Great Depression Vs. The Recession Essay

Great Depression Vs. The Recession Essay-49
They also felt, by a lopsided margin, that if there were another depression (and fears of one were mounting), the government should repeat the spending pattern FDR had followed before.

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They wanted more, not less, from Washington in the way of services and protection from the private market.

Incredibly, despite their much deeper recession, Americans were more optimistic than we are today. Between the Great Depression and the Great Recession, the United States underwent dramatic technological changes.

The relative optimism of 1930s Americans was undergirded by what today would be regarded as "socialistic" tendencies.

Even if only a tiny fraction were ready to describe themselves politically as "socialist," those surveyed after the 1936 election said they supported Roosevelt, architect of the New Deal's expansive programs, over his GOP opponent, Alfred Landon, by more than two-to-one.

By this definition, the average recession lasts about a year.

Before the Great Depression of the 1930s, any downturn in economic activity was referred to as a depression.The term recession was developed in this period to differentiate periods like the 1930s from smaller economic declines that occurred in 19.This leads to the simple definition of a depression as a recession that lasts longer and has a larger decline in business activity.Although its workers built La Guardia and Reagan National airports, Grand Coulee Dam, San Francisco's Bay Bridge and New York's Triborough, plus parks, schools, playgrounds, overpasses and airfields, they were featured in many cartoons leaning on their shovels.(The WPA Theatre project produced a play satirizing that common criticism.) In a radio broadcast, the president of the New York Economic Council denounced the New Deal as "nothing but the same old European and Asiatic tyranny from which our ancestors fled Europe in order to establish real freedom." But this was not the majority view.The Business Cycle Dating Committee at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) provides a better way to find out if there is a recession is taking place.This committee determines the amount of business activity in the economy by looking at things like employment, industrial production, real income and wholesale-retail sales.By this yardstick, the last depression in the United States was from May 1937 to June 1938, where real GDP declined by 18.2 percent.If we use this method then the Great Depression of the 1930s can be seen as two separate events: an incredibly severe depression lasting from August 1929 to March 1933 where real GDP declined by almost 33 percent, a period of recovery, then another less severe depression of 1937-38.But 46% had no telephone, 43% lacked a car, and 38% still preferred the old black-and-white movie variety to color.Perhaps more relevant are some striking differences in economic outlook and preference.


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