Over The Last 10 Years The US Economy Has Grown At Exactly The Same Rate As It Did During The 1930s

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

Even though I write about our ongoing long-term economic collapse every day, I didn’t realize that things were this bad.  In this article, I am going to show you that the average rate of growth for the U.S. economy over the past 10 years is exactly equal to the average rate that the U.S. economy grew during the 1930s.  Perhaps this fact shouldn’t be that surprising, because we already knew that Barack Obama was the only president in the entire history of the United States not to have a single year when the economy grew by at least 3 percent.  Of course the mainstream media continues to push the perception that the U.S. economy is in “recovery mode”, but the truth is that this current era has far more in common with the Great Depression than it does with times of great economic prosperity.

Earlier today I came across an article about President Trump’s new budget from Fox News, and in this article the author makes a startling claim…

The hard fact is that the past decade’s $10 trillion in deficit spending has produced the worst economic growth as measured by Gross Domestic Product in our nation’s history.  You read that right, in the past decade our nation’s economy grew slower than even during the Great Depression. This stagnant, new normal, low-growth economy is leaving millions of working age people behind who have given up even trying to participate, and has led to a malaise where many doubt that the American dream is attainable.

When I first read that, I thought that this claim could not possibly be true.  But I was curious, and so I looked up the numbers for myself.

What I found was absolutely astounding.

The following are U.S. GDP growth rates for every year during the 1930s

1930: -8.5%
1931: -6.4%
1932: -12.9%
1933: -1.3%
1934: 10.8%
1935: 8.9%
1936: 12.9%
1937: 5.1%
1938: -3.3%
1939: 8.0%

When you average all of those years together, you get an average rate of economic growth of 1.33 percent.

That is really bad, but it is the kind of number that one would expect from “the Great Depression”.

So then I looked up the numbers for the last ten years

2007: 1.8%
2008: -0.3%
2009: -2.8%
2010: 2.5%
2011: 1.6%
2012: 2.2%
2013: 1.7%
2014: 2.4%
2015: 2.6%
2016: 1.6%

When you average these years together, you get an average rate of economic growth of 1.33 percent.

I thought that was a really strange coincidence, and so I pulled up my calculator and ran all of the numbers again and I got the exact same results.

The 1930s certainly had more big ups and downs, but the average rate of economic growth during that decade was exactly the same as we have seen over the past 10 years.

And of course the early 1940s turned out to be a boom time for the U.S. economy, while it appears that our rate of economic growth is actually slowing down.  As I noted yesterday, U.S. GDP growth during the first quarter of 2017 was just 0.7 percent.

But you don’t hear any talk like this on the mainstream news, do you?

Instead, they tell us that everything is just peachy.

I often wonder what things would be like right now if Barack Obama and his minions in Congress had not added more than 9 trillion dollars to the national debt.  By stealing all of that money from future generations of Americans and spending it now, Obama was able to artificially prop up the U.S. economy.  If we were able to go back and remove 9 trillion dollars of government spending from the economy over the past 8 years, we would be in a rip-roaring economic depression right now.  For an extended analysis of this, please see my previous article entitled “The Shocking Truth About How Barack Obama Was Able To Prop Up The U.S. Economy”

But even though we have been adding more than a trillion dollars to the national debt each year, and even though the Federal Reserve pushed interest rates all the way to the floor during the Obama era, the U.S. economy has not grown by three percent or more on an annual basis since 2005.

When you take an honest look at the numbers, there is no way that anyone can possibly claim that the U.S. economy is doing well.  The best that you can say is that we have been staving off a complete economic meltdown and another Great Depression, but of course the measures that our leaders have been taking to do this have just been making our long-term problems even worse.

I feel bad for President Trump, because he has inherited the biggest economic mess in U.S. history.  When we finally reach the point when it is impossible to artificially prop up the U.S. economy any longer, he is going to get most of the blame, but he won’t deserve it.

It is not going to be possible for Trump or anyone else to fix our system, because it was fundamentally flawed from the very beginning.  The Federal Reserve was designed to create an endless spiral of government debt, and since the day it was created the U.S. national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger and the value of the U.S. dollar has declined by about 98 percent.

If we truly want to fix the economy, the Federal Reserve must be abolished.  If I was President Trump, I would look to start issuing debt-free U.S. currency just like President Kennedy did in 1963 as soon as possible.

In addition, we need to push tax rates as low as possible.  Personally, I would like to see the day when the personal income tax is completely eliminated and the IRS is shut down.  The greatest period of economic growth in all of U.S. history was when there was no income tax and no Federal Reserve.  America once thrived in such an environment, and I believe that we can do it again.

Of course we need to also dramatically reduce the size and scope of the federal government.  Our founders intended to create a very limited federal government, but instead the left has just kept pushing to make it larger and larger.

Businesses all over America are being strangled to death by mountains of federal regulations, and if we could just get the government off of their backs the business community could start thriving again.  There are quite a few government agencies that could be shut down entirely, and I think that the EPA would be a good place to start.

Once upon a time the United States showed the world the power of free markets and capitalism, and if we want to make America great again, we should go back and do the things that made America great in the first place.

But would the American people be willing to go down that path?

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EmeraldWI's picture

All the more reason for WPA and CCC programs.

SWRichmond's picture

Behold Obama's recovery.  More for the rich and fuck everyone else.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

These numbers look suspiciously managed to me. But what do I know? I'm not a government genie-ass.

2007: 1.8%
2008: -0.3%
2009: -2.8%
2010: 2.5%
2011: 1.6%
2012: 2.2%
2013: 1.7%
2014: 2.4%
2015: 2.6%
2016: 1.6%

SMG's picture

It's worse than the depression after you subtract the real inflation numbers.

gm_general's picture

Apply an uncorrupted CPI to the GDP (and the actual adjustment they use is more muted than even the current CPI), and you will see now is much worse.

new game's picture

cherry pic those stats. lol. relevant though.

cept we could be transfering free shit for make work jobs that give these free shitters some self worth...

fuken loosers in congress. votes for free shit...

JRobby's picture

The only difference between the 1930's and now is:

Bigger GOVT:



   UI Insurance


   Sec 12

   Various freebies too numerous for this forum (hint)

Raging Debate's picture

JRobby - Big difference also then vs. now is outsourcing, wage arbitrage. We may not collapse completely as US is major food and now energy producer but best case is another lost decade, extended stagflation until wages rise and trade rebalances. My Grandfather was a bridge builder. He wound up going overseas to make bank during and after the Great Depression.

I have thought of the same but my skills are data and while there are some countries I may do better it is not enough to pull the wife away who is a Cardiac nurse with a great Monday - Friday 8-4 job. I would like to do it for the adventure and a bit better cultural and physical climate (hot here in Florida) but the woman feels safer here. I also wouldnt mind working out of an RV and seeing the country and she could do travel nursing but its not her thing.But she is a 5'10 sexy green eyed devil nurse and 13 years younger (im 46l so it isnt like life all sucks. 

 I would ove our country to do better but until the law applies equally it is going to be a tough slog. 

Yamaha's picture

Forget the stock market - the bond market is still headed to zero until the defaults start.  Then lookout....

man from glad's picture

We are living in another great depression. It is only masked by .Gov welfare, and endless printing of money. During the Great Depression the country had about 20% unemployment. And today about 20% of the population is taking .Gov assistance or program of some kind with 94 million not working. The difference is back then the dollar was backed by gold and the country had little debt and relatively good freedom of the people. So I think what comes next is going to be very bad indeed and something we have never seen before.

Life of Illusion's picture


People think asset reflation replaces industry growth, they actually except the fact gov financial expansion is a healthy economy and are at the “Debt Processing Plant” for handouts.

The average debt slave knows no different…….seriously!


What comes next we have seen, just not in usa….yet

JRobby's picture

Asset reflation only helps people with assets


Life of Illusion's picture


Take FED MBS purchases for example, reflated housing market using equity as ATM’s.


Home asset reflation equity extraction allows assholes to take paper money and spend in service economy creating service jobs for another poor asshole to survive. The service sector knows no different and believes a debt issued economy works.


Inflate until currency crisis.......

Rockatanski's picture

yep and if/and/or/when the government gravy train derails, there will be real zombies roaming the streets. everyone should be prepared for that.

anyone that thinks it'll never happen here will be the first to go. normalcy bias can be a real bitch.



ParkAveFlasher's picture

Gold was illegal to traffic back then.  Now, trafficking gold is simply discouraged via pricing mechanisms.

rf80412's picture

When gold is money, it needs to circulate and it needs to be protected againt speculation.

An economy on the gold standard would not be well-served by entities trying to engineer an artificial scarcity in order to ride rising prices into greater wealth and/or endlessly buying and selling gold back and forth in order to make money off the trade.

City_Of_Champyinz's picture

I hope that all of you are prepared...

peopledontwanttruth's picture

Ecclesiastes 7:4
New Living Translation (NLT)

4 A wise person thinks a lot about death,
while a fool thinks only about having a good time.

Raging Debate's picture

I like that scripture but prefer "everything in moderation" - Paul. You got to have a little fun on the ride. 

peopledontwanttruth's picture

I agree 100%. Life is one huge balancing act and your right moderation in all of things. While no one would actually pick a day for their death and especially if we'd enjoy it in great health and having all our hearts desires. It is wise to consider where we will spend our eternity. Funny the older you get with life's struggles and pains one looks forward to that life. Whatever God has in store will make this sickening world look like nothing. But I do enjoy my life and especially the simple things and glad I'm off the commercial treadmill mentality and emotionally. Sad we only learn this many times the older we get

peopledontwanttruth's picture

Good one copied and saved. Thanks

EmeraldWI's picture

While true, economic history seems to show that things go from bad to worse before they improve. Sadly, the debt problem may not have been a problem if it were described as an income problem instead. 90 million additional Americans paying a fair share of income in a progressive system from the first dollar would resolve the debt, SSI and Medicare problems. There will be no marching in the streets or gunfire. As the population grows toward one half billion, the Chinese (spy on you) system of controls seems evident. Wouldn't you think that McDonald's and/or Walmart workers would organize if it were allowed to happen? It isn't: they won't. Things are the way they are because that's the way they want it to be.

yogibear's picture

The Federal Reserve's snow-job continues. Elevate stocks at all cost.

SummerSausage's picture

Instead of shovels give them spoons!  Even more employment!

Arnold's picture

Which is the line for my bread?

Quantum Bunk's picture

Nothing new. The establishment claimed recovery all the way through


But I give up. Fuck the USD, fuck gold, fuck everyone fuck life

EmeraldWI's picture

I can't be that optimistic.

Thebighouse's picture

Take up golf...work at McDonalds just to see what it is like.

Quit focusing on this crap until you have a clear head.

And quit listening to other people's views.

They mean nothing.

Get a break.  Get rest.  Get hydrated. Take some walks and look at nature....

We are only here for a short while...so laugh at the struggle..and work your plan....your....plan.

If you need to amend the plan, then do it and keep moving forward.  

We all will be dead in God's time soon enough.  You are here to fulfill HIS plan.  So get at it!

SMILE a lot too!  Make the world a better place...and then, just give a whistle!

ToSoft4Truth's picture

Hookers and blow....  Hookers come at many price points and sometimes offer great advice for free. 

CJgipper's picture

 County Health clinic. 


And that one was free.

MrButtoMcFarty's picture


Liberal Progress.

factorypreset's picture

has nothing to do with liberal or conservative..and everything to do with
1) closing the gold window in 1971
2) using debt to hide crappy economy
3) offshoring manufacturing (and hence the jobs that go along with it)
4) the idea that inflation is a good thing

5) an imperialistic gov't/military flexing it's might (and our tax dollars) all over the world...
6) socializing losses, privatizing profits of TBTF 'institutions' such as banks, insurance companies, and auto mfgs - i.e., 'bailouts' and not allowing the TBTF to fail and correct the distortions in the economy
7) repeal of glass steagall (which contributed to 6)
8) sub prime lending (which was a result of 7 and a large cause of 6)

9) consumerism based economy

shall i go on??

but in a nutshell:  crony capitalism

rf80412's picture

I'd only quibble with #9.  If there's far less demand for goods and services relative to supply, then in order to have a robust economy, you're talking about exports.  Exports are good in and of themselves, but an economy based on exports can tend to suppress wages and standards of living.  Even China is trying to break away from the export-led growth model and promote consumption as part of their overall development strategy.

And if your exports are disproportionately low-margin bulk goods - such as raw materials (ores, lumber, bulk fibers) or food - then you don't actually make a lot of money off your exports, and the value created still leaves the country.  This is the poverty trap that a lot of ex-colonies find themselves in, having been set up to supply European factories with raw materials.  Better to consume your own raw materials and food and try to export high-margin products, like manufactured goods or services.

LawsofPhysics's picture

There are over 7 BILLION people (and growing) on the planeet all competing for a higher standard of living, there is plenty of demand for the resources, energy, and technology that make that possible!

factorypreset's picture

I meant more in the sense that we need to keep buying crap we don't need in order to sustain the economy.  How many TVs, iPhones, sneakers, clothing, etc..does one need to survive? 

Dr. Acula's picture

The right quantity to compare is log((1+X1)...(1+XN))/N not (x1+...+xN)/N

If my money grows by 100% and the I lose 100%, I am penniless. It's not an average 0% change.

csmith's picture

You are correct, but compounding the numbers instead of arithmetic average makes little difference:

CGR for 1930s is 0.97% annual growth.

CGR for 2007-2016 is 1.25% annual growth.

CJgipper's picture

And then adjust for inflation, even using the .gov manipulated CPI, and 2007-2016 is below the 1930's.

Bill of Rights's picture

But the Obama administration spent so much money...Oh wait I mean they Laundered so much money to their Special Pet projects ( Transgender bathrooms ) and their banker buddies.


No wonder why Odumbass is spending so much time out of the States all that money must be sitting nice and hidden in Foreign banks...


Funny how him and his Boyfriend left office with a Massive increase in their Net Worth...Ya ya speaking fees and Books right?...Sure go with that.

buzzsaw99's picture

I often wonder what things would be like right now if Barack Obama and his minions in Congress had not added more than 9 trillion dollars to the national debt....


You will never know because Trump will be no different.

Bill of Rights's picture

Really so at which Point does Trump start spending like Obama did in his first term, you know all those bailouts...I know I know It was Bushes fault.

SummerSausage's picture

You should try some real world math. In the first  4 months Obama ADDED $500 billion to the deficit as America continued to bleed jobs.  

In Trump's first 4 months he REDUCED the deficit by $100 billion and announced the addition of over 1 million jobs.

Covfete, bitchez.

cesarsp_us's picture

Peak AmeriKa bitches

ToSoft4Truth's picture

Nice.  This means we'll all be economically thriving soon.  Double thriving if you made it through the Obama years with any cash. 

trillion_dollar_deficit's picture

Real Growth:

1930-39 = 20.3%

2007-16 = 12.0%

GlassHouse101's picture

But, but, the markets though?