- 13 million people became unemployed.
- Industrial production fell by nearly 45% between the years 1929 and 1932.
- Home-building dropped by 80% between the years 1929 and 1932.
- From the years 1929 to 1932, about 5,000 banks went out of business.
- By 1933, 11,000 of the US' 25,000 banks had failed.
- In 1933, 25% of all workers and 37% of all non-farm workers were unemployed.
- Between 1929 and 1932 the income of the average American family was reduced by 40%.
President Roosevelt instinctively knew this fear was our ultimate undoing, and addressed it in this manner:
Fear can and will impact every aspect of our lives, whether it be our marriages, our children, our careers, or our family finances. Faith is our only hope out of the wilderness of fear.
"This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.
In such a spirit on my part and on yours we face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material things. Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone.
More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.
Yet our distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts. Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered because they believed and were not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for. Nature still offers her bounty and human efforts have multiplied it. Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply..."
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