Effect of the Great Depression on Different Economic Classes
On October 29, 1929, the stock market collapsed starting off a decade of hard times. The money of people who invested in stock disappeared. According to History.com, 15 million americans were unemployed in the US because of the Great Depression. This crash was seen and felt by the people of Maycomb County in Harper Lees novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Although every class.
During the Great Depression, the poor like farmers had a hard time finding money. This was apparent in To Kill a Mockingbird. Certain families like the Cunninghams did not have enough money to pay for certain services like hiring a lawyer or delivering a baby. Even Atticus explains to Scout that the crash hit them the hardest(p.27). This was clear as the Cunninghams paid Atticus with what they had(p.28). Poor people like the Cunninghams had a difficult time making money. Farmers were given an even harder chance to make money because of the Dust Bowl.
On top of the Great Depression, farmers had to deal with the Dust Bowl. Their only source of revenue were their crops, but then it was wiped out by a drought. Due to their loss of crops, farmers needed a new way to make money. Academic. Mu.edu states that the average net earning for a migrant farmer was $110 in 1933 compared to the $40, 000 a farmer makes on average today. As a result, they went into cities to find jobs causing more competition for employment. This just made finding a job even harder for the unemployed because now there was a new wave of people coming into cities in search of jobs.
The middle class was hit just as hard as the bottom class. According to Encyclopedia.com, the average income of a family in 1933 dropped from $2, 300 in 1929 to $1, 500, a staggering 40 percent. On top of that, when the stock market crashed, 3-4 million middle class americans had invested in stock. All of their investments vanished in a moments notice. This makes life even harder as they do not have enough to pay for food, houses, and necessities. Most of these families would not have been able to keep their house and put food on the table. Losing 40 percent of their income would have devastating consequences. If people in the middle class today lost 40 percent of their income, there would be resentment towards the government for allowing this to happen. The government cant allow countless families to fall into poverty.
A study by the American College Personnel Association found that during the Great Depression, 21, 974 men and women that had degrees across 54 colleges did not have a job. Almost 22, 000 hardworking students with a degree were not employed. All of their hard work went down the drain because the Great Depression. The future of the US were not off to a good start because the Great Depression lowered employment rates.
As to the rich people, some were affected big time by the Great Depression while some were not affected. The effect of the Great Depression is seen in To Kill a MockingBird when Atticus says that nickels and dimes were hard to come by for doctors and dentists and lawyers. Even for people studying for multiple years and becoming doctors a lawyers, it still was hard to find money. According to Jim Watkins of Quora.com, those wealthy whose wealth was all in the stock market lost everything when the stock market crashed. This means that the people who got rich off of the stock market became poor because all that stock became worthless.
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