Could this be a replay of 1929.....?
November 19, 2008 8:11pm CST
Herbert Hoover was president when the stock market went belly-up in 1929. It was the starting gun of a very deep depression that all but destroyed the economy of the United States of America. Hoover did nothing, but figured that big business would revive and the "trickle down" system would get the gears turning and the nation would be on the route to recovery. Well, that didn't happen, the situation just got worse. My Grandfather was the 1st auto mechanic in our county and headed up the service department of the largest auto dealership located here in the late teens and early 20's. He set out on his own in 1925 and formed the first Chrysler dealership in our county. Two of his sons followed the industry and were very good mechanics. One of his daughters (my mother) was able to go to college and received a fine education. The family wanted for nothing they were very well off financially. Then the bubble burst and in 1930 he lost his dealership. One of the causes was that he trusted too many customers. He co-signed notes at the banks for buyers and most deals were closed with handshakes and promises. Auto repair bills weren't paid and banks called in the notes he signed, it didn't take long before he was totally broke and lost everything but his tools and mechanical skill. He lost the land where a new home for the family was going to be built. The family moved into one house and it took everything that he and his sons could raise to feed and house us. At Christmas time my Grandfather repaired a hardware dealer's auto and received toys for the five young children. I received a windup train, my sister got a Shirley Temple doll. We ate a lot of cabbage and potatoes with very little meat. My uncle worked on a person's car while it was parked outside in our driveway, he spent two days tuning up the car using as little parts as possible and made it run perfect. He charged the man $1.25 and thought he was overcharging him. They took the money and bought pork steak. We hadn't had any meat for two weeks, they salted it down to try and keep it from spoiling as we had no refrigerator. We had an ice box but no ice. Yes, things were tough, us young kids didn't know the difference, we played with what we had and enjoyed growing up with nothing but the love and care of our family. All of this I know for a fact, I lived it, I was born in 1929. A few bankers made a lot of money as the result of the depression. Farms and property was forclosed on and bankers had the inside track to buy them up for pennies on the dollar. Several around her got rich. The first Ford dealership was forclosed and a banker took it over. The same Ford dealership is still alive today. The owner is a friend of mine and he is worried sick and doesn't sleep at night. He looks terrible and has aged 10 years in the past 6 months. He has a lot of SUV's, Trucks and cars on his lot and they are just sitting there. Very few potential buyers walk his lot and those that want to buy can't get financed by the local banks. It's not good. In 1932 Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to the presidency. He gave people hope with his nightly radio chats. He put in place government programs such as: the WPA or as people would call it PWA (Pa's Working Again). They built parks, roads, bridges, dams and got the economy rolling again. It didn't happen overnight, times were still tough during the next few years, but we did recover. FDR will go down as one of the greatest Presidents of this country. We had best all pray that the same thing doesn't happen that took place in 1929.
2 people like this
20 Nov 08
It certainly could be as bad as 1929, but i think there is reason for hope that it won't be. That doesn't mean things will be easy, far from it, but what has encouraged me is that the leaders (who admittedly got us into this mess in the first place) seem to have learnt from the mistakes of the past. Back in the 1930s banks were allowed to go to the wall, with predictable knock on consequences. Back then, countries put up tarrif barriers which choked off trade around the world, thus killing companies, etc. Back then, governments cut spending and increased taxes to balance budgets, the wrong policy response when dealing with a recession. It seems that Fed Chairman Bernanke, who has specialised in the history of the Great Depression, and other leaders around the world realise that everything possible must be done to get us out of this, including drastically lowering interest rates to help homeowners and businesses. We may not agree with every single policy prescription that our current leaders are seeking to administer onto the worldwide economy, but I do believe that many mistakes of the past have been learnt and I hope therefore that this recession, though painful, will not be as deep or as long as the Depression of the 1930s
• United States
20 Nov 08
Yes there are some positive moves and a new fresh leadership will be taking over in January. You had to live through the depression of the 30's to know what it was like. My grandson asked me one day what kind of toys did we play with when I was a boy. I told him "sticks, dirt, rocks, and an old toy windup train". We made tunnels in the dirt and cover it with sticks. We played "chalk the corner", "king of the hill", "marbles", we even played sandlot baseball if someone had a ball and bat. The old baseball was wrapped with friction tape (tarred rag) it had lost it's cover a long time ago. How many of you played those games?Well, that's enough of that, but it wasn't easy and I don't know how the people would get by if they had to go through what we did during the depression. Let's all hope and pray that it doesn't happen. We, the people are the ones who will have to turn things around.
• United States
20 Nov 08
This could turn out to be worse than 29, and though you hold FDR in high regards, studies have shown time and time again that the policies which he enacted actually extended the depression by at least 7 years, and when he was pushing his social programs through, the economy had been showing signs of recovery. It often happens that we look at our past through rose colored glasses, but sometimes we need to see the facts for what they are, not what we thought they should have been.
• United States
20 Nov 08
This time it's going to be much worse than it was in 1929. Just wait and see. The whole world is in recession which is going to turn into a depression. Alot of BIG companies are closing. And im talking about companies that have thousands of employees. That's all I have to say...