Think of this as Volume 16, Number 41 of A-Clue.com, the online newsletter I've written since 1997. Enjoy.
You wouldn't have wanted to go there. We're talking no social safety net, people living in shantytowns, and starving. We're talking 32% unemployment at a time when women didn't work outside the home. We're talking social unrest and the almost-universal feeling that democracy was doomed (DOOMED!), that only the iron hand of the Left or the Right could save mankind from extinction. And then, of course, World War II.
Want to know what the 1930s were like? Look at Greece today. Greece was induced to follow the advice of the bankers, to practice extreme austerity in the face of impossible loan demands, and look what's happening. People are going hungry, and they're turning to a neo-Nazi party called the Golden Dawn for comfort. Not just as an electoral force, but as a social one, which is more ominous. Want to know where Hitler came from? Stuff like that.
Things could have easily gone that way for us, had John McCain been elected. What McCain was promising in the wake of a 1929-like crash was a great heaping helping of Hooverism. Instead we got the stimulus, we got some honest government, and while the problems aren't all fixed – too many bankers are still walking around loose – things are indeed getting better.