Economic lessons learned from the past

Fred Weyand
Fred Weyand

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

KAHALA (KHNL) - As we wait for the economy to improve, some of us may find comfort by looking at lessons learned from the past.

All the troubling financial news can be downright depressing.

Some are even comparing it to the Great Depression.

But even as bad as it was then, there is some good that came from that very dark economic time.

People losing their homes and banks being shut down are the dark times of today.

But these times are very familiar to those who lived through the Great Depression.

When the loses were even greater.

"My grandfather lost the bank, the hotel, the movie theatre. My dad and mother, they didn't know where their next meal was coming from," said retired US Army General, Fred Weyand.

Weyand keeps up on the current recession but remembers 79 years ago when unemployment soared to 25 percent, and people struggled to feed their families.

But it was during that time, that he and many others also learned the value of money.

"You'd shine shoes on a saturday night, you had a paper route, you do anything you could - if someone would pay you 50 cents"

The Great Depression taught many to rely on themselves and to help one others in the community -- because that was all they had.

"Like today, we think the government is out to give us a helping hand, back then there was no helping hand"

This time around, there are government safeguards to protect bank deposits, and a massive effort to turn the tide of this recession.

And when things finally improve, we all may have learned an important lesson from this painful period in our economy.

"The value of money, the value of saving for a rainy day"

Already we're seeing signs that people are saving more. The average personal savings rate which was below 1 percent for years, has now climbed to around three and a half percent.