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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

History lesson

Panicky Americans: Oh, God, this is the worst economy since the Great Depression, and we're all going to be standing in bread lines with holes in our shoes! Save us, federal government, please save us now! Hoosier seniors who actually lived through the Great Depression: Suck it up, you whining wusses. You ain't seen nothin' like what we lived through:

Joseph A. Furman, a 93-year-old from Cedar Lake, said he's fed up with people calling today's economic troubles a depression. He said the current troubles are a few cry from the mass layoffs, hunger and hard times that followed the stock market crash.

"I don't think it will ever get to that point. Life was just unbearable," Furman told The Times of Munster for a story published Sunday.

Like other Hoosiers from that era, he recalls people struggling to scrape together enough money to get food for their families to survive. Furman remembers people selling apples to earn a little money, and the days when he and his relatives shared and borrowed clothing.

In the sentimental movie "Goodby, Mr. Chips," Chips the teacher says you need only two things in life: a sense of humor and a sense of proportion. Too many people today don't have either, so they have no perspective her. History started just yesterday (or maybe even today).


Bob G.
Mon, 01/12/2009 - 12:27pm

A FANTASTIC quote from a good movie.

And to mirror your sentiments about peoples' sense of "proportion" (and their obvious LACK of it)...
Many around here view the universe as a THREE-SQUARE-BLOCK of their neighborhood...and that IS pitifully sad.

Mon, 01/12/2009 - 12:41pm

But how many miles uphill did Mr. Furman walk to school each way barefoot in the snow? I think that's the important question.

Mon, 01/12/2009 - 1:00pm

Before the depression, Federal Income taxes were basically zilch, no FICA taxes and one wage earner. The depression saw high unemployment. I think my dad went hungry most days. Today, we have high FICA taxes, substantially higher federal income taxes on wages and two wage earners to support a family. Unemployment is over 7% and most likely will easily hit 9 to 10%. How do these factors equate to the derpession?

We have Obama now critizing Bush for not tracking the first bailout money, yet it was congress that voted for the bailout and if they wanted benchmarks and tracking should have written them into the bill (535 vs one). How did Obama vote?

The point I am trying to make is the economy is worse off then many think and not as bad as a lot think. Where are we is the $million question? We no longer have 75% manufacturing that we used to export, but less then 35% and we import? We are a service economy and that means mostly discretionary spending. If discretionary spending drops, then we most likely will see a much larger drop than previous recessions.

Just keep in mind that for each one billion dollars in bailout = to $10 per family or $3.33 per person. The $810 Billion bailout placed your family in hock for $8,100. The additional Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack, AIG, Etc added another$10,000 and this does not inclued the government co-signed loans. How will all this debt affect the value of the dollar and ultimately oil?

The US prior to the bailout paid over $540 Billion in interest a year on the debt or 48 cents of every Federal income tax dollar collected. Its 2008 deficit befor any bailout was over $700 Billion. Now they are saying it will be over $1 trillion a year for several years. The congress is creating the next subprime market and it is called U.S. Treasuries.