The Hungry Years1

Book Report Paradis, Adrian A. The Hungry Years. Philadelphia. 1967. There were few changes that could be seen; for the most part the revolution was quiet. Never before had so many people of the United States held in their hearts despair, panic and want. Yet out of the fear of the Depression came social reforms that have strengthened America and its people. The Depression was the worst economic decline ever in the United States history that spread to practically all of the industrialized world. It began in late 1929 and lasted for about ten years. There were many factors that played a role in causing the depression, but the main cause was the unequal distribution of wealth during the 1920s, and the wide stock market speculation that happened toward the end of the 1920s. These factors, along with others, caused the American economy to turn upside-down. The roaring twenties was a time that the United States prospered greatly. The nations total income rose from $74.3 billion in 1923 to $89 billion in 1929. However, the benefits of the prosperity of the 1920s were not shared evenly among all Americans, and the maldistribution of income between the rich and the middle class grew throughout the decade. Two major reasons for the gap between the rich and the working class were the increased manufacturing output throughout this period and because the federal government favored business, which included the wealthy who put their money into these businesses. The growing gap between the wealthy and the middle class made the United States economy unstable. For the economy to function properly, total demand must equal total supply. In an economy with such an unequal distribution of income, it wasnt always likely that the demand would always equal the supply. Basically what happened in the 1920s was that there was…

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