Nov 172008

The Boston Globe has an interesting piece on what a sustained economic downturn (like the great depression(s)) would look like in modern times:

We are separated from the 1930s by decades of profound economic, technological, and political change, and a modern landscape of scarcity would reflect that…

By looking at what we know about how society and commerce would slow down, and how people respond, it’s possible to envision what we might face. Unlike the 1930s, when food and clothing were far more expensive, today we spend much of our money on healthcare, child care, and education, and we’d see uncomfortable changes in those parts of our lives. The lines wouldn’t be outside soup kitchens but at emergency rooms, and rather than itinerant farmers we could see waves of laid-off office workers leaving homes to foreclosure and heading for areas of the country where there’s more work – or just a relative with a free room over the garage.