The Great Recession Vs. Great Depression

Submitted By mercedolivia
Words: 781
Pages: 4

Great Recession v. Great Depression

Most people would agree that history has a tendency to repeat itself if not remembered; however, if history were to repeat itself there might be some changes. When looking at events that happened 400 years ago and events that happened five years ago, one must take into consideration the changes that occurred between the time periods. First, to contrast the Great Recession--our current economical crisis-- to the Great Depression, what provoked these two crises has to be considered and accounted for. Second, to compare the Stock Market Crash of 1929 to the start of our nation’s plummeting deficit in 2007, cultural changes have to be observed and acknowledged. Third, the statistics before, during, and after each crises have to be examined and differentiated. At the end of WWI a new era of a more enthusiastic and powerful America became exposed, and the impossible started to seem possible. In the early 1920s the stock market commenced and every and any person who invested money into the market gained profit. Everyone was investing their money, and money from bank loans, irresponsibly; moreover, numerous consumers were borrowing money from banks recklessly, leading to an economic depression. In contrast, just when America’s economy was beginning to stabilize in the early 2000s, a crisis all too familiar struck. While the start of this economic crisis is still being debated, it is clear that the federal government was an unwitting player in Wall Street’s game of capitalism; in addition, the structure of the system caused conflicts between the rules of capitalism and the rules of democracy.
In March of 1929 the stock market experienced its first lapse and prices began to drop, yet banks continued lending money to consumers in assurance that all was well. In the months that followed production in steel, construction of buildings, and general sales began to droop. Furthermore, suicide rates increased, prostitution was on the rise, public spending on education was dimmed, and birth rates drastically declined. Although it may be easy to compare the economic crash of ‘07 to the crash of ‘29, key factors such as oil, increasing technology, our perception of value, and the overall American way of life, have been altered and observed. During the depression millions of people were out of work, thousands were out of homes, and hundreds were out of food; on the other hand, during our current recession, millions of people are on public aid, millions claim social security--or disability--and millions are unemployed.
When examining the facts and figures of the Stock Market Crash to our current economic state the immediate response of the government must be looked at. After the Great Depression struck, money supplied by the federal government increased by seventeen percent; whereas, the 125 percent, of money supplied by the federal government, increase during the Great Recession. While some might argue the depression and recession are very similar due to their unemployment rates, the numbers fall at twenty percent and eight percent respectively. In addition to the unemployment rate, the rate of bank failures during the Great Depression were at fifty two percent, in contrast to