Mark Perry has a great post, filled as usual with charts galore, comparing today’s economy with the Great Depression in bank failures; unemployment; GDP per capita; and the amount of income spent on food, clothing, and shelter. By the way, the 70s, 80s, and 90s were worse than today as well.
Alan Reynolds also writes that calling this the worst “economic” crisis since the Great Depression in nonsense; even calling this the greatest “financial” crisis is debatable, suggesting the Saving and Loans collapse of the 1980s was worse, but had little impact on the economy.
I’ll add a quote from Friedrich von Hayek, which seems apt given the present rhetoric:
‘Emergencies’ have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.