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Reply #61: On the positive side... [View All]

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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-13-09 02:32 PM
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61. On the positive side...
...the economy would have to fail much worse than it has failed so far for things to be as bad, or worse, than the situation we had during the Great Depression.

A depression is characterized by a large and sustained relative drop in GDP. Our current GDP, the already economically collapsed one, could drop to fully half of what it is right now, however, and per-capita GDP would still be way better than what it was just before the Great Depression, never mind during Depression.

US GDP, 1929: $800G, in 1999 dollars
US population, 1930 (close as I could get): 123M
My calculated GDP per capita: 800G/123M ~= $6,500 in 1999 dollars, which is about $8350 in 2009 dollars.

(BTW: It's fucking hard to find any current statistics about GDP that aren't given as a percentage change from a previous year or quarter, and get at the actual fucking current value!)

US GDP, 2007: $13,800G
US GDP, 2009 (guessing about a %20 drop from 2007 about now, which is probably exaggerated): $11,000G
US population, 2009: 305M
My calculated GDP per capita: $31,400

So, we've got a lot of wealth to go around, and would still have a lot of wealth even after a much nastier decline than we've even seen. The pain comes in how sudden economic changes are so unevenly distributed. That, and it's very hard to really compare economic statistics over a span of 80 years. A lot of our increased wealth is in things like iPods, which you can't eat when you're hungry, and designer clothing, which has a marked-up value when computing GDP, but it doesn't necessarily keep you warmer in the cold of winter.
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