The reality makes it evident that we are one step from surviving the great depression again. It happened once that the great empire kneeled, which resulted in unemployment, low income, high debt level, and demoralization in general. Follow our article to understand myths and learn lessons from the past. Your knowledge is the best investment of time and effort, as in some knowledge will always be more valuable than even the gold standard.
In modern America, all residents of the country, even the youngest, have at least once heard of the Great Depression. This is the worst period for the American economy, which began in 1929.
The American economic system almost completely collapsed, and this entailed a huge number of consequences. Everyone suffered. The industry stopped developing and experienced incredible losses. The stock market crashed. Ordinary working-class residents lost their source of income and lived in poverty.
Such a situation in the country greatly influenced the spirit of many Americans. The Great Depression is called depression for a reason. Many people died from hunger, and some others committed suicide. The economic situation was at the very bottom, and people lost hope that someday everything would change.
You might think that such a tragedy was a huge history lesson for the American financial system, but this is not entirely true. Wall Street and the central banks in the country didn’t endure the Great Depression. Therefore, the chances of another Great Depression are high enough. Significantly taller than most Americans think.
Even if you remember the events of 2008, namely the global economic collapse, you can clearly understand that the American stock market is in a very shaky position. Then the Great Rescission was announced. The situation threatened the Second Great Depression.
Any inhabitant of America better understands that the subsequent fall of the stock market in America will entail, if not the New Great Depression, then something much worse and more deadly.
In our article, you will find information on how to secure your finances, how to prepare for a stock market crash, and what to stock up on. We encourage you to learn from the lessons history teaches us. This is one of the most precious fate in life. After all, if you do not learn from your predecessors’ mistakes, you risk repeating them.
The 12 Most Important Lessons Learned Surviving The Great Depression
So, the first way out of the Great Depression was Roosevelt’s reforms. They affected the work of the bank and the economy in general, agriculture, employment, and the fight against unemployment. Roosevelt adopted a lot of anti-crisis laws, which were created in the flesh before 1938. At the same time, these laws and reforms had the primary influence not so much on the crisis as on the formation of the modern American economy. Historians are still arguing about whether the anti-crisis laws have borne any fruit in the fight against the Great Depression. But Roosevelt’s contribution to the American economy is enormous.
The second way is a world war. You probably know that America spent a quarter of its entire existence in military campaigns. From battles for the territory to conflicts in which America was an ally of other countries. World War II really helped the people to raise their market. For the production of military equipment and supplies, they began to use factories that were idle. This helped bring down the unemployment rate. Part of the population worked in military factories. Another party took part in the war. Everyone was involved. The production of military equipment launched the circulation of money in the American economic system and raised the market, saving the country and the population from the crisis.
The third way is culturological theory. Culturologists and historians who are supporters of the idea of the cyclical development of culture say that having reached the very bottom, American culture began a new turn in its development. In short, the circle closed, and after the maximum decline, growth began.
We have compiled a selection of 12 of the most important survival lessons to be learned from the events of the Great Depression. Below we will detail each of them. We hope this helps you understand the importance of preparing for the subsequent economic collapse.
Depression Vices Were In High Demand
We always say that it is worth having a good supply of food in case of any incident, be it an economic crisis or the end of the world. But you should also consider building up a supply of alcohol, even if you don’t drink alcohol.
This tip has a pretty straightforward explanation. During the Great Depression, many people began to drink much more alcohol than during normal times. The alcoholism rate among the American population has increased. And this despite the fact that there was a dry law. There was very little alcohol available, most often imported alcohol or liqueurs and home-made beer. At the same time, alcohol prices were simply incredibly high. But this did not stop the American population from drinking a lot of alcohol. Think for yourself. There was no other entertainment available, the standard of living was extremely low, and the level of despair was extremely high. This led to an increase in alcoholism among Americans.
So stock up on alcohol. And thoroughly. Study the market and choose the best deals. You can find a wide selection of products at attractive prices to save even more. Sometimes there are good discounts on alcohol. And yet alcohol has a long shelf life.
With a good supply of alcohol, you will have the opportunity to stay afloat and earn. Of course, you are unlikely to make money, but you can exchange drinks for flour sacks or food stamps.
Diversify Your Skill Set During Recession
Today you can be a successful sales manager or real estate agent, make good money and be able to buy yourself everything you need and more. And tomorrow, the Second Great Depression may happen, and there will be no trace of your former wealth. What to do now, and how to feed yourself, your neighbor, and your family?
Think about what skills you have that could be useful to you in a great depression? What do you already know, and what do you need to learn? Better to start developing useful skills today. Even without the Great Depression, you will have a hobby and an alternative source of income.
Think about what suits you best. You can learn to sew, give first aid, build houses and shelters, take up farming, learn how to preserve food, or raise livestock. Any of these skills will be useful even in a situation of complete economic crisis or the great depression. Even if people don’t have the money to pay for your work and services, you can trade your skills for food, medicine, clothes, or toys and books for your children.
Family Bonds are Gold
If we consider the statistics of marriage and divorce registration during the many years of the Great Depression, we can conclude that at this time, there was a significant decline in the divorce rates. And this is not surprising because the family is a strong unit of society that helped people survive in the word’s literal sense.
However, it is worth noting that the number of marriages also dropped sharply during the Great Depression and for several years after it. This is due to the structure of society at that time. Many men simply could not afford to support families, wives, and sometimes even themselves. Therefore, it took society several years to get strong enough and allow itself to seal their love by marriage.
And the statistics of divorce rates reduction speaks for themselves. It was much easier for families to survive as they could rely on each other. Life, in principle, is easier to lead with a family than alone. This also applies to everyday life during the economic crisis.
Self-Reliance Is Key
Probably the main and most important lesson that we can learn from the experience of the Great Depression is to always rely on ourselves.
You can learn from your grandmother that people after the Great Depression were never the same. Just imagine these tumultuous and luxurious 20s, and then the market crashed and caused devastation in everything.
Even after the Great Depression, people who survived it were unable to recover completely and return to their previous standard of living. They stopped allowing themselves too much, always prepared for the worst and stocked up food while buying only the most essential food.
You cannot rely on modern economics. Your online finances and investments won’t help you in any way if the banks fail. You can only rely on yourself. Self-reliant ones have more chances to survive.
During the Great Depression, no one lived as hard as single women. Especially if a single woman is also a mother. For women at that time, in principle, it was difficult to find a job that paid well enough to be able to support themselves and their children.
This has led to a huge increase in the level of prostitution. As you probably know, prostitution is one of the oldest professions, which, unfortunately, has always been in demand.
But it is quite difficult for any woman to take such measures for the sake of providing herself with food. And this is understandable. Prostitution at the moment is not a legal profession, accompanied by huge risks for women. It is simply not safe, as the representatives of this profession are often subjected to violence from men and stigmatization from society.
This becomes another reason why you should master some activity that will help you stay afloat and not violate your moral principles. Go in for farming, sewing, seed collection, gardening, or any other activity you like. This will be the key to your safety, including financial, in the future.
Job Security Is A Dangerous Myth
Now we will tell you why stable work is a dangerous myth that will never become a reality.
First, let’s understand what exactly leads to unemployment in crisis situations. Of course, we will do this using the example of the events of the Great Depression.
When the market falls, people start saving. People are embraced by an understandable and reasonable fuck that soon they will not be able to afford anything superfluous, and maybe nothing at all. Therefore, people begin to spend less money, but only the essentials, and give up expensive goods. The selection of all the essentials was the key to survival in those days.
This situation, in turn, negatively affects the business. The less money people spend, the less profitable the business becomes. Demand creates supply. But if there is no demand, then there is no sense in supply, namely, in the production of new goods. Therefore, businesses begin to lose losses by lowering prices.
But the lower the prices, the fewer people spend money (again), which means that the business suffers even greater losses. This means that the business will have to cut costs. Therefore, a massive reduction begins.
At the same time, any of us can get cut. If you are a young and new employee, the boss will easily fire you since you will still have the opportunity to get on your feet. And if you are an experienced employee, then most likely you have a good salary, which can be reduced several times. You will hold on to your seat for fear of finding nothing better. And the authorities will use this by paying you a penny.
That is why you should prepare in advance for a situation where the unemployment rate will rise so much that you will be left without work, and therefore without income. It is important now to start managing your budget wisely and start stocking up on everything you need. Ideally, it is best to buy your land if you can. With land, you will never be left without food and work.
Low Income Issues
You should start thinking hard about managing your food budget now. Of course, there are thousands of ways to save money in times of crisis. But it’s better to have at least some savings.
If you take care of your finances now, then you won’t have to waste energy and food. Make good stocks. Approach this process wisely. Stock up on food with a long shelf life, so you don’t have to eat depression soup afterward.
You can ask your great grandparents about how hard it was for them to live in the days after the Great Depression and World War II. We are sure that they would not have given up on savings in those days.
Depression Entails Mass Migration
During the Great Depression, many people began to move around the country in search of better living conditions. Some were looking for more fertile soil. Others were looking for work and home.
Even John Steinbeck wrote about this in his novel The Grapes of Wrath. He compared American people to ants, who also roamed the country aimlessly and zombie in search of at least some work.
So do not be surprised that in the next economic crisis, many will move from New York to the east, as they did during the first great depression.
In this case, it is better to make sure that you do not have to move in a caravan with other people. Firstly, in a caravan, you can be robbed or killed for food. Secondly, you should not go in search of work where the bulk of people go. This will significantly reduce your chances of finding a job because there will always be someone who will agree to a lower salary and get your job. But people believed that the end of the crisis would come and continued to fight for their lives.
So get ready in advance so that you have the opportunity to settle down anywhere.
Diets and Health Recession
The Great Depression severely damaged the health of many Americans. Besides the fact that people lived in poor conditions and were starving, many refused to visit doctors.
This was because visits to doctors, as now, were not free. Medicines were also not available to everyone, and many were not even possible to find in America. Therefore, people preferred to spend their finances on simpler things like food and shelter. And this is understandable.
But you still need to monitor your health and, if possible, regularly visit doctors. But you can significantly reduce the need for medical procedures by following simple guidelines.
First, watch your hygiene. Of course, this is not always as easy as it might seem at first glance. But following at least simple rules of caring for your physical and psychological health.
Gather a first aid kit with all the medicines you need, especially essential medicines and medicines that are long-lasting. Pay special attention to survival antibiotics, which can literally save your life. Also, think about getting one of the life insurance policies.
Eat right. Of course, in a situation of economic crisis, this will not be so easy. But try to eat plenty of plant foods, get all the vitamins you need, and don’t go hungry. This will have a positive effect on your health.
Be physically active, and don’t forget about communication. Simple physical labor, such as farming, will help you stay fit and, therefore, endurance levels. And connect with people, your family, and other families. This will help keep your sanity and cope with difficulties.
Self-Defense Matters During Depression
In a situation of the great depression, many will lose their minds. It’s easy to predict. People will be left without income, without food, and without the opportunity to feed themselves and their families. In such desperate times, many people will use the most desperate measures to survive.
The crime rate will increase significantly. Therefore, you should be prepared in advance for this.
If you have a supply of food (it is better to have one), your neighbors may encroach on it, who will need to provide food for their family members.
If you can still somehow negotiate with your neighbors, then you will not have time to negotiate with the real bad guys. People may want to rob you completely in order to profit from your food supplies and property in general. So think carefully about your security system.
Creative Art Is A Depression’s Silver Lining
Hard times are often accompanied by an increase in the quantity and quality of the art. After all, art for people becomes a way to escape from the harsh and depressing reality that surrounds them.
Since 1929, people have been going to the movies more often. It was an affordable way to get away from reality and meet other people.
Photography also developed incredibly quickly. Many of the well-known historical shots were taken during the Great Depression.
Only classical music suffered. But radio has developed. People did not have the money to go to the Philharmonic and dress up for this. But many could afford a radio, which gave access to thousands of works of classical and not only music.
So consider finding a hobby that will help you get through the economic meltdown. It doesn’t have to be any of the above. You can also start painting, embroidery, cooking.
Stay Mentally Prepared
As we said, the Great Depression was called Depression for a reason. In addition to serious financial problems, the population will also have to overcome many psychological difficulties. People would go crazy and go to extreme measures.
The psyche of not everyone today is able to withstand a state of constant and growing fear. Fear for yourself, your family, and your loved ones. That is why it is worth preparing your psyche today. We do know that during the Great Depression, many people went crazy. People went literally crazy.
The easiest way to prepare your psyche for such a serious test as a market crash and a crisis is to get carried away with the philosophy of stoicism. For example, read the book “The Obstacle Is The Way.” It will help you understand a lot about simplicity and crisis survival.
One of the foundations of Stoicism is that you need to prepare your body and mind for hard times before they come. If you already have the experience of fasting, sleeping in an inappropriate place, etc., you will have a better chance of surviving such experiences normally in reality. Try fasting for several days. And when you have to do it in a crisis, you will know that this is not a fatal ordeal.
It should be understood that people had to not only restore their financial and social position but also build the economy, improve their health. But the most time-consuming process in recovery from a crisis is the restoration of the mental state. For several years, millions of people and families have become so accustomed to living on the brink of death, in constant fear and without confidence in the future, that this entailed predictable consequences. The birth rate fell, marriages began to be concluded several times less, the suicide rate increased.
The industry also took many years to resume production. Let’s start with the fact that the number of employees has decreased significantly. Some of them died, some of them moved to another country, and most were simply in such poor condition that they were unable to work in production. And there was no one to sell goods because people were afraid to spend money. They were afraid to be left without food and without a home again. Subsequently, many people who reached retirement age had to work as long as they could do it.
Summing up our article, we can conclude that surviving the Great Depression is not so easy, but still possible. And the main guarantee of success in this matter is to learn from the lessons that history teaches us. From the events of the past Great Depression, you can get a lot of useful information to help you get through the crisis.
In the Great Depression, everyone will suffer businesses, factories, industry, the working class, the rich, you, your mother, and your child. A situation of this magnitude will not leave anyone aside. Therefore, you need to prepare. And you need to prepare thoroughly.
Besides the obvious savings on your budget, buying food at stock prices, and buying land and a home, there are other things you need to take care of. For example, start a family so that you have a family member to trust with your life. Also, find yourself a hobby that will help you earn money for food and not lose your mind. Make sure you always have food on your kitchen table. Do not count on grocery stores. They will be among the first to close.
We’ve decided to answer the most frequently asked questions about Depression Survival, so you don’t have to waste your time looking for more information online. Below we will give the most detailed answers to your questions.
How many years did it take to recover from the Great Depression?
It is generally believed that the Great Depression lasted from 1929 to 1933. But at the same time, the process of recovery after such a crisis took many times more. Not only the people who survived the Great Depression suffered but also the next generation of Americans. It also took banks several years to regain their position.
What cured the Great Depression?
There are several ways that historians see as the reasons for the end of the Great Depression. The first and most common option is the Roosevelt reform. The second option is participation in a world war. And the third option is given by culturologists who consider the development of culture and civilization to be cyclical.
Why did the great depression last so long?
The Great Depression did last for a very long time. It’s all about a vicious circle that consisted of a decline in demand, a decline in supply, falling prices, and job cuts. First, the market collapsed, causing fear among the population. People bought less, spent less money, and families got along with the essentials. This led to a decrease in prices. The lower the prices, the less money the business has in circulation. The more losses a business has, the fewer jobs a company can offer. And if people don’t have work, then they don’t have money. And if people don’t have money, then they have nothing to buy. And if people don’t buy anything, then the business has no profit. Etc. Getting out of this situation is very, very difficult.
What social and psychological impact did the depression have on America?
The Great Depression affected the people of the nation not only economically but also psychologically and socially. This is a fact. People and families have lived in fear for 20 years. In fear for their family, in fear for their job, for their home, and for their life. In those days, there was a record number of suicides and even deaths. Many families lost their breadwinners. It was almost impossible for a single mother to raise and raise children, even one child. Education levels fell because people could not afford education. The health of the entire nation has deteriorated, and not only physical but also psychological. But there were also positive aspects. Many people have united, family ties have become even stronger. Everyone shared common grief. People even threw so-called surprise parties and soup kitchens, but each brought some food as much as he could. This helped to strengthen the public spirit. But none of the survivors of the Great Depression ever recovered completely.
What were major lessons learned from the great depression?
The Great Depression today, fortunately, has become a part of history. Unfortunately, historical events often repeat themselves. But we can learn the lessons that the Great Depression taught us. For example, that it is much easier to survive together as a family. Even large families found it much easier than single people. It is also worth noting that the most important resource, even in a crisis, is human lives. It is important to have a good home to give you shelter. And it’s best to have multiple ways to survive. It can be farming, or it can be traded in essential goods. You can provide different services, whether it is tailoring or changing rubber tires.
How were families of the unemployed affected by the great depression?
The families of the unemployed have suffered like everyone else in America. Some of them became unemployed due to the Great Depression. And that means they have lost the means to support their lives. Those who could go to work simply did not have such an opportunity. Because there was nowhere to work, in such families, children rarely had an education since even the smallest had to work. They helped around the house, helped in everyday life, and often raised other children from other families. There is a whole article dedicated to street children and children whose childhood passed during the Great Depression. Such social cells were not protected in any way. Many families of the unemployed were left homeless, without food, and without any means of survival. Unfortunately, many of these families have died. During the Great Depression, there was a high rate of suicide, including the suicide of entire families. You can find an article with statistics on suicide during the crisis in the 1920s.