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Which puts us in 1931 in the comparative timeline.

The depression bottomed out in late 32 and stayed there about a year before it started slowly coming back up. And then there was a subsequent mini-depression in 1938 that could have been a repeat performance had we not suddenly employed ourselves making things to fight WW2 with.

The unemployment rate is calculated by the same standards that determined that wetlands were not being destroyed if you counted a water trap on a golf course as an adequate replacement for one.

The unemployment rate is currently reported as 7.2%, but this is completely different from how it was calculated in 1931. If you calculated it the same way, counting the people who have given up looking or are working at Burger King instead of managing the computer network at a hospital.

If you calculate it the same way now as how they did it in 1931 you get 17.5% unemployment, which equates to 1931 levels. It hit 25% about a year after that, and I think we will bottom out the same way this time. Illustrated Here

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c_eagle March 5th, 2009
certainly disconcerting... thanks for the enlightenment though..

hakeber March 5th, 2009
I disagree. This crash has similar causes to the one in the 1870's, and is at least as far reaching. It will likely follow that model in depth and recovery time...

sebkha March 5th, 2009
I recall being quite impressed by this essay about the 1870s depression, yeah.

Well yeah

titanic March 5th, 2009
But if I quoted the 1870's depression nobody would know what I was talking about. I'd only get comments like "this happened more than once before??" Actually even the 1907 crash (there was a 1907 crash??) is a better reference.

I was also trying to avoid comparing 1870 America to 2009 China, and unemployment figures don't exist for the 1870 depression, so I couldn't even make that argument.

Edited at 2009-03-05 03:04 pm (UTC)

Re: Well yeah

hakeber March 5th, 2009
Much as it may make folk cringe, it's a valid comparison.

It's the social fallout from the destablization that I'm worried about.

shockwave77598 March 5th, 2009
This won't be as bad, I don't think. Battleplan that I see goes like this:

Trillions spent on rescuing the economy.
Trillions get printed at the Fed to pay for it.
Value of dollar worldwide is halved, but homes and wages in US don't change.
Price of foreign goods and labor shoot up.
Jobs return to US.
Income tax revenue increases.

The unfortunate side effect of this is the price of foreign cars, TVs, computers and foodstuff will shoot up this year. But the plus is the world will be a level playing field at last, and it won't cost more to build in hte US any longer.

hakeber March 5th, 2009
Won't happen. This is global, not local, and things are actually worse in places like Europe.

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