Thursday, November 20, 2008

What Would a New Great Depression Look Like?

By now it should be obvious that Canada is heading for a major recession.

And the only thing that remains to be determined is how long will it last and how bad will it be?

And will it turn into another Great Depression? And if so what would that be like 80 years after the last one?

These are the images that are burned into our collective memory.

But would this one be very different?

Unlike the 1930s, when food and clothing were far more expensive, today we spend much of our money on healthcare, child care, and education, and we'd see uncomfortable changes in those parts of our lives. The lines wouldn't be outside soup kitchens but at emergency rooms, and rather than itinerant farmers we could see waves of laid-off office workers leaving homes to foreclosure and heading for areas of the country where there's more work - or just a relative with a free room over the garage. Already hollowed-out manufacturing cities could be all but deserted, and suburban neighborhoods left checkerboarded, with abandoned houses next to overcrowded ones.

And above all, a depression circa 2009 might be a less visible and more isolating experience. With the diminishing price of televisions and the proliferation of channels, it's getting easier and easier to kill time alone, and free time is one thing a 21st-century depression would create in abundance. Instead of dusty farm families, the icon of a modern-day depression might be something as subtle as the flickering glow of millions of televisions glimpsed through living room windows, as the nation's unemployed sit at home filling their days with the cheapest form of distraction available. for bloggers life wouldn't change at all.

And unlike Americans we have medicare so forget about those long lines at hospital emergency rooms. And if older people had to fight young people for the privilege of flipping hamburgers....well tough. It's about time granny got out.

But then the Americans have Obama and we have Harpo and his idiot Cons who don't know what they're doing.

Parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page told MPs Thursday that Canada's deficit next year could be as high as $13 billion and that Conservative government decisions to cut the GST and raise government spending are to blame, not global economic events.

So things could get REALLY bad.

I KNEW we should have won the last election.

May the Monkey God save us all....


The Mound of Sound said...

Read the latest US intelligence estimates prepared for Obama. If all we have to deal with is a real depression, we should get down and kiss the earth.

Anonymous said...

yes yes! 'we' should have won! all vote for montreal simon!!!

this post makes me feel guilty about my xbox purchase, which i will make in the next couple of weeks.

nontheless, we should all be careful, nobody really knows what will happen.


Simon said...

Hi Mound...geezus I took your advice and read it and I see what you mean. These are going to be REALLY interesting times...I just hope I survive them...

Simon said...

Hi R... how did you know I'm running for Prime Minster? I figure if Harper can be a PM ANYONE can. As for your X-Box purchase... on the don't have to feel guilty you should be proud of yourself.If people don't buy things the situation will only get worse.
In fact that will be one of first things I intend to take care of when I become Prime Minister. Every Canadian who spends more that $300 at a Canadian store will get the special Hero Consumer medal...made out of a Pepsi bottle top... :)