: Do you know anyone who lived during the Great Depression? Have you talked with anyone from that era?
If you want to defend capitalism, sonny, I wouldn't suggest bringing up the Great Depression.
The depression was not something that happened to capital; it was something that happened to *labor*.
Remember Ayn Rand's sick fantasy about all the capitalists going on strike? *That* was the Great Depression.
Or, to put it another way...
During the Great Depression, the land was there (ready to grow, ready to yield resources); the workers were there (ready to work a good day's work); and the factories were there (ready to produce everything the nation needed).
The *only* thing that *wasn't* there was the capitalists.
They took their ball and went home to sulk.
I was there.
I was there---looking for work, ready to work---while the capitalists went on strike, sniveling about their overvalued stocks going belly up.
Me and my family nearly starved because of them.
"Because we may have been the victims of bad economies in the past, does it follow that America can never learn, can never profit by mistakes? Has the cry of 'danger ahead' been merely premature every time it has been uttered during the last half-dozen years---or has a new generalship of economic life in America found a way to make prosperity continuous? And after all what is so unthinkable about continuous prosperity?"
---From the *Wall Street Journal* 2 October 1929, p. 19.