The Facts: Why This Feels Like A Depression For Most People

by | Oct 22, 2015 | Headline News | 51 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    This analysis was originally published by James Quinn at The Burning Platform.

    “And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.” John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath


    Everyone has seen the pictures of the unemployed waiting in soup lines during the Great Depression. When you try to tell a propaganda believing, willfully ignorant, mainstream media watching, math challenged consumer we are in the midst of a Greater Depression, they act as if you’ve lost your mind. They will immediately bluster about the 5.1% unemployment rate, record corporate profits, and stock market near all-time highs. The cognitive dissonance of these people is only exceeded by their inability to understand basic mathematical concepts.

    The reason you don’t see huge lines of people waiting in soup lines during this Greater Depression is because the government has figured out how to disguise suffering through modern technology. During the height of the Great Depression in 1933, there were 12.8 million Americans unemployed. These were the men pictured in the soup lines. Today, there are 46 million Americans in an electronic soup kitchen line, as their food is distributed through EBT cards (with that angel of mercy JP Morgan reaping billions in profits by processing the transactions).


    These 46 million people represent 14% of the U.S. population. There are 23 million households on food stamps in a nation of 123 million households. Therefore, 19% of all households in the U.S. are so poor, they require food assistance to survive. In 1933 there were approximately 126 million Americans living in 30 million households. The government didn’t keep official unemployment records until 1940, but the Department of Labor estimated 12.8 million people were unemployed during the worst year of the Great Depression or 24.9% of the labor force. By 1937 it had fallen to 14.3% or approximately 8 million people.

    The number of people unemployed during the 1930’s is an excellent representation of the number of households on government assistance during the Great Depression because 79% of all households were occupied by married couples with 4 people per household versus 48% married couple households today with 2.5 people per household. The unemployment rate averaged 19% during the heart of the Great Depression. Therefore, approximately 19% of all the households in the U.S. needed government assistance to feed themselves. That happens to be the exact percentage of households currently needing food stamps to feed themselves.

    We are now supposedly five years into an economic recovery. The unemployment rate, according to the government, has fallen from 10% to 5.1%. Maybe a comparison to the the Great Depression in 1937, five years after the worst of it, would reveal some truth. It is not easy to do an apples to apples comparison because very few women worked outside the home in 1937 and the average life expectancy in the 1930s was 60 years old. Today, the majority of women are theoretically in the work force and the average life expectancy is 78 years old. In 1937 only 5% of the population was over 65 years old versus 13% today.

    There were approximately 55 million Americans in the labor force in 1937, according to the DOL, and approximately 47 million of them were employed. So 85% of the eligible work force was working. There was no BLS to massage, manipulate, seasonally adjust, or fake the data to make things appear better than they were in 1937. Edward Bernay’s Propaganda techniques and methodologies weren’t perfected for a few more years. According to Census information there were 52 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 44, along with another 21 million between the ages of 45 and 64 in 1937. So even considering that very few women worked and many people died by the age of 60, we had a workforce of 55 million out of an age eligible population of 73 million at a maximum. That yields a participation rate of 75%.

    These facts reveal the utter falsity of the propaganda drenched duplicitous data dumped by the BLS on behalf of vested interests who have captured our government and have an agenda requiring the public to be kept in the dark regarding their own dire financial situation. No matter how you slice the data, it reveals an absolute parallel to the situation during the Great Depression. There are 251 million Americans of working age and only 149 million are employed, of which 20 million are part-time and 8 million are self employed. Only 59% of working age Americans actually work. The BLS has the cajones to declare that only 157 million of the 251 million working age Americans are actually in the labor force.

    This outrageous assumption flies in the face of all reasonableness, facts, and truth. In 1937, even with women not working outside the home and very few people living past 65 years old, the participation rate was 75%. Today, with the majority of women capable and willing to work and older Americans working well into their 60s, the BLS actually expects a critical thinking person to believe the participation rate is only 62.4%, the lowest since 1977. It’s a pure and simple despicable lie. The true participation rate should exceed the rate in 1937, based on the facts. Using the 75% participation rate today, yields a true unemployment rate of 21%, not the preposterous 5.1% shoveled by the bullshit artists at the BLS. The 21% rate ties very closely to the figure arrived at by John Williams at Shadowstats. An unbiased assessment of the facts reveals unemployment numbers and people on government assistance numbers that match or exceed those of the Great Depression.


    I also wonder whether the corporate mainstream media purposely chooses not to show pictures of the poor waiting in long lines to be fed because their function is not to report facts and truth, but to perpetuate the lie that all is well in America.  I pass the Grace Lutheran church at 36th and Haverford Avenue in West Philly everyday on my way to work. Every Thursday is when the church, in partnership with the Philabundance food bank, distributes free food to the people of West Philly. The line stretches around the block at 7:30 am awaiting the Philabundance truck to arrive. There are old, young, black, white, Latino, and Asian in the line. It looks exactly like the line pictured in the Great Depression above. I’m sure there are similar scenes across every city in America on a daily basis. People dependent on food banks and living in homeless shelters are at record levels. Where are the mainstream media pictures? How does that jive with Ben Bernanke’s self congratulatory book tour about how he saved America by secretly handing Wall Street and foreign bankers $16 trillion?

    For the average American family, the US economy has been in recession since 2000, with the Greater Depression arriving in 2008. The working age population has grown by 40 million since 2000, with only 12 million jobs added over that time frame. Of those, 10 million were in the government controlled health, education, social services (HES) sectors, with millions of good paying manufacturing jobs destroyed, replaced by a couple million low paying services jobs. As David Stockman points out, Bernanke and the vested interests he serves continue to spew disingenuous propaganda  to cover up the fact average American households continue to experience depression-like conditions. When your real household income is lower than it was in 1989, while your basic living costs for food, energy, transportation, rent, housing, healthcare, taxes, and education have skyrocketed, you just might be experiencing a depression.

    “The Fed’s balance sheet has grown from $500 billion to $4.5 trillion or 9X during that span, but job growth outside the HES Complex amounts to less than 2%. For crying out loud, that’s a 12,000 per month rounding error in an economy which has 250 million adults. Virtually every job gained since December 2009 shown in the chart below was not a “new” job at all; it was just a “born-again” job that Greenspan had claimed credit for a few years earlier. Yet Bernanke has the nerve to boast about the Fed’s success on jobs and claim that the “labor market is close to normal”!”


    Edward Bernays wrote the book Propaganda in 1928. It was utilized quite well by Goebbels and Hitler over the next decade or so. But the corporate fascist oligarchy, disguised as American democracy, puts Goebbels efforts to shame. Bernays would be thrilled by the efficiency and professionalism with which the invisible Deep State governing power is able to utilize mass media, the internet, public schools, and academia to shape, mold, manipulate and alter the minds of the masses. The unholy alliance between shadowy billionaires, a private bank owned by Wall Street and controlling our currency, the military industrial complex, the sick care complex, mega-corporations peddling consumer goods, and politicians who are easily bought, has left a hollowed out rotting carcass of a nation, with the peasants experiencing a depression, while the lords of the manor feast like there is no tomorrow. But at least the 103 million peasants who aren’t working believe only 5.1% of them are unemployed. It’s a Bernaysian Miracle!!!

    “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” Edward Bernays – Propaganda

    For more news, analysis and commentary visit The Burning Platform.


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      1. The CPI, Labor Dept, unemployment rates are all lie. So why even bother quoting them in this article?

        And no, we are not in a depression. A depression is a deflationary drop in prices.

        I haven’t see ANY prices being reduced. It is the opposite. So, what we are really in is a inflationary recession, much worse than a depression.

        When Obama started the QE under Bernanke he tried to get Europe to do the same thing. They said “Fuck No” The reason being is that they remembered what happened in Germany in 1925. They know that devaluation of the currency causes political conflict and radicals take over, as in the Nazi’s.

        They would much rather suffer through a depression than hyper inflation.

        The US does not know that experience. The worst we have ever had was the Depression. So we are willing to do anything to avoid a depression, not realizing that hyper inflation is much worse.

        Why do you think there is such a push to take guns away from people? Because bad shit is coming!

        When things get shitty, the government becomes more tyrannical.

        • America doesn’t remember the Great Depression because almost was alive as an adult when it began with the stock market crash in 1929. People 80 years old remember being very poor as children but they have no memory of what life was like before the Great Depression. My grandparents were in their 20’s when the stock market crashed. They would be between 105 and 110 if they were alive today but they’ve been dead for 20 to 25 years.

          • In other news …. Last week I told this community that China’s real estate bubble would crash again and crush its economy. Here is the first evidence of that coming crash:


            BTW, Hong Kong is in a better position to deal with the downturn than the mainland, where the problem is much larger and the fall will be greater. 🙂

          • Sooooooo instead of telling us about the lines at the Lutheran church in Philly, why doesn’t the author provide a few pictures? It shouldn’t be too hard to take a picture at a street corner showing the lines of people standing along two sides of the church.

          • Problem is we have spoken up with as much success as you. Notice with the influx of muslims and Africans in Europe the people of quite a number of countries are some kind of pissed but the leaders don’t seem to care. I think the low life leaders there are here smell the NEw World Order as being close. I, instead, smell the guillotine being very close.



          • Except for paintings on tomb walls.

        • I prefer to think of it as “stagflation”….when the price of things you NEED goes up, and the prices of things you WANT goes down.







          • Bond funds offered in 401K plans are loaded with junk debt in the form of derivatives. These are far more toxic than the over priced stock market.

            It’s all going to go down with a big flushing sound. As the Great Depression approached brokers told elderly widows their money would be safest in bonds. It wasn’t, they got hosed.

            They actually would have been better in blue chip stocks many of the best never went down as much as market averages and many recovered faster than other investments.

        • Wow Quinn you have done it again, Used 10000 words to state what everyone knows. You must just want to be somebody.

        • Doesn’t matter what you call it. This article is SPOT ON!

        • Doesn’t matter what YOU call it – it does “feel like a depression.” This article is SPOT ON!

        • obamacare is eating up the discretionary income of working people. this is why the economy is not growing, in part. it has nothing to do with health but everything to do with impoverishing us. try calling your exchanges and you will find that they know less than you do and cannot answer any of your questions. they cannot even tell you if your work plan fills the requirements, so if you take it, you may still get fined. it is hopeless even for people who are trying to sign up for something, in good faith.

      2. It’s worse than the Great Depression but it doesn’t feel like it because almost nobody is starving. People get food stamps. Many work part time for cash.

        I used to do small business accounting. At least 10% of the businesses skimmed money from sales and used some of that money to pay people in cash. They didn’t have to pay workman’s comp, state or federal unemployment taxes, or the social security match.

        The worst offenders were bars, restaurants, and especially junk yards. You sell a used transmission for $750? It’s pretty easy to keep the cash and not write it up. I don’t advocate tax evasion but it’s obviously pretty easy if you know what you’re doing.



        • I do two forms of business.
          I pay check or credit card,
          or I pay less in cash.
          I take advantage of Vet discounts,
          old fart discounts, or contractor
          I’m still paying
          $4 a gallon for diesel
          after a $80 decrease in
          per barrel cost of oil
          from $127.
          Like the guy said above
          “inflationary recession”.
          Years ago I was a business
          major. They never taught
          me how to deal with nut case
          Democrats running the economy.
          Military taught me,
          Kill them all, let
          God sort it out.

          • A round of applause for you. Let God sort it out.

        • I not only advocate/encourage tax evasion at all levels barn,I also encourage folks to as much as possible drop out of the matrix.Anytime possible grow your own food/make your own energy(even if just part of your use),try asnd stay healthy without docs but thru decent living/food ect.Barter/trade/encourage aly money forms/anything to get a bit out of the system,i.e.starve the fucking beast to death!

          • Amen!

      3. I have noticed some things have actually gone down here, besides gas ($1.93/gal.). The local Food Lion has cut the regular everyday price of Nature’s Own bread from $3.29 to $2.99.

        Here’s a song about the prices going down during the Great Depression:

        “(Potatoes Are Cheaper – Tomatoes Are Cheaper) Now’s The Time To Fall In Love”

        ht tps://

        • $2.99 here for gas.
          $4.00 for diesel.
          Half the time we make our own bread.
          store bought is very expensive $4 a loaf
          for the crap.

          • We get our bread products from the day old store. The bread is not really day old either.

            The owner explained it to me. She said that the route drivers purchase the bread at their own expense, then drive it to the stores and stock the stores. Any left overs are then brought to the day old store. I was surprised to learn that the route drivers buy the bread.

            Anyway, we freeze our bread in the deep freeze. Just take it out and put it on the counter, good as the day it was made.

          • Diesel here in eastern NC is $2.66. Gas is $1.93. I just bought a bunch of old gas cans, two of them old metal ones, from someone who didn’t need them any more. I’ll wait until the current drop in prices stops and then fill them all up.

            The store brand of bread is $1.19. We don’t have the bread stores any more. We lost Wonder Bread when they went out of business and never reopened. We lost Mary Jane when someone drove a car into the retail part of the building, and they decided to quit retail.

      4. Now this is depressing reading, where’s my zone out meds? I think this nation is returning to an even lower average lifespan than the 1930’s. If you make it to fifty years, you are old, sixty is one foot in the grave. This nation’s peak is a few decades back. What a wicked plan playing out presently!

        • Yup,
          Doom n gloom

      5. looks like the line when another new $800 cell phone comes out to me, only thing is they stand in line at 2AM in the rain waitin to drop their 700 to 800 bucks.

      6. 1%’era and their families are having the time of there lives.

      7. My wife claims she saw our neighbor’s address on a posted ‘bounced check list’ at the manicure shop. It’s getting so that people can’t even afford life’s essentials!

        • I am surprised that anybody takes checks anymore. It should be either cash or debit/credit card.

          • I don’t use cards for in-person purchases. I use cash or checks. Plenty of places around here take checks, Walmart, grocery stores, etc. If they didn’t, a lot of people around here would take their business elsewhere.

        • Since when has a manicure been a life essential. hahaha. Your joking right?

      8. Google up, Pictures of the Great Depression and have a look.

        • Good one sling.
          Notice just how thin the poor people use to be.
          Nowadays the poor are oftentimes clinically obese and the wealthy lean.
          The times they are achangin’

          • Anon.

            Trying to teach something here. How many children were bare footed and wearing clothes that were extremely tattered. Children that who were very close to the dinner table to eat what was on the plate before them. What kind of toys and games did they play.

            How many today are near being homeless. The tent cities around the nation. The food banks and city rescue missions.

            The EBT, Snaps, and Section 8 housing is holding it all together.

            Fifty one percent on assistance. What is the true unemployment and inflation. Our debt running out of control.

            More refugee’s and illegal aliens are going to rip this country apart by the seams. As it stands now, I do not believe we can avoid it.

      9. Save your coins. They may be worth more than your dollars. And you can make them into jewelry.

        • I drill holes in them and use them as washers for nuts and bolts. Cheaper than real washers.

          • js


      10. Sarah Connor?

        • Yes. It’s me.

      11. Under the astute leadership of Jimmy Carter back in the ’70s we called this stagflation. We have the same thing today, prices are rising but the economy is stagnant (not growing). But good ole Jimmy, ever so quick to help, is now coming to the aid of Putin by giving him top secret maps of Syria. General Betrayus gets a misdemeanor for giving away secrets of the CIA while bedded down with a life support system for a vagina and Carter gives away top secret maps without a ripple in the news media. On the other hand the CIA wants Snowden killed. Is their a trend here. thanks for your time.

      12. Many of the wealthy are still spending, when the markets tank, they will lose a lot, and totally freak out .

        For as much as the wealthy are denigrated in the current climate of class, race, and anything else Obama can think of warfare; when the wealthy stop spending, it will get really ugly.

        The current slowdown is mainly due to what’s left of the middle class freaking out.

        Prices continue to climb while wages shrink. Just a matter of time, use it well to get prepared. If you are prepared, take some time to encourage others to do so as well.

        Most of all, don’t fret tomorrow, especially if you are already prepared

      13. Why worry? Each of us is wearing an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back.

      14. House prices up to a point where people cannot afford them due to inflation that would you beleive it excludes things that go up like house prices were or Gas when that goes up.

        Immigration of slave labour push wages down and you wonder why no one feels rich any more but things are about to get much worse now the likes of Samsung are starting to mass produce robots.

        Funny but the NWO just worked out that the world is over populated and Isreal just so happens to have Bio-Wapons that can kill billions without damage to property.

        Our kids are in big shit if we continue to sit around doing nothing, it’s coming but don’t ask me when.

      15. Did the smack down on a nice doe last evening. Hopefully will get work done a little early today, hit the woods, and have a repeat performance.

        • POP
          Congrats on the deer. Good luck today.

      16. There is a good chance we passed the point of no return in about 2008. When our nation has more takers than producers is when it will all come crashing down if not sooner by another event. It’s going to get ugly, REAL ugly when this happens, prepare as best you can for somethig like this. The sad part of it all is, this was planned, toward the end Americans fell for it hook, line and entitlement check. When the dust clears, the America we knew will be gone forever.

      17. During the depression the passenger pigeon or American pigeon went extinct they ate every single one .Look up a picture of the passenger pigeon. Why couldn’t someone save some of them you who is responsible.

      18. Wkepedia says different.

      19. Watch The grapes of wrath. It’s all about them foreclosing on your property because you can’t pay the tax.

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