Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The More Things Stay The Same

I saw the above over at Crooks and Liars. It's reassuring.

Or not.



  1. Reassuring? Not so much, really. We're in a hole as deep as 1930. It took six years to even start climbing out of that one. As I recall, the bankers and financiers threw us down that shaft, too.

    Except that Obama and his advisors understand the numbers and are doing the same things FDR did, but quicker.

    So okay, maybe that's somewhat reassuring.

  2. Highly recommend "Rainbow's End" 2002 by Maury Klein which is a fascinating read on the origins of "The Great Depression". The similarities between then and now as to greed, avarice, criminality, risk, credit and political stupidity are impressive, and when I read it, in 2002 (Dow 10,600) my page notes are rather predictive, but I never thought it could happen again...especially Worldwide.
    Of note: Dow at PEAK in 1929 was 386, it fell to LOW of 41 in 1932, when FDR took over and injected the WPA, Tenn Valley, great dams of the west, Nat'l Recovery act, Civilian Conservation Corps, etc. New Deal.
    Of even more note: some 20 million went back to work, and in 1941 there was full employment thanks to the draft, the war and Rosie the women built the tanks and planes and entered the workplace by the millions.
    Still, the economy NEVER really recovered, and the 386 Dow was not re-achieved until 1954...25 years later, under President Eisenhower. Frightenly true.
    I point this out just so people don't get too excited about the "stimulus"...I hope it works, but on the other hand, it was tried before and people grew old and died waiting for that 386 ever again. And had a World War to boot.
    Let's try to be was spending and lending that played a part in what got us where we are, and it just might be saving and frugality that brings us back.
    Finally, in Rainbow's End, the photographs of men lining up around the block for a half-mile to get an apple and cup of broth in the big cities will not be repeated if those depths are reached again in this recession. Folks today don't stand in line like sheep and things could get ugly fast.
    I am sure the planners in DC and urban cities know this only too well, and perhaps that adds urgency to the stimulus working...for all of our sakes.


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