The Great Depression

The Great Depression, which lasted for almost 12 years, and was responsible for severe economic downturn. An over-ambitious stock market and poor weather conditions were the main reasons that led to the downturn. The rush and uninformed actions of the government to stimulate back the economy to he right truck worsened the conditions. The most affected people included the middle and lower economic class members who relied on wages and income to finance their standards of living. Consequently, there was hunger and famine, as the upper class, or the owners of the factors of production thrived through capitalism. The Great Depression changed human right equality principles in the United States, including the relationship between the citizens and the government.

The economic boom ushered by the onset of the 20th century diminished social traditional values of the classes. The “Jazz age” introduced a different set of values, where women started smoking, wearing short skirts, and drinking. On the other hand, men indulged in speculating about the economy, buying shares in the stock market, busing houses and automobiles, and sundry. People were more attracted to the stock market, where potentially huge money was available. Consequently, the rate of borrowing rose as people sought more funds to finance their extreme  lifestyles. The industrial sector realized profit growth b y about 65%, whereas the savings rate of the average American faced a bleak future. As spending increased by a more than 60%, average income only grew by a mere 8%. The uneven growth caused a great rift between the rich and the poor. Social imbalance undermined national loyalty and patriotism. In 1929, statistics indicated that 0.1% of the society earned the same amount of income as 42%, considering the production of more industrial goods to meet the changing lifestyles and increasing personal and national debt. The climax was termed “black Tuesday,” and is the day that the stock market finally collapsed, marking the start of the Great Depression (1929). Though it started in America, other parts of the world were affected, lasting up to the first quarter of the 1940s.

The economic event was characterized by the closure of banks, financial institutions, and other businesses. The American citizens grew discontent about the President Hebert Hoover’s administration for its hands off approach to the issue. In fact, the government’s spokesperson is on record stating that the event is just a normal misfortune that will be over in a couple of days (60 days). As such, the most affected citizens (the poor) did not receive any social support to shield them from the poor welfare that led o diseases and malnutrition. Many others succumbed to diseases because of limited access to healthcare. Most of them comprised African-Americans who experienced extended suffering more than the whites. A 1930 survey revealed that 50% of the black population was unemployed. The conditions triggered the growth of a radicalized political class that revolved its activities around labor unions and movements. Amongst the notable ones include the Eleanor Roosevelt campaign that advocated for an initiative called the New Programs to end economic discrimination.

Shibata, T. (2004). The American Great Depression And The Japanese Heisei-Era Depression Compared – From An Institutional Approach. Seoul Journal of Economics, 17(1), 85-115.

The author explores the institutional and structural factors in the economy that led to the Great Depression. There were unstable policies put in place to oversee the rise in the demand size of the economy or/ and capital accumulation that was responsible for the growth of the manufacturing sector. For instance, inadequate policies failed to offset the emergence of a consumerism generation that saved less. The paper compares the American event to the Japanese economic depression that occurred in the initial periods of the 1990s. Various similarities and differences are drawn that help the audience to gain an in-depth analysis of the role of the government in the event. The first resemblance is that the two events took place for the first time in both economies. They had never experienced such an occurrence in the past, and were closely preceded by a bubble economy. Secondly, they occurred during national transition periods, where the administrations of the day were under pressure to institute reforms that will shield the poor from untold suffering. The main goal of the paper is to carry out a comparative analysis of the two depressions with the aim of discovering possible ways of reforming the economy to handle extreme behavior of certain variables. An understanding of the two events will help the research determine the causal effects and why certain combative policies were adopted.

Steindl, F. G. (2007). What Ended The Great Depression? It Was Not World War II. The Independent Review, 12(2), 179-197.

Many controversial views exist about the factors that ended the Great Depression of 1929. While others hold that the rapid growth in the demand side of the economy triggered the production of goods and services, others categorically argue that the growth in monetary level informed the return of sanity. The paper explores the two schools of thoughts and offers a third point of view that differs from the first two. He maintains that other forces in the economy, aside from the ones mentioned by the first arguments, triggered the growth and development of the economy. In 1933, the triggered economic trough promoted the movement of the economy back to its normal trend. The three arguments offer an in-depth understanding of how the United States economy recovered from the misfortune. A series of initiatives and recovery programs were adopted which changed social and political conditions for all classes.

By assuming a universal approach, the author strives to show how natural, unhampered events in the economy, and neither money supply nor the demand caused by world war 2 led to the great depression. The international community has a worldwide economy that may collapse if certain measures and regulations are not instituted. Analyses of the causes of the Great Depression enable the audience to understand the need to initiate socioeconomic changes. The analysis will offer meaningful insight about the actual factors that compelled the government to establish equal standards for both high and low income earners.

Quah, C., & Crowley, P. M. (2009). A Reconsideration Of The Great Depression. South Asian Journal of Management, 16(3), 7-23.

                        The journal revisits the 2009 international financial crisis and carries out a comparative study, and argues that another modern “Great Depression” is on the offing. The authors examine the nature of the 1929 economic event and explore a series of factors that caused it.  The mortgage crisis in the United States (2006) placed the actions of the Federal United States reserve (their irrational policy to inflate money by increasing its supply in the economy) and the Great Depression, into the limelight. The underlying notion is the movement of specific economic indicators that spearheaded an industrial production period. The authors analyze the 2009 financial crisis, as well as the international and domestic arrangements that favored it. In this light, Qua and Crowley (2009) opine that the world is about to encounter a worse financial collapse. It is against this backdrop that the paper events that ushered in the Great Depression, and discusses various schools of thoughts, including that of Friedman Schwartz. The paper takes a deeper look at some reconciliation theories, and finally, an assessment of the fact that there could be another international financial meltdown around the corner.

            Though the analysis does not present a detailed analysis of the substantial evidence that suggest the occurrence of another international financial collapse, past knowledge from the Great Depression help to ensure that past mistakes are not repeated. The paper will help the research to understand the post-depression (from 1940s) behavior of the government in shielding its citizens from post economic trauma.

Conclusion

            There are a total of three sources that will help to test the hypothesis statement/research questions. All sources align with the research problem because they will help in the understanding of both the pre and post government behaviors with respect to the Great Depression. The paper will use the sources to argue that the Great Depression initiated reform programs in America to safeguard citizens against degraded socioeconomic standards.

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