A Working Adult Of The 1930s Essay

1715 Words Jun 7th, 2016 7 Pages
As a working adult of the 1930s, what would you do to distract yourself from the fact that you could be one of 9 million people who lost their life savings when banks failed or part of the quarter of the workforce that was unemployed as result of the Great Depression? In order to escape the harsh reality of life during the Great Depression, the American people turned to art, literature, music, films, science, sports, and even crime as forms of distraction.
From 1929-1941 decreased purchasing power, crisis in the farm sector, and economic inequality all played a part in the Great Depression. . “According to the famous Brookings Institution study, America’s Capacity to Consume, the top .01 percent of American families in 1929 had an aggregate income equal to that of the bottom 42 percent…approximately 24,000 families had a combined income as large as that shared by more than 11.5 million poor and lower-middle-class families.” (McElvaine, 38). With this large economic gap working-class families were not able to sustain their lives and fell into debt. As figure 1 indicates the economy descended from essentially full employment in 1929 when the unemployment rate was 3.2 percent into massive unemployment in 1933 when the unemployment rate reached 25 percent. As the standard of living dropped due to unemployment and wage reductions, it brought forced leisure. “Forced leisure meant that, due to lack of employment and lack of money to support activities like vacations and such, many…

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