Economically we are going through a difficult patch, but this is nothing (ask my mother) like the Great Depression of the 1930s.
The Kansas City Star's Scott Canon agrees with me (and Mother Marathon Pundit.)
But walk down the sepia-tinted memories with a few Kansas Citians who made it through the 1930s, who grew up facing those dark days.
They knew the Great Depression firsthand.
And as painful as today's circumstances may be for many, they told The Star, this time is not that time.
Our economic future is cloudy, but even with evaporating retirement portfolios and vanishing jobs, it's hard to imagine a 21st-century America dotted with shantytowns of the Hooverville variety. There are the homeless, yes, but not a generation of men doomed to hoboing and train-hopping. Food pantries for the poor are nothing new, but soup lines ... Nor is the prairie blowing away Dust Bowl-style.
By trash-talking the economy, as he did during the presidential campaign, Barack Obama gains political capital if the economy rebounds during his first term.
But what we're suffering through now is not as bad as the 1981-83 recession. Obama was around for that one, and some parts of America, such as Chicago's South Side, were never the same afterwards. After a couple of years as a community organizer, even Obama realized that the Chicago steel mills that closed during that recession weren't coming back.
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