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term unemployment Great depression 8

"The Great Depression of the 1930's was a worldwide phenomenon composed an infinite number of separate but related events."   The Great Depression was a time of poverty and despair caused by many different events.  Its hard to say what caused this worldwide depression because it's all based on opinion as opposed to factual data.  There are many contributing factors but not one specific event can be pin pointed for starting the depression.  It is believed that some events contribute more than others-such as the Stock Market Crash of 1929.
The Stock Market Crash of 1929 was in the majorities opinion, a long and overdue crash that was bound to happen.  Prices sky-rocketed so high that when they reached what was believed to be it's all time high, most people sold their gaining stocks for a profit.  So many people sold their stocks at a rapid rate that the corporations were unable to pay the shareholders.  Speculation arouse months before the crash when Roger Babson made his speech at the annual National Business Conference which he said "..... Sooner or later a crash is coming which will take the leading stocks and cause a decline from 60 to 90 points in the Dow Jones Barometer."   This and many others speeches like this scared people into selling there stocks before the inevitable would happen.  This was a leading causes that assisted the Great Depression become one of the bleakest and most studied events in the history of our country: yet not the only cause.  
Another large contributing factor was Mother Nature, I say this because in Oklahoma the weather was so dry that the farmers were unable to harvest their crops: these farmers became known as Okies.  The land was a barren wasteland of dust and dirt in which it got it's name the Dust Bowl.  In other areas, the extreme opposite took place: farmers overproduced and prices rapidly dropped because the demand decreased.  The drastic result of this oversupply made it hard for farmers to make money due to the fact that they had so much that they were forced to sell it at substantial low priced just to remain competitive enough to make even the small profit they were making. The imbalances were however, self correcting in which if manufacturers made too much of something, it's price would fall, profits would disappear, and the producers would cut back on output.  In 1932 the American writer, Stuart Chase described cycles as "the spree and hangover of an undisciplined economy."
Economists recognized the depression as a cycle in which there were four cycles; expansion; crisis(or panic); recession (or contraction); and recovery.  The definitive description was made by Wesley Clair Mitchell of the University of California.  A cycle Mitchell explained in Business Cycles(1913) was "the process of cumulative change by renewal of [Economic] activity develops into intense prosperity by which the prosperity engenders a crisis, by which crisis turns into depression and by which depression finally leads to.... a revival of activity."  
Banks played a significant role in the depression because they were in  charge of all the money and interest rates.  For example when banks had large reserves, they lowered interest rates.  Cheaper loans encouraged manufactures to invest in new equipment and hire additional workers.  The resulting expansion of production caused an upswing of the cycle.  The increased borrowing eventually reduced the bank's reserves, thus resulting in a drastic increase of interest rates.  That discouraged investors and slowed the economy down.  Another good explanation was the bad distribution of wealth for the cycles. During these challenging and difficult times the rich opted not to spend there money: they saved in banks, vaults, etc.  This resulted in increased investments, more production, and eventually more goods piled up on shelves and warehouses.  Prices fell, production was cut back and workers were discharged. As a result, the economy entered the depression phase of the cycle.
The crisis stage of the cycle was brought about by bank failures and by irrational selling of stocks ;thus causing business failures, a slowing in production, a rise in unemployment, and an overall optimistic view about the future.
Another helpful aide in the depression was the chief International creditor ... more

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US Economy Expansion

The
million (or should we say 'billion' now) dollar question is whether or not the
United States' economy will stay in it's record 107 month expansion (according
to the index of leading indicators) or come out of the boom and take a downturn
into a recession. Nobody, including the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan
Greenspan has a crystal ball to provide insight as to what will happen if
interest rates are raised, lowered, or left alone. However, Economists have
developed a set of indicators to aid in predicting when a recession is about to
occur and when the economy is in one. Indicators should not be mistaken for
predictors. They are simply forecasting tools, and like any forecast can be
misleading. The index of leading indicators that is reported in the popular
press shows our economy is still in an expansion. For the purposes of our
evaluation of the economy, we chose the Principle Economic Indicators tracked by
the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau under the Economics
and Statistics Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. There are
thirteen Principle Economic Indicators, and they fall into five major
categories: National Output and Income; Orders, Sectoral Production, and
Inventories; Consumer Spending; Housing and Construction; and Foreign Trade.
National Output and Income The first of the five major categories directly
relates to measuring the growth of the U.S. economy. National Output and Income
consists of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Personal Income, and Corporate
Profits measurements. GDP is the primary measurement of growth and measures the
total amount of goods and services produced by governments, businesses, people,
and property located within the United States. Both real (adjusted for
inflation) and nominal (current value in dollars) data is collected for
computing the GDP. The base year for the real data is 1997. The GDP is normally
reported as an annualized quarter-to-quarter change. The reason this measurement
is vital to tracking the growth of the U.S. economy is self-explanatory. When
the economy is growing, both total income and total output are increasing.
Furthermore, a steady increase in the GDP is healthy for the economy. According
to the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. economic output has grown at an annual
rate of 2.5 to 3.5 percent since 1890. The preliminary estimate of GDP in the
fourth quarter of 1999 rose at a 6.9 percent annual rate, which is the strongest
gain since a similar increase in mid-1996. This is an increase from the initial
estimate of 5.8 percent and is consistent with the expectations of analysts. It
is also a reflection of the widespread upward increases among the major spending
components, including consumer spending, goods exported, and state and local
government spending. In the third quarter of 1999, GDP rose 5.7% as a result of
increases in Personal Consumption Expenditures, nonresidential fixed investment,
and exports. Personal Income is a measurement of total pretax income earned by
individuals, non-profit organizations, and private trust funds. It is expressed
at an annual rate also. The more Personal Income increases the greater the
potential for the American people to spend and save money, which directly
influences the growth of the U.S. economy. Personal Income rose .7 percent in
January, following an increase of .3 percent in December. The average monthly
increases in 1999 were .5 percent. Some extenuating factors affected income in
recent months, including cost of living increases in federal transfer payments,
a federal pay raise, and agricultural subsidy payments in January. Real
disposable income, income after taxes and adjusted for price changes, increased
by .7 percent. There was no change in December. The individual personal saving
rate rose from 1 percent in December, which was its low, to 1.4 percent in
January. Savings rates generally go down in the months October through May due
to Holiday spending (includes "paying off" credit cards). There are
two methods in which Corporate Profits are reported by the government.
"Tax-based" profits are derived from corporate tax returns, and
"adjusted" profits reflect earnings from current production. Just as
increases in Personal Income are vital to the growth of the U.S economy,
increases in Corporate Profits are just as important on an even larger scale.
The greater the profits, the more potential for growth. This in turn has a
direct effect on employment rates, spending, etc. Profits reported from current
production increased $3.7 billion in the third quarter of 1999. This is a
dramatic improvement from a decrease of $6.5 billion in the second quarter.
Profits would have been about $10 billion more than they were in the ... more

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