Home Spiritmails
507de Spiritmail

The Economic Crash of 1929

Tuesday July 19 2005 12:13 IST

By Karmayogi

Seventy-six years ago, the New York Stock Exchange crashed. Its influence spread all over the world. Thousands of businesses and families were ruined worldwide. Unemployment that should not cross the mark of 10% touched 25% in the USA. Economists all over the world have intensely analysed the cause, but have not arrived at an answer satisfactory to them. It can very well be explained from the Theory point of view. Here, I would like to spotlight another dimension of Depression - Prosperity!

America is a country where statistics are available as to what a taxi driver earned half a century ago. In our country, we cannot know such figures, even about todays events. Below let me quote the facts about the two facets of the society, as reported in a book on American history: 1) Of the 86 legitimate theatres in New York City, only 28 had shows running; but ONeills Mourning Becomes Electra had sold out even its $6 seats; 2) About 1600 of the 20,000 taxis dropped out, but the rest were much smarter and cleaner as a result of intensified competition; 3) Both the Ritz Hotel and the Pierre had cut their lowest room rates to a humiliating $6 but the new Waldorf, charging the same as before, was packed. 4) The new Empire State Building had only rented a third of its rooms, but 550,000 people had already paid a dollar to go up to the top; 5) The big transatlantic liners were cutting their suite prices by a third, but whooppee cruises beyond the twelve mile limit ban on gambling were a roaring success. The book contains some more facts and concludes, the Depression was the best time to make money. If the crash had been a real one where the societys productive capacities sagged, we could not witness the above phenomenon of the lower sections of the population enjoying a Boom.

The crash was manmade consciously or unconsciously. One of my perennial arguments is society has an infinite power in potential. No society, it is my belief, can ever decline unless its ways of management strangles its sources of productive energies. It was a great truth in 1929. Half the world was ruined because of the crash. At such a moment, one section of the society exhibited the above vigour. In India, life is buoyant, society is on the move, all the springs of social energies are bursting forth. Every foreigner who comes here who has already visited India earlier is struck by the throbbing life. It is unmistakeable. Today India is invited to the G8 Summit in Scotland. India never had that position in the forum of international gatherings. The work done by the governments in the early decades of Independence and the sacrifice of millions of Indian patriots before 1947 are coming to fruition. This is an hour when we salute those heroes humbly and with patriotic gratitude. Long live Mother India.

Contact: info [@] sriaurobindo.nl