboy hat but after this week it doesn't seem as funny :(
     
  20. HungaryTom

    HungaryTom One Too Many

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    Hyperinflation is a good time

    ...to settle your debts. My grandparents fatherside had a relative who paid back the money he borrowed and owed them a few years back for a purchasing of some lot when the amount was enough to buy a feet of a chair from that money.

    My grandmother told that during the hyperinflation years 1945/46 people did rush on payday directly to the markets to buy some potahto and alike since a few hours later they could buy only a match or so from the same money. In those times people went to the countryside with pianos and all the artwork but especially the 'family silver' and jewels they had just to buy some food from the farmers.

    On the other hand the wish 'Be a millionaire' came true for all -everyone was a multi-billionaire.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0e/Inflació_utan_1946.jpg

    I am a proud member of the nation that had the highest hyperinflation in history: Monthly inflation did reach 4,19 x 10 to the power of 16 percent - prices doubled every 15 hours. On 1 August 1946 the newly introduced currency unit (HUF) was worth exactly 400 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 old currency units.

    Still people survived - it was an easy exercise after the apocalypse of WW2.

    One even more vintage resolution of debt and enslavement through debts were the Sabbatical year (releasing debts each 7 years) and the Year of Jubilee (reclaiming of ground owned by the families originally owning it each 50 years).

    Better than resolving crisis by curbing on the economy through periodically initiated wars - not so good idea in the WMD era.
     

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