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The Great Depression

Low-Wage Pay Scales for Working Women (Pathfinder Magazine, 1937)


Reform The Banks! (Pathfinder Magazine, 1932)

Eight months before the Congress passed the Glass–Steagall Act (aka the Banking Act of 1933) this unsigned editorial appeared in a Washington-based news magazine pointing out that the economic downturn in the country had created a need for such legislation.

Click here to read another 1932 article about the banks.


False Hope for 1937 (Pathfinder Magazine, 1937)

Perhaps it was the practice of magazine editors during the Great Depression to instruct their reporters to find hope where none existed; that must have been the case for this article. The unnamed journalist who wrote this slender column reported on a few rare cases involving real jobs with real salaries being offered to recent graduates; the reporter wished to believe that this was a sign that the end was nigh - but these few jobs were flukes. The author saw economic growth where there really wasn't any at all, however he certainly made the case for its existence. The title link posted above leads to a passage from FDR's Folly: How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression by Jim Powell that explains the true situation that existed in 1937, when unemployment stood at 20 percent by Summer.


Unlikely Communists & Red Teachers (New Outlook Magazine, 1934)

This article starts out discussing that during the Great Depression communism was beginning to appeal to a small number of unlikely Americans of the country club variety; by the fifth page, however, it heats up considerably when the subject turns to the number of communists who are charged with the instruction of American youth:

"Although no accurate statistics on the subject are available, surveys and various reports indicate that there are 150,000 enthusiastic, thinking young Communists in the public schools and state universities of the United States today. Not nearly that many men are enrolled in the American Army. And the figure is a minimum - some estimates place the scholastic communists at 250,000."

The favorite newspaper among American communists was THE DAILY WORKER - read about it here...


The Growth of the Deficit (Pathfinder Magazine, 1932)

This short column refers to the growth of the U.S. deficit that was bloated during the Hoover Administration (1929 - 1933) - which up to that time was the largest ever incurred during peace time. When FDR assumed the mantel of the Presidency, it would grow considerably larger.

Click here to read an article about 1930s government spending.

Yet, despite the growing deficits, the United States was still an enormously wealthy nation...


When the Depression Caught Up With Doctors (Pathfinder Magazine, 1932)

"Some people have maintained that doctors weren't hit so hard by the economic slump. The claim was that people couldn't help getting sick and their misfortune was the doctor's gravy. But the Committee on the Cost of Medical Care, a non-governmental committee, of which Secretary Wilbur is chairman, reports a rapid decline in the income of doctors during the Depression... In 1930, the first [full] year of the Depression, physician's incomes decreased 17% and they have been decreasing ever since."

The author also included some other elements gleaned by the committee - such as the average sum paid by the families in their study, the approximate cost of the nation's medical bills and an approximation concerning the number of medical professionals at work in 1931.

During the Depression, many doctors and nurses worked entirely for free; to read about that, click here...


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