Take a snapshot and there’s 15 million people on welfare in the United States in 1933, That was about 18% of the population- but that’s just at one moment in time. Poverty was sweeping across the country like a searchlight. It could find you and light you up for years, or only for a few months. I don’t have a statistic for it, but the total number of people who ever needed welfare over the course of the depression was certainly much higher than 15 million. I’d guess somewhere between a quarter and half the population.
And even that wouldn’t begin to touch the number who felt the hard times. Millions were living rough looking for work and didn’t fit into the system. But that old entrepreneurial spirit could pull you through! You might have a guitar to sell that could help keep you going- although at 15 cents for a pack of twenty, you’d better kick that smoking habit. Wait- isn’t that Don Draper?
There’s dinner. The cost of a pack could get you a nice bar-b-q sammy, but then, coffee and cigs could get you through a couple of meals alright. I haven’t calculated stuff like the price of beans and bread, but I’d assume you could feed yourself for around half the cost of counter food- provided you had a campfire to cook it on.
This book has been around. That socialism stuff looks pretty good when capitalism crashes. No wonder farmers are murdering striking workers- fear (or slavery) is the only way to get ’em to toe the line. Poor old Huey would soon be murdered too- but at least he got a couple of bridges named after him.
Finally, compared to free stylin’ New York City, San Francisco is all tight, with numbered badges for its junk gatherers.
it may be junk, but you can get it free here.