Skip to main content

7 Differences Between the Great Depression and Now


There are 7 main differences between the Great Depression and what I think will be an even Greater Depression coming in the near future. Those differences are both economic and social as well as global. I'm going to make this as short and sweet as possible. I don't believe in bull sh*t. So here it goes.

They are:

  • We don't make anything anymore and we are competing with "slave" labor in this and other countries.
  • We are completely in debt both individually and nationally consequently size of government is out of control.
  • The Baby Boomers are a comin!
  • We've already seen 2 wars (and more seem to be coming with each day).
  • We aren't related to the land any longer and therefore we are dependent upon the government.
  • We have no moral compass resulting in a prison population that is the largest in the world.

Made in the U.S.A...NOT!

1. Let's take the first item. We don't make ANYTHING anymore. When is the last time you saw "Made in the U.S.A." on anything? I can't remember when I turned an item over and saw the words "Made in the U.S.A", that's how long it's been. We used to make everything, we used to make the cars sit in lots with no buyers and the corporate executives come every few months with their hands out so that they can make their million dollar mortgages. We used to make gadgets and widgets and plates and toys and T.V's and furniture, now what do we make? I think we still make chocolate but I just recently heard that the York Peppermint Patty factory recently closed it's doors and moved south of the border in order to have cheap labor.

This is the most important item on the list because if we don't make anything, we can't employ anyone to make anything and therefore we can't tax anyone not making anything...get it! It kind of brings everything to a standstill.

DEBT and more DEBT!

2. The second item, debt, is the second most important thing. During the Great Depression, no one was in debt including the government. Now all of our tax money just goes to pay the interest on the national debt. When considering all of the unfunded mandates, the debt owed per person in the United States is 1 million per person!

In the Great Depression we didn't have the Housing Crises, or the Credit (card) Crisis or the Student Loan Crises. As citizens we can't get a grip because the pole has been waxed with oil from debt. It's difficult to start a business if you are bankrupt and it's difficult to even make ends meet when taxes take such a big bite out of everyone's paycheck and grocery bill (You don't think that taxes are just in your paycheck do you?). The government is simply printing money out of thin air, when that happens inflation is speeding down the highway and will come sooner than you can say $10 milk! No one has any cash saved and even if you do when inflation hits it's going to take all of your cash. The government owes over 20 TRILLION dollars! I don't think anyone can even fathom that amount of money. We didn't have this problem in the Great Depression because no one was in debt, not even the government (generally speaking).

Baby Boomers

3. The Baby Boomers are a comin! Yes, they are and when they start "in mass" drawing on that social security ponzi scheme we've all been paying into and using up the medicaid resources it will be a hit like you've never seen before. There IS NO MONEY people! Not only will they want their money but they will also be taking their 401k's and savings out of the system, out of a system that already doesn't have enough money. This was also NOT a problem in the so called Great Depression. There were no 401k's, no social security, no welfare or health care or anything. Everyone was it's just the opposite, everyone is dependent and it's a gravy train that is heading for derailment!


Wars and Rumors of Wars

4. During the Great Depression WWII helped to get us out of the Great Depression because it provided jobs, now we are in 2 wars, the problem here is that the amount of jobs created is not sufficient to bring us out of this tsunami. Maybe we should have WW III, maybe that would do it! I'm being facetious in case you didn't get it.

Scroll to Continue

The Break-up of the Nuclear Family

5. The other reason this downturn is going to be worse than the Great Depression is that we no longer have intact families. During the Great Depression, people helped each other, people went back home and families assisted each other. And in that family there might be 5 or 6 siblings, if one got a job he or she contributed to the family and helped the others who weren't able to find work. Today we are lucky to have one family that is intact with maybe 1 or 2 siblings, let alone extended families. Moreover, there are a lot of people who are single and without anyone to go to should they get into trouble. What will these people do? Where will they go when they are at the end of their rope? The extinction of the nuclear family is a huge travesty that wont be really felt until after the crash.

NO more Farms!

6. During the Great Depression 25% of Americans lived on farms, today that figure is less than 2%. Not only did they live on farms but a lot of people had victory gardens and chickens and knew how to survive without electricity, grocery stores, food stamps and restaurants today; that number would be next to nothing. We are very dependent today on technology and the government, back then we weren't. Should another Great Depression hit us now, we will be much less able to take the hit and provide for ourselves. Just imagine if tomorrow there were no food stamps, grocery stores or restaurants. Most people would starve. During the 1930s that wasn't the case.

Lack of Morality

7. Tocqueville, when visiting America commented that America is strong because America is good. I don't think Tocqueville would say the same of America today. We have lost our moral compass. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world, one in 99 people in the U.S. is in prison at a cost of over 49 billion a year. Most people think morality is relative. This was not the case during the Great Depression. When people have their backs against the wall, with no moral compass, violence will be the norm.

I wish I could provide some good news and if you know of any in regards to this topic please feel free to share it with me. Finally, I hope that I am wrong. I hope that somehow, somewhere I missed something that would make this all wrong but I think the facts speak for themselves.

Good luck and God Bless us all.

  • Sick and have no Health Insurance?
    Did you know that we already have free health care here in America? I'm not talking about the Obama Health care plan, no, before the Obama Health Care plan existed we had and still have a system called...
  • Social Security: Another One Bites The Dust...
    The major news media have started pounding the proverbially drum regarding the demise of social security benefits. Is this news to you? We have been hearing how Social Security will be depleted for years. ...


Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on September 16, 2014:

Thanks, "adrianroc".

Adrian McDonald from Jamaica on September 16, 2014:

Love this. Great info

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on August 19, 2014:

The Federal Reserve is borrowing against us. We are their slaves, most just don't know it. Thanks for commenting "aviannovice".

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on August 19, 2014:

Sadly, Brie, you are not wrong. As then, what goes up, must come down. There are many things that we have now that we didn't have during 1929, one of which is the entitlement in today's youth, and that hurts more than helps. And today's Federal Reserve? They technically never had a nickel, borrowing against nothing...

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on July 17, 2014:


Dana Ayres from Houston, TX on July 17, 2014:

My apologies. Btw, that was a very informative article you linked me to. Thank you.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on July 17, 2014:

I already wrote about the Fed in several articles:

Dana Ayres from Houston, TX on July 17, 2014:

Well, the only thing I think you missed is that the U.S. government does not print the money. The Federal Reserve has the money printed by the U.S. Mint when our GOVERNMENT has its hands out. We are in hock to the Federal Reserve which is privately owned. It is not a government agency. Our government taxes us to help pay back the interest on that money that's printed out of thin air. Imagine the interest on trillions of dollars! I got some bad news for you...the national debt will never be paid down. The fat cats in the banking industry and on Wall Street have an endless supply of income at the people's expense and they are always looking for inroads to even greater wealth. They are ruthless and morally depraved in their pursuits. The Bible accurately predicts that "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer." In order the properly redistribute wealth, you'd have to do it with a loaded gun. Personally, I don't think it's worth it. This country was headed down this road from its humble beginnings, sorry to say.

DREAM ON on July 10, 2014:

If God knows everything God also knows we are human and will make mistakes. People always like to find the easiest way to do things. When all else fails people turn to religion for help. It is never too late. The love of God has never stopped. It just a matter of being open to understanding a power greater than us. To help us and guide us to better ways and lovelier days. Thanks again for explaining your views.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on July 10, 2014:

I don't think it's a matter of intelligence, I think we have turned from God and have lost our way.

DREAM ON on July 10, 2014:

Everything you point out in your hub makes sense.Only time will tell. In the late 1800's some of the greatest minds in the world thought everything that could be invented was invented. How wrong they were and how wonderful life has changed in so many directions.Patients that suffer from life threatning issues turn to doctors for help and even they are amazed when once again the unexplained happens. Miracles maybe? Life is always full of surprises and mystery ? I won't take anything for granted and always shoot for the stars. Where would we be if the famous inventors,artists, writers settled for the norm ?We have to think outside the box. People have the ability to face problems that look unbearable for some and they have managed to turn their life around. Handicapped people struggle every day of their lives doing the things we take for granted. A new day will begin and they are right at it doing the best they can just to live life. Why should we be any different. I don't know what the answer is but I am sure with all the people in the world we can give life a run for it's money for us and our children's sake. Thank you for hearing me out and keeping an open mind.The facts remain the same but we are smarter than ever. If we can travel into space why can't we solve some of the major problems here on earth?Maybe we just haven't tried hard enough. Thank you for your hub and have a good night,

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on July 09, 2014:

I hope you are right but I think you are wrong.

DREAM ON on July 09, 2014:

Interesting information to read and understand. Americans have found a way to survive under all the tough circumstances and conditions. It is my belief we will do it again and find new ways to grow and flourish once again.Not saying there will not be tough times ahead but whatever they may be will learn and find a way.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on September 06, 2013:

Thank you so much, I certainly appreciate it!

Dennis AuBuchon from Ohio on September 06, 2013:

Great article. You did a fantastic job in comparing the Great Depression and how it is today. I voted up, useful, awesome and interesting along with pinning, tweeting and liking.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on June 11, 2013:

Thanks for commenting Levertis. I know, land is expensive, I'm trying to find some now and it's not easy.

Levertis Steele from Southern Clime on June 11, 2013:

"We aren't related to the land any longer and we are dependent upon the government."

Many people do not have land any more since the government convinced their grandfathers not to raise crops. The government actually paid them not to farm. Rich landowners who acquired more land from these farmers of which many sold their land monopolize the big farming industry. It is not easy to have acres of vegetables and fruits when living in housing projects that have no land for even a garden. It is not easy to have even a garden while living four feet from neighbors houses on both sides. Food stamps is usually the option. That land that probably sold for a few hundred an acre may be worth twenty thousand per lot upward (today) in some locations. The small farmers who saw the big picture and kept their land should be able to feed their families.

"Finally, we have lost our moral compass. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world, one in 99 people in the U.S. is in prison at a cost of over 49 billion a year."

So true. You have made other great points as well. Thanks for sharing.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on September 06, 2011:

I'm sorry for your troubles but if you don't want to hear what I have to say you are welcome to move one is forcing you to drop by!

Marie on September 06, 2011:

Okay, sorry for this,


"Turn to God"?

And everything will be hunky dorie right?

Spread that gospel!!!!

It has worked wonders so far!

I was raised Pentecostal and all I can tell you is that we were taught what our parents thought to be right because their parents taught them.... The Bible was written by MEN and a soul CANNOT BURN because IT IS A SOUL, not flesh and I do not believe in the biblical rendition of hell.


I have lived in poverty all of my life (Because God was so GOOD to my family), been raped twice, kidnapped, held hostage, had a son hang himself and more... yeah, GOD IS GOOOOOODDDDD.

If God is what helps float your boat, so be it, but for me, I prefer to not have it preached to me because I am in hell with idiots and yes, I AM ANGRY. NONE OF US KNOW WHAT IS TRUE until the day we DIE (if then).

Prison... It is just a place where criminals network and learn to be worse criminals WITH CONNECTIONS! So very sad....

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on August 31, 2011:

Thanks Poetvix.

poetvix from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. on August 31, 2011:

I can't say I enjoyed reading this because it scares me, but I think you are right. I was really surprised to learn it was 2 years old. It reads like this morning and I can't argue the logic of a single point.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on May 11, 2011:

Well, I think it will be a world-wide depression Hendrika, thanks for writing.

Hendrika from Pretoria, South Africa on May 11, 2011:

I'm South African, but our problems are mostly the same as yours. Turn anything around in South Africa and it has also been made somewhere else. We have a very high unemployment rate because of that, our own people simply cannot compete with those prices.

I'm one of them, but too many people have to look at social grants to survive and in the end the people with an income are taxed to death.

So, if you ask me, we are not all that different from you. All the other points you mention is more or less the same here.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on May 06, 2011:

Well, I agree with you wholeheartedly about the Reps vs. the Dems, both are wrong and I agree with you about big government so I'm not sure what you were so angry about. And, it's true some if not most of the bullet points are social rather than political but then I guess I never got a list of the rules that said I had to write a purely political article.

Carter on May 05, 2011:

I generally agree with your bullet points, but I don't really identify or agree with all the underlying arguments.

Also, I'd like to insert a PSA about using superlatives and using absolutes. Schtuff like "We don't make ANYTHING anymore" is obviously rhetorical, but they really only serve people who are all ready in your camp. In fact, rhetoric is what turns away people on the fence and on the other side of it. Clearly this is an opt-ed piece, I'm just saying don't be surprised when your rhetoric is met with opposing rhetoric. For wonderfully horrible example of how this can escalate, watch some news commentary! The truly negative responses posted here are actually a result of the political arena that exists today. I have to admit I was ready to write some angrier things here (not at you.. just about some of the things I disagree with... that are being exploited to distract from the fundamental and structural problems with our political system), until I cooled off reading all the comments.

I'm embarrassed to say that I usually a little biased against the religious types when it comes to politics... and for me politics has now bled into any discussion about just about anything. Many of the bullet points above are not strictly political, but I think they are arguably influenced heavily if not exclusively by politics. Unfortunately, I feel the number of true Republican politicians has dropped to a dangerously low level. The fake ones are selling morals to the masses, but getting those "war things" made. We need to get back to small government. With Republicans trying to build a massive political machine and the Dems trying to build a massive social machine... we just end up with an effing big machine. Big things are typically not fuel-efficient. It seems like when Red vs Blue got taken to the next level things started getting a lot worse.

um, what were we talking about?

Hmmm. I guess this turned into a confession of an agnostic liberal. I guess I'll leave it at that. I didn't even say one thing I meant to.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on May 05, 2011:

War Things...

free thinker on May 05, 2011:

Actually we do still make some things, some very big expensive things like airplanes and weapons that are sold to other countries. But it's true that if you go into a retail store you won't see many small items with "Made in USA" labels.

steve c. on March 31, 2011:

your welcome brie at my camp fire any time

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on March 30, 2011:

Thanks Steve, who knows maybe I'll lease one of your plots one day! Good luck

Steve L Cameron on March 30, 2011:

Hello Brie, I love all your different articles and thoughts. I beleive when people learn how to do the job God gave us to do being caretakers of the land we will not need government as much when raising your own food and helping a neighbor with their needs as well. Building a small community can be a small piece of heaven to live in peace at all times, good and bad. I offer small plots of property for rental or leasing land to live and to raise a garden on. The information needed to get more information is in your off-grid living sites. I am located in south central Illinois. God Bless and Good reading Steve

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on January 20, 2011:

Well when you see yourself and your fellow humans as nothing more than accidents of nature it's easier to kill them...does that help you to see the relevance?

Mark on January 20, 2011:

Eh, I don't see what a moral compass has to do with our current prison population. That is just right-wing rhetoric.

Over half of our prisoners are there for non-violent offenses. Sell drugs or flip burgers? Gee, tough choice.

During the great depression, we didn't have so many jailable offenses. We still had homicide, prostitution and theft.

Getting tough on crime has done nothing but increase our prison population.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on December 31, 2010:

I will amybradley77, thanks for commenting!

amybradley77 on December 31, 2010:

Thank you for sharing this!! I have a hub that is along these same lines, I sort of touched on this subject, but not at all to the level in which you have. Great work!!! My hub, mostly talks about gas prices, and unemployment issues, here in the Great Northwest. Please feel more than free to check it out, and leave me a comment, tips, or suggestions. Thank you, from a brand new fellow hubber. A.B.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on December 29, 2010:

Some things are not cited because I feel that they are obvious.

Cory from NH on December 29, 2010:

Your opinions would be much more easy to qualify if you included works cited rather than just citing a movie you saw and one study.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on December 20, 2010:

Thanks for setting us all straight, I guess we can all go to bed and sleep soundly now that you say everything is really ok.

Bob H. on December 20, 2010:

This country makes Hondas, Toyotas, Izuzus, Mitsubishies, Fords, Mercedes, BMWs, Hyundais; We make Boeing Aircraft in demand worldwide. The reason we have fewer extended families is because we have cars, the Interstate, and freedom to pursue jobs anywhere we wish.. We have not lost our moral compass; we now build, buy and sell prisons, and enact enough ridiculous laws to keep said prisons occupied. We didn't have the SS or Medicare safety net during the first depression. And lastly, tax the rapture-heads.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on December 07, 2010:

Trust in Jesus Christ and hope for the rapture. Teach them that no one knows how long they have on this earth. Heaven is our true home and if we trust in Jesus we will be ok in the end. There is no hope outside of Jesus Christ. Don't teach them to be cowards, teach them to be courageous and that we have but one life to shine no matter what. You want to teach them that what they do on this planet will matter in eternity.

trimmdog on December 07, 2010:

what is your opinion on that?Im worried for my children s children.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on December 07, 2010:

Me too!

trimmdog on December 07, 2010:

I hope God gets here before Radical Islam does.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on November 17, 2010:

My religious thoughts just fine...maybe you need to work on yours!

Barry Fitzgerald on November 17, 2010:

Brie, You are right about most things that can be proven. That is a pretty good record. Your religious thoughts need more work but keep trying.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on November 07, 2010:


df on November 07, 2010:

It is IMPOSSIBLE to believe in the existence of satan and be "100% sure".

If you are 100% sure, then Satan is a made up concept. Are you also 100% sure you won't get some form of cancer (like Hitchens) Of course not, because cancer is real.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on November 07, 2010:

Jesus told us what to do while we spend our time here on earth and that was to spread the gospel. I visit my family when I can but those that are saved I will be hanging out with for forever so I'm not to worried about it now.

I know that Jesus will win over Satan because of all the other times he has said things that have come true. I'm 100% sure of it because of the prophecies that have already come true and because of my own experiences with God.

df on November 07, 2010:

Actually I like your writing,but if you believe Jesus is scheduled to visit earth in your lifetime, why aren't you home with family waiting for Him. And does he visit other planets too?

And I would like an answer to my Satan question. If you believe that old Bealzabub really exists, then how do you know Jesus will win this fight between good and evil? Doesn't it scare you that Satan might win??

Probably because you don't freaking believe it!

And I really do like your writing.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on November 07, 2010:

I care about the people who will go through...maybe you don't care about others but I do.

My writing is a hobby, I enjoy it...

df on November 07, 2010:

again. why are you writing about a depression? who cares? Jesus is returning anyway, so none of this BS matters. Satan? Why did GOD create Satan? If God is all powerful and all loving, where did Satan come from? And if satan exists, how are you so sure that Satan won't win???

You describe this like it is some movie that you know the ending to. the truth is you don't believe this nonsense or you wouldn't care about the depression we are in (now that I believe) And you wouldn't care about your column or your writing career or how many followers you had. You have an ego just like we non-believers. you are kinda cute though, in a Tina fey kinda way.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on November 07, 2010:

We do not know the day nor the hour when Jesus will return, he told us to watch for signs and those signs are here. It could be tmo it could be in 5 years, of one thing I'm relatively certain will be in my lifetime. And, I have very few possessions if that matters at all.

And yes I really believe it and I write about it because its true whether I am here or not.

Satans greatest advantage is that you don't believe in him.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on November 06, 2010:

Yes, everyone dies including your overweight friend Christopher Hitchins. Jesus will come back when the last person to be saved has been and when all the prophecies are fulfilled...don't you worry you will bend your knee too!

df on November 06, 2010:

Fervent "Christians" get cancer too. Porky Falwell dropped dead from eating too much,

So if you believe the Bible, why are you writing columns about a depression? Just accept it and get ready for Jesus to return. By the way, why doesn't he get his ass back here now and stop child abuse and genital mutilations and starvation in Africa. Do you believe in Santa too?

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on November 06, 2010:

Christopher Hitchins will find out that he has been living a fairy tale pretty soon since he has cancer...I hope he wises up before it's too late.

Before Jesus comes, there will be a great Tribulation in which the world will suffer more than ever the Bible, it lays it all out. I'm just warning those that will still be here.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on November 06, 2010:

He is coming back and will reign as King of the earth for 1000 years.

It's all been foretold. He will turn our swords into plow-shears.

df on November 06, 2010:

So what exactly do you and the other "believers" who posted earlier think that God is going to do for us to solve all our problems?

Maybe ANOTHER mass extinction?

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on November 06, 2010:

I have a higher view of humans than that of monkeys.

df on November 06, 2010:

and what about that ticking time bomb to our south?

And what exactly is it that you think GOD can do for us? If you truly believe in God, doesn't it follow that he made us this screwed up? Oh wait, I will.

Free will given to humans is like giving a monkey a machine gun to play with.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on October 19, 2010:

Wow, thanks for the great comments I hope you are a fan!

Michael Ray King from Palm Coast, Florida on October 19, 2010:

What a tremendous Hub! To get this kind of a lengthy (and numerous) comment string is amazing. You handled the many comments very well. I especially liked your response to John. Short, sweet, confident and to the point. Couldn't have said it better! Please keep writing!

Ben on October 12, 2010:

I hate to agree with this but I definitely agree. Everytime I hear that the economy is starting to "bounce back" I see gas prices going up, cigarette prices going up, I see the price at the register for groceries going up only thing that isn't going up is income. Its going to get alot worse before it gets any better that is for sure

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on September 08, 2010:

I too believe it was an inside job, however, you'd still think that they would have a replacement.

Rick on September 08, 2010:

9/11 was an inside job. And that's why there's no skyscraper replacement or memorial.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on September 03, 2010:

So true, so true...this is a result of corruption too.

dabeaner from Nibiru on September 02, 2010:

It also bears repeating is the deadening effect of stifling bureaucracy and inertia. Just mentioned on radio this AM: It took only 18 months in the depression of the 1930s to build the Empire State Building, at the time the tallest building in the world. Today, almost nine years after 2001-09-01, there is still a big hole in the ground where the twin towers stood.

The fricking wog mosque near "ground zero" will likely be built before the twin towers are replaced.

In those nine years since 9/11, Dubai has put up the new tallest building in the world. China and Brazil have built humongous dam and irrigation projects. If the Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco, California), also built during the depression, was to fall down and need to be replaced, would it ever be rebuilt? Not in our lifetimes.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on September 02, 2010:

I disagree about the resource depletion bit...I think there is more than enough if the governments would quit stealing it from the people.

dabeaner from Nibiru on September 01, 2010:

The 1930s problem was political-economic. This one is political-economic AND overpopulation, resource depletion (including energy source depletion, fresh water, arable land, oceans running out of fish...), half the people already dependent on government, government AND corporate "ossification"...

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on September 01, 2010:

Why don't you read some books that were written at that time and see for yourself. Even the newspapers would help to enlighten you (from that time). Things were not anywhere near as bad as they are now, you are just ignorant of it.

I never said child sex slavery was is now more prevalent.

Texasbeta on August 30, 2010: child sex slavery is a new thing? Today we have laws and regulation to fight it, while in the past it was just tolerated. Seriously, after all the tings mentioned, all the things that have changed for the better, and you seriously think the 20s and 30s were a more moral time? Holy cow. Wow.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on August 28, 2010:

Ask a child who has been sold into sex slavery if things are better!

Texasbeta on August 28, 2010:

Wait, did you just praise GOD and then declare the need for a American version of a French Revolution? Wow, talk about historic irony.

Texasbeta on August 28, 2010:

Sorry, forgot to talk about the prison population. Right now in America the prison lobby is the 2nd largest lobby out there. Think about that. Health care, big oil, banks...nope, prisons. There are billions in the prison industry, and it is easy to sell too. Prisons get 35k per prisoner, but they don't spend 35k on the prisoners people. That is profit margin at its greatest level. The more you make things illegal, the more the prison population grows, the more money the boards can pocket. Right now, over half of the offenses dealing with incarceration are due to drug offenses. 64% of those involve marijuana. It is a sham people. More people are in prison not because we are a worse society as individuals, we now have a system which allows for private prisons, for profit private prisons, and a list of laws that declare plants illegal.

Texasbeta on August 28, 2010:

I would say that we have much more of a moral compass today than during the depression. How could that be disagreed with? It is true that our prison population has exploded, but I would take into consideration of cause/effect rather than result based upon percentage of the population. Since the 30s, we have declared more things illegal, like "drugs." It isn't that drugs are a larger part of our society by any means, in fact, they are now used much less. Take a look at the levels of opium consumption over our country's history. Cocaine was a substance sold at the store, and in every spectrum of product. During the 20s and 30s we considered women to be property, no rights, along with minorities. A klansman was president just a few years earlier (Coolidge). A great part of the American population had no problem with lynching a black man for looking at someone wrong. We hadn't yet even put the Japanese in internment camps, but would soon. Child abuse was rampant and approved. We didn't even try to fight companies who were abusing the people, dumping waste in the water supply, selling contaminated products. The "good ole days" weren't good for anybody unless you were a white guy with privilege.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on August 14, 2010:

I disagree John

John on August 14, 2010:

God isn't going to do anything. Everyone needs to take care of themselves.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on July 24, 2010:

I agree...we need to have a French American Revolution!

DC on July 24, 2010:

For one thing America's infrastructure is falling apart. From power grids to dams to bridges to streets all need to be fixed. I heard a term called 'patch and pray" in reference to fixing the bridges. Stop these stupid wars and bring the troops back and put money back into America or face the dire consequences.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on July 18, 2010:

The problem IS that we have left God, God never left us.

Surfin Dude on July 18, 2010:

Great piece, lot of good points, however I would leave God out of the equation since God left us out of the equation when the Big Bang took place. Not that I don't believe in the Creator, but less about that and more about what needs to be done to correct the situation would be a bolder comment.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on July 16, 2010:

Upper right hand corner below my pic.

Hollander Price on July 16, 2010:

And where is that located?

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on July 16, 2010:

You can write to me using the contact button if you want.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on July 11, 2010:

Very true.

afro's mistake from dorothys kansas on July 11, 2010:

I love this hub! everything you have said is right. you know a lot of people think us humans are advancing and becoming smarter because of our technology but really technology is the result of our forefathers ideas and our fathers work. in reality we as a human race are definitly no smarter than we were 5o years ago.metaphorically speaking technolgy has evolved where as we as humans have not.

Jim Court on July 04, 2010:

Perhaps I was wrong about Ms. Hoffman. I admire your deep intellect, list of achievements, the similarities of interests, and the scope of your concerns. I share many of these thoughts and values. I watch out and avoid to some degree, the deep focus on what are negative, yet real issues, simply because I wish my life to be constructively directed into positive achievement and successful outcomes. I love life, nature, the great outdoors, travel and reading. I love music, festivals and fairs. My political interests and awareness tend to take me to places that ultimately are counterproductive to contentment and happiness. I give to many people and try to make the world a better place.

God bless you,

Jim Court

Elmhurst, Illinois

JON EWALL from usa on July 02, 2010:


For what it’s worth, my comments

1 .We don't make ANYTHING anymore.

The world is a lot smaller than it was back when many of the products were made in the good ole USA.

We can’t compete because of higher labor costs (union and higher living standards), the government taxing structure hinders local investment in the USA. Taxes by the government on our made products leave us at a disadvantage in world trade.

2. The second item, debt, is the second most important thing.

The present congress and administration idea of coming out of the recession is to spend more money,Ignore the national debt and create additional burdens on the rich and businesses.

2/13/10 2:04 PM EST ( NOTE THE DATE )

President Barack Obama is hailing pay-as-you-go budget legislation he SIGNED Friday night as one in a series of crucial steps needed to snap Washington out of a destructive pattern of overspending.

“Now, Congress will have to pay for what it spends, just like everybody else,” Obama said in his radio and Internet address released Saturday

morning. “After a decade of profligacy, the American people are tired of politicians who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk when it comes to fiscal responsibility. It’s easy to get up in front of the cameras and rant against exploding deficits. What’s hard is actually getting deficits under control. But that’s what WE MUST DO

3. The Baby Boomers are a comin! Yes, they are and when they start "in mass" drawing on that social security ponzi scheme

Social security is now paying out more than what the fund is receiving. The government will be paying on the IOU’s with borrowed money. Social security laws will change.

4. During the Great Depression WWII helped to get us out of the Great Depression

The stimulus bill started out as $767 billion, today it is $ 826 billion. Unemployment is at 9.7% and the job market is still flat. Note that only 43% of the stimulus has been spent mostly in the public sector. The private sector jobs cannot be found.

5. The other reason this downturn is going to be worse than the Great Depression is that we no longer have intact families.

The morals of the country in raising families intact with fathers and mothers together does have an influence on future generation.

6. During the Great Depression 25% of Americans lived on farms

In those days people were poor. Today progress and invention has made the USA one of the greatest countries in the world today. Along with progress comes the environmentalist.

7. Finally, we have lost our moral compass

The politicians remind us that ‘’we are a country of the rule of law ‘’ except that Washington feels that they are above the laws. One example is that President Barak Obama and Attorney General Holder refuse to enforce the immigration laws of the land. They are in violation of their duties required by the constitution and oath of office.

Brie, the good news is that you are aware of the serious situation that our country is in with the present Congress and Administration. It is for all of us to speak out and demand the truth from our elected officials in Washington. The fact that Congress is silent regarding the administration’s actions are disturbing. My messages to remind them is ‘’ you were elected by the people to do the peoples work before the work of the party’’.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on June 30, 2010:

Thanks JD, hope you are well.

Judah's Daughter from Roseville, CA on June 29, 2010:

Great hub, Brie! I support your thoughts on the matter. At least you're keeping people AWAKE.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on June 22, 2010:

Thanks for commenting john h

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on June 22, 2010:

Thanks for commenting john h

john h on June 22, 2010:

Thank you for finally promoting the truth online. These facts are being intentionally hidden from the american public by the Obama administration. This generation of children are TOTALLY dependant on technology and other people. When another great depression hits they will have to turn to survive because they have no valuble skillls. Prepare for it america, its coming. Soon.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on June 13, 2010:

I guess it's better to have faith than to have none, thanks for writing.

Howard Schneider from Parsippany, New Jersey on June 13, 2010:

Hi Brie. Thanks for a very interesting and provocative hub. I agree that we have enormous structural problems in front of us but they can be addressed if we force our government to face them and not pander to special interests. I believe the Obama administration has taken several halting steps towards this with enormous push back from the right. It is unfortunate that we do not make as much as we used to here but we do still produce most of the new cutting edge technologies. The baby boomers are a coming and we must re-structure how we are going to fund government retirement benefits. I don't believe government will ever eliminate them. That would be political suicide and politicians for the most part operate under the rule of self survival. I hope that the 2 wars will be wound down within 5 years and let's hope we are not stupid enough to enter into any new ones. Personal debt has begun to decrease with this economic crisis and I hope this continues though I'm skeptical. The Obama administration has promised to come up with a plan to decrease the structural budget deficit and I hope he does. If not, we will be headed off an economic cliff. I have to maintain my faith in the U.S. to find our way out of this economic crisis and solve our problems. The alternatives are too dire. Thank you again for this hub encapsulating our problems. I still have faith we will solve them but my faith is wearing thin.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on May 22, 2010:

Good for you, most haven't.

sickofbanks on May 22, 2010:

I have seen this

Paul Bruns on May 19, 2010:

You are maybe a little right about the moral compass being the causes of so many people in prison or committing crimes. But the biggest problem is the size of our government and the laws they pass on a daily bases that are hidden from the public eye or even vote. We are entering a police state, check points, real I.D. and so on! It's been the case since civilization that when a group that is in charge of the masses without any repercussions they become spoiled and act out and get away with it until people overthrow the group in charge. We are a young country compared to others in the world. I guess the clock is running out on this government.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on April 18, 2010:

Well, Mike..the manufacturing base was based on WWII. As far as being an English Teacher,why don't you publish some hubs and then we'll have something to critique, if you don't like my hubs don't read them. Regarding the credit cards and cooking, I have already written several hubs about that. And, ummm speaking of citations, where are the citations on the facts that you are disputing?

Mike on April 18, 2010:

I appreciate your views, but your facts aren't cited (I know for a fact that millions were in debt during the great depression, most 401K'as have already been pillaged, and it wasn't WWII that got us out of the great depression - it was the manufacturing base) and your writing style an English teacher I would probably give you a C-.

That being said, I agree with everything you are saying. I also believe the fix is very simple - people should cut up their credit cards and live well below their means (this entails saving, cooking at home, and only making purchases that are needed).

If we all did this, you witness a sea-change in the economy.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on March 11, 2010:

I agree Caladan Ravnos, thanks for commenting.

caladan ravnos on March 11, 2010:

You provide quite a bit of information there, and it all seems to be historically accurate. I just have one thing to offer, and I'm going to preface it by saying I'm not pro big government even though my comment will make me sound like I am.

We are in a depression, don't kid yourself. Whether it will be as great or greater than the great depression remains to be seen, but I believe it will. The one thing that currently seperates us from it is our government. During the depression, you couldn't apply for unemployment, or disability, WIC, welfare, etc, which is why nobody is starving in a Hooverville like the did 80 years ago. You are right about there being no money, and once the pennies that are left are spent, then it will be a Great Depression. God help us then.

Related Articles