Survivors of the Great Depression speak about the bailout and life in general today.

9/27/2008 06:34:00 PM

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wall Of course everyone is talking about the 1929 Stock Market crash, and the depression that ensued over the next 10 or so years and that we are on a track that will result in a depression greater than the Great Depression. My parents happened to have grown up during the depression. Their lifestyle over the years continued to reflect that fact, and I was lucky enough to learn many of their tricks, which today I am using to help make it along. Many people who are 30 years or younger, respectfully, have no clue as to what life is like doing without, or having to make do. It's not your fault, it's really my generation's, Generation X's, fault. The 80s, 90s and 00s have been filled with excess, and the immediate gratification mentality. But now, they may have to learn from their and my elders on how to "make do".

Looking across the Internet, one of the new hot topics is talking to those who are survivors of the Great Depression, albiet, there aren't many today. I think great wisdom can be learned from them, in what many call their "simple ways of thinking".

From Colorado's Channel 9 News: In the video 9News talks with four residents of a retirement community about the Great Depression who lived through the times. They recall their parent struggles. "Just tried to make a living as hard as they could," said Bertie Spear. "You didn't have anything and maybe you scrounged for food on the table."

All of the residents recall newspaper articles and radio reports of Americans in larger cities standing in line for the basic necessities. Some witnessed the despair first-hand. "I saw them waiting in line for rations or some kind of food," said Jodie Spear. "I saw them actually beg at the grocery store to write credit a little longer to take something to eat to their children."

In the video below, the four talk about living conservatively and that mentality brought their families through the Depression. They believe today's generation of Americans has forgotten how to survive the basics. "I feel sorry for them. I don't think they could ever learn to live like we did when we were younger," said Jodie Spear.

On the subject of financial bailouts for failed companies that handled bad mortgages, Bertie Spear questioned why some people would agree to a mortgage that was beyond their budget. "Why would they have the mortgage if they couldn't afford it?" she asked. "They buy on credit cards and max them out. And they can't pay for them. There you are, in bakruptcy."

The Spears and their friends advise everyone to learn to live on less. "Pinch that penny," said Bertie Spear. "Don't spend more than you take in," said Hansen.

In the video there is a statement.  A statement which I know growing up I heard quite often from my own parents.  And their actions, mentality and lifestyle reflected upon that statement.  That statement is "If something happened tomorrow, I'm not going to starve to death" when a man is asked about having money out of the bank.  Basically, be prepared.  That is a mentality that my parents instilled in me.  Be prepared.  Whether it be a small stockpile of food, a few dollars outside of the bank, or simply candles, an oil lantern, and blankets nearby just incase the electric goes out in the middle of the winter.

The other lesson from the video is in the statement of "Don't spend more than you take in."  Basically, don't buy on credit.  If you can't pay cash for it, then you don't need it.  As for a house or a car?  Well, you save your money up until you can make a down-payment of nearly half the price, so your payments are within reason.  Or you save up enough so you can pay cash.  My parents always paid for their new vehicles in cash, and the houses they purchased.  They saved their money until they pay it all at one time.  New furniture was paid for with cash.  Bills were paid for with cash (well, checks, but the same thing).  Clothing was paid for with cash.  Food was paid for with cash.  If they went out to eat, it was paid for in cash.  Everything was paid for via cash, and never credit.  They also did not like the idea of owing anyone any money.

Now I am sure many of you who are younger than I are saying, "But I'll have to wait FOREVER FOR IT!"  Yep, that's true, but you don't risk loosing it.  You have to settle for what you can afford, and no more.  That is just the way it is, get use to it.  All good things come to those who wait... Now... Moving on......

The most shocking thing about this video isn't what Spears and their friends say in the video. Its what the reporter states at the end of the video and the tone of her voice and the look on her face. "A really interesting perspective" in regards to what Spears and their friends have to say.  Interesting?!?!  Living frugally and within your means is an interesting perspective... okay................ And she seems to say it in a tone as if saying "Aww those sweet old people living in the past."... Yea okay............... time for the video.


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