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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

When the economy hits rock bottom, what will that look like?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26879points) July 15th, 2011

College tuition is going up, basic services like courts, fire and police protection going down, unemployment on the rise and foreclosure not getting much better, and they say we have not hit rock bottom yet. When the economy actually hits rock bottom what will that look like? Will it look like the Great Depression? Will it look like the uprising against the Bolsheviks? What is your view of rock bottom?

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15 Answers

TexasDude's avatar

Like this at first, and then like this eventually.

Ltryptophan's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard those horns are sort of forming a heart shape…that’s promising

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard So, who are those staggering about looking like the living dead? The wealthy, the poor, or everyone?

ETpro's avatar

Well, unless we do something incredibly stupid like deliberately default in the US debt when there is no need to do that, the economy hit bottom shortly afte Obama took office. Twi straight quarters of growing GDP is defined as the end of a recession. But it’s been a very slow recovery, and the jobs have, as always, lagged behind the GDP curve.

If the Tea Party Republicans succeed in killing any bill that raises the debt ceiling, it will look like the Great Depression all over again. GDP will fall by 40% or more. Unemployment will shoot up to 25% or more. Probably more, since we had no minimum wage in 1929, women were only a tiny fraction of the workforce, and many laborers were employed in agriculture—which is one of the last things that shuts down. Agriculture is now highly automated, so it employs only a small percentage of the total US workforce..

flutherother's avatar

Something like this

Judi's avatar

Maybe people will stop hating homeless people and stop treating them like second class citizens when they become them.

Berserker's avatar

When we’re standing in line for toilet paper and getting jumped for it afterward, that might be pretty rock bottom.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Symbeline We are going to end up close to Mad Maxx!? LOL LOL

incendiary_dan's avatar

It’ll look pretty good for those of us who’re resourceful.

I think a lot depends on how people react. In some areas during the Great Depression, it could be argued that people did better. Places where people were more self-sufficient did fine, and in most cases did better health-wise because they were all growing their own food, and therefore eating more vegetables. Declining industrial production will instantly equate to better air and water quality. The declining oil production (the likeliest cause of economic collapse) will mean a drastic reduction of military activity worldwide, and hopefully troop withdrawals; it’ll mean logging companies will either cut less or stop cutting altogether. Suburbs will see/are seeing an increase in front yard gardening. Many Third World and developing countries will breath a sigh of relief as multinational corporations stop coercing their citizens into debt slavery, and they can get back to subsistence farming and such. Politically, we could see one large country break up into smaller ones.

The downsides come in if we don’t behave intelligently. Most of the country’s food is grown using oil for fertilizer and pesticides, and without it the plains will revert back to the Dustbowl unless we start promoting polycrops (particularly perennials) now. Or spreading that seeds of nitrogen fixers. There’s plenty of wild food out there, but even fewer people know what it is and how to use it than did during the Great Depression. Increased violence is also a possibility, particularly in cities where resources are scarce per capita, and particularly from cops and military. We could see more direct feudalism by the corporations and organizations who do it covertly now. Our communities are not set up for anything but motorized populations, so in many cases we’ll have difficulty just getting to where we need to go.

It could be anywhere from a primitivist utopia to Mad Max. Hopefully more towards the utopia, but I have little faith in homo civilis.

TexasDude's avatar

@incendiary_dan that was pretty poetic.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard It is what I know best, after all. Besides bacon. :)

incendiary_dan's avatar

In addition: I’m supremely worried about the rise of armed and violent hate groups. They’re one of the primary reasons I wish I could get more people on the “left” to think seriously about defense issues. Groups like the Hutaree militia, the Minutemen, the KKK, etc. have no qualms about arming themselves and using violence against people they don’t like. The political left in this country, particularly oppressed populations like ethnic and racial minorities, women, LGBT, and religious minorities are for the most part not heavily armed. I think given the psychos we have in our culture, the history of hate-based violence we have, and the certainty of economic collapse, it’s supremely stupid not to be armed. As one armed ally to these groups, I can only do so much myself.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@laureth If I had access to Facebook, I was going to link to that. Couldn’t find the link, otherwise. Thanks!

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