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Worst Since Great Depression, Only Not

February 28th, 2009

This is from an article by the Associated Press.
“The faster downhill slide in the final quarter of last year came as
the financial crisis — the worst since the 1930s — intensified.”

The worst since the 1930’s huh. I continue to hear this, but there is nothing to back it up. Check out the rest of the figures in the article.

“Consumers at the end of the year slashed spending by the most in 28 years.”

Let’s see, 28 years would be 1981. Not quite the 1930’s.

“The nation’s unemployment rate is now at 7.6 percent, the highest in
more than 16 years.”

16 years, that would be 1993. Close, but it misses the 30’s by over 5 decades.

“A smaller decline in the economy is expected for the second quarter
of this year. But the new GDP figure — like the old one — marked the
weakest quarterly showing since an annualized drop of 6.4 percent in
the first quarter of 1982, when the country was suffering through an
intense recession.”

Well, still not quite the 1930’s.

“For all of 2008, the economy GREW by just 1.1 percent”

That’s rough, the economy actually grew last year. I don’t think that really counts in the comparison with the Great Depression.

“In the fourth quarter, consumers cut spending at a 4.3 percent pace.
That was deeper than the initial 3.5 percent annualized drop and
marked the biggest decline since the second quarter of 1980.”

Still not quite the 1930’s.

“Builders cut spending on commercial construction projects by 21.1
percent, the most since the first quarter of 1975. ”

That is getting closer.

“Home builders slashed spending at a 22.2 percent pace, the most since
the start of 2008.”

Really, all the way back in 2008.

“Businesses slashed spending on equipment and software at an
annualized pace of 28.8 percent in the final quarter of last year.
That also was deeper than first reported and was the worst showing
since the first quarter of 1958.”

Now that is more like it. But it’s still 2 decades from the 30’s. Good try though.

Do any of these real numbers say that something is as bad as the 30’s / Great Depression. No they don’t. Not even close. The only thing that is worse than 1975 is business spending on equipment and software, and that only gets to 1958. Nothing going on today can even remotely compare to the Great Depression. Ask anyone who lived through it, they will tell you that this is nothing. Do you have multiple families living in the same house? Do you see any bread lines? Is unemployment at 25%? The media and politicians continue to say the economy is the worst since the great depression, and then back it up by giving evidence to the contrary. Comparing this to the Great Depression marginalizes those people who suffered through the real Great Depression. We haven’t even passed the levels of the 80’s recession yet. Stop the fear mongering already.

We’ve only had 2 quarters of negative GDP. 6 months. Really, worst since the Great Depression. Come back in 5 years, and if things are still this bad or worse, then we can talk. Right now, if the Mainstream media and everyone in Washington DC would just stop “helping”, we might actually get out of this.

Author: Derek Clark Categories: General Politics Tags:
  1. April 15th, 2009 at 11:25 | #1

    Not that I’m impressed a lot, but this is more than I expected for when I found a link on SU telling that the info is awesome. Thanks.