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Echoes From the Past
When the stock market shut down on Black Tuesday in 1929, it affected every business and industry. Money was gone. Business owners and individuals couldn’t retrieve money from closed banks, causing massive layoffs and high unemployment.
Many businesses invested in the stock market and with no returns, came the death of the big, medium and small business owner.
No business could sell goods unless they were necessities, such as food or clothing. For those who couldn’t afford these essentials, soup lines became the norm.
The Great Depression didn’t end until the early 1940s and experts say our survival came from entering World War II because supplies and machinery were needed to support out troops. I happen to agree with this and watch out folks, we are very near falling into another Depression—fast.
Paul Farrell of MarketWatch offers up seven reasons why we need a “Good” depression, not a great depression, and why we need to skip the whole recession route.
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Why Restructuring Doesn't Work
Chapter 11 bankruptcy—the ultimate restructure for business owners today—allows the courts to stop the collections. It lets the business owner set a budget and stick to it, forget old debts and only pay current ones, and sell your ass off to get out of the restructuring process. Truth is Chapter 11 usually means Chapter 7 is on the horizon for most businesses. Many don’t survive because they simply can’t restructure enough to regain customers, profits, employees and the most important item needed—cash.
Only large conglomerates such as Chrysler and General Motors ever make it through a Chapter 11 and it all comes at the aid of the government—or should I say tax payer? Not so for the smaller entrepreneurs, federal aid isn’t there—protection from creditors is there, but aid to keep your doors open is not.
So, with the reality that restructuring won’t work, maybe it’s time we rethink those words Great Depression. In fact, maybe it’s time to look in the mirror and compare how close we really are and stop the propaganda coming out of Washington and Wall Street.
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Who Doesn’t Like a Good Old Fashioned War?
I remember exactly what I was doing when crowds tore down the statue of Saddam Hussein in 2003. I was painting my living room watching the never-ending coverage, exhausted from a day of hard work as an entrepreneur. Americans and Iraqis applauded and it seemed like a good thing at the time—we got the bad guy, the Hitler of our time. We didn’t get Osama bin Laden, but we’d take Hussein and worry about bin Laden later—it was a start.
The United States has been both enemies and allies during wars with Asian and European nations in both World Wars one and two. We’ve been fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq for too long now and since a good war seemed to repair the Great Depression, why not let a war get us out of this recession?
You might think I’m crazy here, but without war, we’re not achieving anything. Employment statistics aren’t really changing and the housing market is still dead. Every turn you make, another business owner shuts its doors and those in power who would like us to believe otherwise are lying to us—big time.
We need the angry mobs from within America to rise up and, yep, start a new war—another civil war to take back our country. If that means rebuilding once the fighting is over, so be it, at least we will be starting from the humble perspective, not the greedy perspective or the free government aid perspective.
MarketWatch’s Farrell says “the American economy is a war economy,” and I believe him. He points out the United States “spends 54 percent of our tax dollars on a war machine.” Think of that folks! Instead of the north versus the south, we could do the east versus the west and move our politicians to the mid-west (Chicago seems appropriate for our leader) and let Illinois remain neutral!
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If you’ve read this far, in the back of your mind I know you’re thinking—this could work, especially when it comes to the small business owner in America. Labor unions would have to go and the almighty leader in Illinois could assign factories to both the east and west to start building war-needed items. Factories in turn, could sell to the small business owner who could set affordable prices and still make a nice profit, be able to hire workers and maybe, just maybe, that new healthcare plan would work, because right now it’s not looking too good. Unemployment would cease instantly.
We’d need farmland too and a fair share of crops on both sides. Those who grow could also make a profit. Maybe we could even consider growing the disallowed green plant, and sell that to injured and unhappy soldiers to cheer them up.
There would be no more mega banks, only smaller, more intimate private banks. We’d still need some reassurance from our Illinois leader that our money would be safe, but since the deposits would rise, I’m sure he’d agree to taking on this task.
Think of the possibilities here people. Instead of trying to fix what is really bad and lost forever, we could fight the good fight and if we needed to, start a new Industrial Revolution all over again. Sort of like Armageddon, only with a more effective ending.
All the while, we’d only use earth-friendly weapons—even paint ball guns free of toxins to sway off the enemy. We could force both sides to develop environmental committees run by only the top tree huggers in America (because they are the most ingenious). By the end of our war, instead of a new Industrial Revolution full of smoke (well besides some good-smelling smoke), we’d have smells of fresh and clean air, clear waters, and since we’d be fighting in electrical vehicles, we’d wouldn’t require oil from any outside source, even when our second depression ended!
The possibilities are endless really and those who would most benefit would be part of what built America in the first place, small mom and pop businesses. If they wanted to down the road, they could sell to larger newly developed big biz, but most likely they’d hand down the businesses to their heirs because we all know what happened the first time we tried this.
The best part of the whole civil war would be the deletion of those annoying signs, Welcome to New Mexico or Welcome to Pennsylvania! Signs could read: You are now entering the east, the west or Illinois.
Most nations would leave us alone because they’ll surely think we’ve gone nuts (maybe it would be time for Switzerland to take a side for once). Things could be made again and sold again in the U.S.A by East or West workers—until the war was over and we became just one nation, under God again, with Illinois as the only place of despair. We could go back to 49 states, who needs 50 anyway?
Well like I said, I haven’t worked out all the elements of Great Depression Two or the new Civil War, but I think it might work. It has to be a better idea than the ideas coming out of Washington or Wall Street—lies and more lies, or maybe just the inability to face facts.
The only bad thing, we might have more crosses in our cemeteries, but if we use environmentally friendly weapons, maybe the injured could survive to tell the tale to their grandchildren about Great Depression Number Two and the Second Civil War—and how they did indeed save America.
Food for thought—what’s your take?
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Farrell, Paul B – MarketWatch (July 5 2011) - “7 Reasons US Needs a Good Depression” retrieved at http://www.marketwatch.com/story/7-reasons-us-needs-a-good-depression-now-2011-07-05?link=MW_story_popular
The opinions here are the author's, unless of course you agree too!
Bankruptcy - Wikimedia Commons/Cartoosh
Storming of Ft. Wagner - Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain License
Illinois License Plate - Wikimedia Commons/Illinois Secretary of State
British Hydrogen Bomb - Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain License