I’m sitting here at the shop, watching through the window as the power company guy wanders the neighborhood hanging disconnect notices on businesses doors. I suppose there might be a recovery going on somewhere but I’m not seeing much of it here. My landlord has nine business spaces to rent..at this moment five are empty with no signs of that changing in the near future. Tough times, man.
Here’s a link I’ve been sitting on for a while. ( Be prepared to spend an hour or so going through all these…it’s pretty compelling stuff.) It’s first-hand memories of the first Great Depression. In many of the memories there are some parallels to today’s experiences, but many make today’s situations look extravagantly luxurious. There are very few memories of violence or crime. However, two did jump out at me:
“Everybody was stealing. If you were on the street car, the man sitting next to you had a gun and would stick you up, and nobody on the streetcar would know you were robbed. Our house was robbed when we went visiting. The neighbor never helped, everybody was for themselves. If they worked, they were blessed. The butcher picked your pocket and padded the bill. Lots of bathtub Gin was being made by neighbors.”
“I can remember when we went to church one Sunday and my mom had about 300 young chickens about ready to lay eggs. When we came home, all of her chickens were gone and my mom cried for days. People would steal anything that they could. It was terrible in those days. My dad would get up at night and go out and shoot his 12-gauge shotgun to scare people away. We had a dog, but he barked all the time and we couldn’t tell what he was barking at. My dad farmed with horses and he had to keep the barn locked at night. People would kill your cows and butcher them in the field if you didn’t watch them carefully.”
Different time, different people. Definitely a different attitude towards work, charity (giving and receiving it), family obligation and duty. Go read, it’s interesting stuff. It certainly makes you feel that, thus far, things are a lot better now than they were then.