Listen to the newest podcast by Moxie Labouche, author of Your Brain on Facts.
‘Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, Or Do Without’ my grandma would say. I thought it was a saying from her side of the family, but it was actually a slogan from WWII, encouraging the public to use fewer resources, so more could be diverted to the war effort. We’re all getting a taste of that as we’re hunkered down, unable to shop on the spur of the moment and much more limited in our choices when we do. Thankfully, we have precedent to fall back on. After all, people are still alive who made it through the Great Depression as children.
The roaring 20’s came to an abrupt stop with the Stock Market crash of 1929, which saw billions of dollars evaporate into thin air. The crash wasn’t the sole cause of the Great Depression– there were things like the Dust Bowl, wherein incorrect farming methods turned the fertile American plains into a desert– but it did act to accelerate the global economic collapse. By 1933, nearly half of America’s banks had failed, and nearly 30% of the workforce was unemployed. You had to make the most of what you had and you had to get good at that fast.