The more things change, the more things stay the same. The Great Depression actually started in 1929, but as you will see below, as late as 1933 the Associated Press was still pumping out lots of news stories with optimistic economic headlines and many Americans still did not believe that we were actually in a depression. And of course we are experiencing a very similar thing today. The United States is in the worst financial shape that it has ever been in, our economic infrastructure is being systematically gutted, and poverty isabsolutely exploding. Since the stock market crash of 2008, the Federal Reserve has been wildly printing money and the federal government has been running trillion dollar deficits in a desperate attempt to stabilize things, but in the process they have made our long-term economic problems far worse. It would be hard to overstate how dire our situation is, and yet the mainstream media continues to assure us that everything is just fine and that happy days are here again.
As I have already noted, the mainstream media was doing the exact same thing back during the days of the Great Depression. The following are actual Associated Press headlines from 1933…
And the following is a headline discovery from 1933 that was made by Linda Goin…
I was browsing through old newspapers the other day and discovered a page filled with news about the stock market and banks in the Daily Capital Newsfrom Jefferson City, Missouri. The date was March 15, 1933, well into the Great Depression, and the news was cautiously celebratory as a headline read, “Era of Fear is Declared at End Now.”
The Depression-era classic song entitled “Happy Days Are Here Again” was played at the Democratic National Convention in 1932 and it went on to be featured by the Democrats for many years after that. The following is an excerpt from a Wikipedia article about that song…
Today, the song is probably best remembered as the campaign song for Franklin Delano Roosevelt’ssuccessful 1932 presidential campaign. According to TIME magazine, it gained prominence after a spontaneous decision by Roosevelt’s advisers to play it at the 1932 Democratic National Convention, and went on to become the Democratic Party‘s “unofficial theme song for years to come”.
There is only one huge problem.
The election of Roosevelt didn’t end the depression. Years of bitter economic suffering and dust bowl conditions were still ahead. The Great Depression continued all the way up to the start of World War II, and the war years were certainly no picnic for average folks either.
But at least cheery headlines can make people feel better, right?
That is what some believe.
Others believe that giving people false hope is very cruel and that it sets up people for failure.
The following are some actual headlines that were found on mainstream news sites today…
NBC News: “Stocks close near highs; S&P logs 7-day rally”
Wow, those headlines sound great!
So are happy days here again?
In fact, things continue to get even worse in a whole host of ways. Just consider the following statistics…
-According to a brand new Gallup poll that was just released, 20.0% of all Americans did not have enough money to buy food that they or their families needed at some point over the past year. That is just under the record of 20.4% that was set back in November 2008.
-Gallup also found that the ability of American families to meet some of their other most basic needs is near an all-time low…
The Basic Access Index, which includes 13 questions about topics including Americans’ ability to afford food, housing, and healthcare, was 81.4 in August, on par with the all-time low of 81.2 recorded in October 2011.
–More than 90 million working age Americans are considered to be “not in the labor force”.
-The labor force participation rate is the lowest that it has been in 35 years.
–516,000 Americans “left the labor force” last month. That was a brand new all-time record high.
-The number of private sector jobs dropped by 278,000 last month.
–77 percent of the jobs that have been “created” so far this year have been part-time jobs.
-Approximately one out of every four part-time workers in America is living below the poverty line.
-Right now, 40 percent of all U.S. workers are making less than what a full-time minimum wage worker made back in 1968.
-The U.S. trade deficit with China has hit a brand new record high.
-The U.S. trade deficit with the EU has hit a brand new record high.
-The number of U.S. households on food stamps is at a brand new record high.
-One of the largest furniture manufacturers in America was just forced into bankruptcy…
The maker of furniture brands such as Thomasville, Broyhill, Lane and Drexel Heritage said Monday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
-Total mortgage activity has dropped to the lowest level that we have seen since October 2008.
Yes, those in the top 1 percent are doing very well for the moment thanks to the reckless money printing that the Federal Reserve has been doing.
But for most Americans, the last several years have been a continual struggle. The following is a list that comes from one of my previous articles entitled “44 Facts About The Death Of The Middle Class That Every American Should Know“…
1. According to one recent survey, “four out of five U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives”.
2. The growth rate of real disposable personal income is the lowest that it has been in decades.
3. Median household income (adjusted for inflation) has fallen by 7.8 percent since the year 2000.
4. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the middle class is taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.
5. The home ownership rate in the United States is the lowest that it has been in 18 years.
6. It is more expensive to rent a home in America than ever before. In fact, median asking rent for vacant rental units just hit a brand new all-time record high.
7. According to one recent survey, 76 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
9. The largest employer in the United States right now is Wal-Mart. The second largest employer in the United States right now is a temp agency (Kelly Services).
10. One out of every ten jobs in the United States is now filled through a temp agency.
11. According to the Social Security Administration, 40 percent of all workers in the United States make less than $20,000 a year.
12. The ratio of wages and salaries to GDP is near an all-time record low.
13. The U.S. economy continues to trade good paying jobs for low paying jobs. 60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.
15. At this point, one out of every four American workers has a job that pays $10 an hour or less.
16. According to one study, between 1969 and 2009 the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 declined by 27 percent after you account for inflation.
18. The United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.
19. The average number of hours worked per employed person per year has fallen by about 100 since the year 2000.
21. When you total up all working age Americans that do not have a job, it comes to more than 100 million.
22. The average duration of unemployment in the United States isnearly three times as long as it was back in the year 2000.
23. The percentage of Americans that are self-employed has steadily declined over the past decade and is now at an all-time low.
24. Right now there are 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing. That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.
26. Total U.S. household debt grew from just 1.4 trillion dollars in 1980 to a whopping 13.7 trillion dollars in 2007. This played a huge role in the financial crisis of 2008, and the problem still has not been solved.
27. The total amount of student loan debt in the United States recently surpassed the one trillion dollar mark.
28. Total home mortgage debt in the United States is now about 5 times larger than it was just 20 years ago.
32. One study discovered that approximately 41 percent of all working age Americans either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt, and according to a report published in The American Journal of Medicine medical bills are a major factor inmore than 60 percent of all personal bankruptcies in the United States.
33. Each year, the average American must work 107 days just to make enough money to pay local, state and federal taxes.
34. Today, approximately 46.2 million Americans are living in poverty.
35. The number of Americans living in poverty has increased by more than 15 million since the year 2000.
36. Families that have a head of household under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.
37. At this point, approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents.
39. Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps. Today, about one out of every 6.5 Americans is on food stamps.
40. Right now, the number of Americans on food stamps exceeds the entire population of the nation of Spain.
41. According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”
42. At this point, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless. This is the first time that has ever happened in our history. That number has risen by 57 percent since the 2006-2007 school year.
43. According to U.S. Census data, 57 percent of all American children live in a home that is either considered to be “poor” or “low income”.
44. In the year 2000, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages was approximately 21 percent. Today, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages is approximately 35 percent.
But there is no way that we are actually in another economic depression, right?
If that was the case, the mainstream media certainly would have told us, right?
According to John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics, if the U.S. government actually used honest numbers, they would show that the U.S. economy has actually been contracting continually since 2005.
In other words, if the numbers were not being manipulated they would show that we have had negative GDP growth every single year since 2005.
I don’t know about you, but that sure sounds like a depression to me.
What do you think?
Michael Snyder is the Editor of The Economic Collapse Blog and a regular contributor to The D.C. Clothesline.