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Posted by Philip on 17 May 2016, 9:34 am in , , , , ,

The next Great Depression?

According to History.com:

Image | kidskonnect.com

"The Great Depression (1929-39) was the deepest and longest-lasting economic downturn in the history of the Western industrialized world. In the United States, the Great Depression began soon after the stock market crash of October 1929, which sent Wall Street into a panic and wiped out millions of investors. Over the next several years, consumer spending and investment dropped, causing steep declines in industrial output and rising levels of unemployment as failing companies laid off workers. By 1933, when the Great Depression reached its [lowest point], some 13 to 15 million Americans were unemployed and nearly half of the country’s banks had failed. Though the relief and reform measures put into place by President Franklin D. Roosevelt helped lessen the worst effects of the Great Depression in the 1930s, the economy would not fully turn around until after 1939, when World War II kicked American industry into high gear.

It's a sobering read, moreso because of the recently recognisable aspects — stock market crash, failing banks, unstable markets, unemployment and, most notceably, war (on terror, on drugs etc, in our time). It's a bit like history is repeating itself.

What's more concerning though, is this statistic: "an estimated 350 million people currently [experience] depression across the globe. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it's one of the leading causes of disability worldwide" (Gizmag).

That’s 0.05% or one in 20 people based on March 2016's estimation of the global population (7.4b). That's one or two students in an average classroom, 26 passengers on an Airbus A380, six people in our NZ Parliament.

So, could we be in the next Great Depression, not only socially this time, but individually as well?

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