Will we ever learn?

@Arkie69 (2156)
United States
December 19, 2008 6:44am CST
In the past few months I have done a lot of reading and talking to people about the "Great Depression" as most people like to call it. This has also included the "roaring 20's" which caused the depression and the 1940's which brought us out of the depression. I lived through the 1940's so I remember it well. In the past 10 years we have done exactly what people did in the 1920's that caused the depression. They were living fast and spending every cent they could beg, borrow or steal. Hoover became President at the beginning of the depression. Here is a quote from one article. "In 1928 Hoover was nominated by the Republicans for the Presidency. Aided by the prosperity which had accompanied eight years of Republican Administration he won a landslide victory". End of quote. The depression took Hoover by surprise. In trying to get out of the depression Hoover made the same mistakes that Bush is making now and it did not work. Here is another quote from the same article. "Hoover created the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to make loans to banks, farm organizations, and state and local governments. He hoped that such money would stimulate the economy and (trickle down) to the unemployed in the form of jobs". End of quote. This didn't happen. The people that received the money refused to spend it. This is exactly what is happening right now in the US. The only thing that brought us out of the depression of the 1930's was WWII and government sponsored work programs. A lot of people from this part of the country went to California and worked in the ship yards and other places that were making the war toys. They also put people to work improving the roads. Many of them then were dirt roads. They graveled a lot of them and improved their drainage. You can still see the old concrete culverts under the dirt roads with the ends of them stamped "WPA 1942". Bush is now doing exactly what Hoover did that didn't work. Is Obama going to be out Franklin D. Roosevelt? That is exactly the task Obama has before him. To that I say God help him because he is going to need it.
3 people like this
9 responses
• United States
19 Dec 08
No doubt about it...Obama has a tough road ahead of him. He has alot to do. Personally I hope he can turn things around for all our sakes. I think the basic problem with this is "those that do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it". How many people actually know what caused the great depression? How many people really know and I mean really know their history? It is not focused on in schools like it should be. Not just history but other things too. I think the biggest lesson we should take from this current ecomonic trouble is this....do not spend more than you make. Make a budget and stay in it. Do not borrow more than you can pay back and invest in your retirement while you are younge and always have a saving account . Stop spending every dime you make in other words. Plan for your future and set money aside for emergencies. How much of that is taught in schools? Not a lot.
2 people like this
@Arkie69 (2156)
• United States
19 Dec 08
I'm with you all the way. People have got to learn there are certain things you just cannot do and survive in any kind of comfort. We have all had a hand in this. It's not just the government. I'm afraid this little round is going to educate a lot of people in a way they are not likely to forget it very soon. People don't realize just how bad things could get. This thing could easily get into our food supply lines and should that happen we are going to see a side of mankind none of us have seen before. Hungry people are the most dangerous animal on this planet. Just the fact there are a lot more people now will make a depression a lot worse than it was in the 1930's. Also we have been propping our economy up for a long time now. This has put us in a very dangerous position. The way we are trying to run this world ever so often the economy has to make adjustments to keep the wages and the cost of living in balance. We have been holding off these adjustments for way too long. The closer together these adjustments come the less we are effected by them. Our economy will adjust at some point and we cannot stop it. That's what we are into now and when everything does crash a lot of people are going to be hurt that shouldn't have been. The public had got to be educated to this kind of thing. We can do this or we can let Mother Nature do it only we are not going to like how she does it.
2 people like this
@cbreeze (1207)
• United States
19 Dec 08
This is very interesting to me. I haven't seen the quotes. This is the first time I've heard that the boom of the 20's contributed to the depression. I didn't know that, it isn't taught in schools, and as an avid History Channel watcher, I'm disappointed that I haven't heard reference to this in the shows I've seen regarding the depression.
1 person likes this
@Arkie69 (2156)
• United States
19 Dec 08
That is exactly what caused the last depression and that is exactly what is at the root of this one too. In the 20's everyone that could were buying cars, fancy cloths, a lot of fast night life and most of them were doing it on money they really didn't need to spend that way. This time around we have just don't it on a much larger scale. There was a lot more junk out there for us to spend money on. Now things are clamping down and we can no longer afford all the junk. This is bringing our economy down. Also there is something else you won't hear about on the news. Every time you turn the TV on someone is talking about the price of gasoline. But, no one is even mentioning the price of diesel fuel. The price of gasoline is hurting our personal driving but the price of diesel fuel is hurting everything. Just make a tripe through your home and make a list of everything you can see that has not been on a truck at some point. That is HAS NOT been on a truck. This is where the price increase in our food and everything else is coming from. The diesel fuel goes up the trucking companies have to increase their charges. This causes a domino effect that makes a complete circle back to where it started. Every time it makes a circle it grows even larger. If it costs a trucking company more to haul the goods then they pass the increase on to someone else. Sooner or later it is passed on to us, the consumer. And, no matter how much the price of diesel fuel comes down prices will not come down to match it. OPEC is going to keep on screwing around until we actually have a shortage of diesel fuel and then we are going to be hurting big time. This could effect our food supply and if that happens you will see a panic like none this world has ever seen.
@Arkie69 (2156)
• United States
19 Dec 08
PS; Most of the teaching I have seen concerning the last depression deals only with the time period of 1929 through the mid to late 1930's. They usually don't include any information pertaining to the time before and after the depression. This is the most important part of the depression because it tells us what caused the depression and what we did to recover from it. Bush is making the same mistakes now that Hoover did then. They both thinking that money would solve the problem was actually both of them stepping into the same trap. A lot of the advisers in Washington simply don't know the history before and after the depression.
@egdcltd (6588)
19 Dec 08
More worrying is the thought that this depression may end in a major war also.
1 person likes this
@Arkie69 (2156)
• United States
19 Dec 08
I've given that a lot of thought too. I am hoping they can just build up our military and not have to use it. There are a lot of ways to create jobs without going to war and getting a lot of people killed. If the government is going to spend the money anyway there are a lot of things we could build that would help the people as well as our economy. For one thing people need to learn how to be content with less. Less car, less house, less junk period. That helps our economy while things are booming but when things tighten up it makes a bad situation even worse. Thanks for your post.
2 people like this
@egdcltd (6588)
19 Dec 08
Military is a big ticket item when it comes to pumping money into the economy, but when the toys are paid for, it seems many politicians can't resist the urge to play with them.
2 people like this
• United States
19 Dec 08
Thank you for this topic. I have found myself wondering is it just the Republican party and their values and beliefs or is it Bush making a last ditch effort not to go down in history as the worst president in U.S. history. A little late for that I think.
1 person likes this
@Arkie69 (2156)
• United States
19 Dec 08
A lot of the older people that went through the last depression still refer to the early part of it to "the Hoover days". This time period could very likely be called "the Bush days". The Republicans are concerned with one thing and that is making a big profit. The only way they can make a big profit is for the little man down here on the bottom to be able to spend a lot of money. The more money that is moving the more they can grab of it. In the past 8 years a lot of the Democrats have gotten in on this too. A lot of our problem is our government is being controlled by people outside the government. The politicians have no choice but work for the people that can get then elected and reelected. This is not the general public. Most people won't agree with this but it's just the way things are and the only way we can ever change it is to change our form of government. If we go into a real bad depression you can bet this is what will happen too. The people will demand it.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
19 Dec 08
hello arkie69, I am kinda hesitant to participate in this discussion as I am a filipina and I don't really understand on what is going on out there depression wise... But it has been more than months now that I have been trying to reached my friends and relatives out there to know the truthfulness of the news that has been aired at you tube... The economic collapse of U.S, the FEMa thing, they say coffins " The so called UNION OF NORTH AMERICA.. the uninon between mexico, canada and u.s. The AMERO thing, you know the new currency called the Amero that will be the legal tender of U.S when the Union of North America begins on 2010. How true is that? am just worried and it disturb me alot. Sorry if it may sound out of topic but I guess its a bit related..
@leenie50 (3992)
• United States
23 Dec 08
Hello Arkie, It must be pretty freaky to see it happening all over again. You would think that all the old fogies running this Government would remember these things. I guess all the money they receive makes them blind to the past. I just wish there were more people in this world who were as smart as you and my husband and care enough about History before we are doomed to repeat it. It's a shame that it is too late to learn this valuable or should I say expensive lesson. Thanks Arkie. leenie
@Arkie69 (2156)
• United States
23 Dec 08
Hi Leenie, It seems that everything today is connected to a profit some way. It doesn't matter if it's the church, our homes or business every one is grabbing that almighty dollar. That's all that seems to matter to most people. I'm afraid this time people have gone too far and a lot of innocent people may wind up paying for this one with their lives. Most people have no idea what this world could become if the right conditions exist. If OPEC screws around and shorts us on Diesel fuel to run the trucks that haul all the consumer goods we will get a view of this world we have never seen before. Scared, hungry people are the most dangerous animal on this earth.
@irisheyes (4373)
• United States
21 Dec 08
I'm hoping he is along the line of FDR. Historian Doris Kearns Goodman has said that Barack Obama is the most thoughtful candidate since the days of Roosevelt. If he is half as good as FDR, we'll be okay. If he doesn't measure up, God help us.
@Arkie69 (2156)
• United States
21 Dec 08
I fear the biggest problem Obama will have is getting anyone to go along with him. I look for the old heads in Washington to shut him out cold. Even his own party.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Dec 08
I agree that it is going to take alot of work to get our economy out of the mess that we are in now. But, one thing is for sure: What Bush is doing right now is not going to get it done. It is going to take both parties working together to get through this, and I really don't see that happening. I think it is going to take the country to trust in Obama, and give him the 60 vote majority he needs in 2010, in order to do what democrates do best: Taking care of the messes that Republicans make.
@Arkie69 (2156)
• United States
21 Dec 08
You're right it's going to take a lot of work not only from our government but from the general public also. We have got to learn there are certain things we can't do and survive in any kind of comfort. For one thing we all need to start trying to take care of ourselves a lot more and quit depending on someone else for everything we need to survive. Not only does this put all of us in a very dangerous position but it also takes away some of our rights. You cannot depend on someone else without them having at least some control over you. I remember when I was a kid our family all worked together and produced most of what we consumed. We lived from year to year not paycheck to paycheck. There was a lot of security in this that we don't have now.
1 person likes this
@abbey19 (3129)
• Gold Coast, Australia
19 Dec 08
Beats me why we can't learn from past mistakes - it would seem the writing is on the all Art. Your country is just going down the same old road as it did in the past - it didn't work then and it's not going to work now. Obama certainly has a huge task in front of him, and I wonder if he is up to it - the future of the USA is in his hands; I hope and pray he is, because your country's actions ultimately affect the whole world. Great discussion Art.