The Way We Live Now: grasping for the worst case scenario. We can't help it. Comparing our own situation to the Great Depression helps us to maintain the illusion that it can't get any worse. Simultaneously, we sink deeper. Deeper.
USA Today notes the trend of every economist saying how we're just as fucked as the Great Depression people were and asks, "Why all the hand-wringing over the '30s?" We're no "credentialed" economists, but we'll take a crack at that one: it's because we're fucked. Kind of like people were in the '30s.
Let's just do a brief rundown (or "fundown," for those positive thinkers out there) of our situation. Ireland on the verge of collapse? Check. New York City blighted by blight? Check. Taking everything away from the poor Cajuns and moving them off to, I don't know, Kansas or some shit? Check. "Investing" untold money and countless hours in "job training" for a "new career" only to find that there are no new careers, outside of getting other people to pay you to train them for jobs that don't exist? Check. Cities "renting" police forces, a concept almost too scary to contemplate in full? Check.
The possible sale of Benihana? That, too, is a check.
In short, precisely the same things that were happening back then, in the 30s, after the stock market crash and all that, more or less. Look it up in a book, if you can find one from back then. Comparing ourselves to Depressionistas is just the first step. The second, most crucial step will be to create "another economics"—an economics that values workers, and cooperation, and human rights. And also one that gives us all lots of money, again. That shit would really come in handy.