The Wall Street Journal takes a look at how a depression today would differ from “The Great Depression of the 1930s”, and tells us (my emphasis, subscription required):
The different structure of today’s economy means that a modern depression would differ from the Great Depression of the 1930s. Fewer than 2% of Americans working today have agricultural jobs, compared with one in five in 1930. Three-quarters of today’s workers are in service-related jobs, which tend to be more stable than manufacturing, compared with fewer than half in 1930.
And then there are the social-safety-net programs that emerged after the Great Depression to blunt the blows. […] With spending on food accounting for a little less than a tenth of a typical family’s disposable income today, compared with a little less than a quarter in 1930, a modern depression wouldn’t hit people in the stomach as the Great Depression did.
Today’s cutbacks would be for more discretionary purchases — cable television, iTunes songs and restaurant meals.
Oh no, Brer Fox! Not that Briar Patch! Please! Anything but that!