The Great Depression is an event in our nation's history that dramatically changed the lives of America’s people in the 1930s and beyond. After a decade of excess, prosperity and happiness, the Depression threw our nation into a spiraling decline, the likes of which we had never seen. Hints of these difficult times have been experienced again more recently as our country battled through the Great Recession. A number of similarities and differences between the Depression of the 1930s and the Recession of the late 2000s decade are noteworthy. The Great Depression altered American social fabric in the 1930s greatly. With unemployment peaking at 25% in 1933 (Beyer), a large percentage of people in our country were struggling to provide for themselves and their families. As a result, crime rates soared. With many unemployed women, prostitution was on the rise. Suicide rates rose dramatically. Alcoholism became rampant, and many people switched from using expensive cigars to cheaper, but less safe, cigarettes. Enrollment in college dropped dramatically, with many schools shutting down completely. Changes in the areas of wealth, education, rate of employment, crime and regional values dramatically the social fabric of our country in the 1930s and beyond. The economic and social climates of the 1920s and the 1930s were dramatically different in many ways. In the year 1920, the average net income was $3,269.40 (IRS 1920). In 1934, the average net income was $3,125.42 (IRS 1924). A difference of $143.98 may not seem like much, but it was quite significant back then. Adding to this difference is the fact that unemployment rates in the 1930’s were dramatically higher than during the 1920’s. In the 1930s, The boom and mass production of consu... ... middle of paper ... ...d never seen. We have experienced these difficult times more recently as our country battles through the Great Recession. We can learn from the similarities and differences between the Depression of the 1930s and the Recession of the late 2000s decade so we can mitigate devastating economic downturns in the future. Works Cited Beyer, Lisa. "THEN & NOW: THERE'S WORK TO BE DONE." Workforce Management 91.7 (2012): 29. ProQuest. Web. 8 June 2014. "STATISTICS OF INCOME FOR 1920." The Bulletin of the National Tax Association 8.9 (1923): 2. IRS. Government of the United States of America. Web. 8 June 2014. "STATISTICS OF INCOME FOR 1934." The Bulletin of the National Tax Association 8.2 (1936): 5. IRS. Government of the United States of America. Web. 8 June 2014. Johnson, Eddie B. "Bill Will Restore Trust in System." Roll Call May 10 2010. ProQuest. Web. 8 June 2014 .