# Man uses mind-boggling math to argue we’re living through a worse crisis than the Great Depression

He alleges that Americans are being gaslit into thinking that they are lazy or expect too much.
PUBLISHED SEP 4, 2024

The Great Depression is referred to as "the worst economic downturn" in history not just for America but for the entire industrialized world. However, as per the math done by a TikTok creator, the current battle with inflation and poor wages marks the worst economic crisis of all time. Average Joe @averagejoegam3 on TikTok, compared income levels from back in the day and 2023, to further illustrate the issue.

In the viral video, the creator cautions that he is not sharing the information to hurt anyone or make anyone depressed. He alleges that Americans are being gaslit into thinking that they are lazy or expect too much.

He then says that the Great Depression has been referred to as the greatest economic downturn but he can show that things are worse in the current economic environment. To prove his point, he says he is going to take income figures from the worst year of the Great Depression, that is 1930, and compare them to the current income figures (2023).

He finds out that even in the worst economic crisis, an American made about \$4,887 on average per year. He then feeds the number to an inflation calculator to find out how much that would be in 2023. To his surprise, the number turns out to be \$88,888 after adjusting for inflation.

Joe then looks up the actual average income of an American which turns out to be \$31,133 as of 2019. Adjusting the same for inflation, the average income stood at \$38,066, about \$50,000 less in value than the income of an average American during the great depression.

With the numbers in front of him, the creator claims that it is the current economic situation is the worst in America's history and not the Great Depression. "We have the lowest purchasing power in history," he says. In the end, he goes on to appreciate everyone who is working hard full-time, putting food on the table, driving a car, and taking care of their family.

Viewers in the comments echoed Joe's sentiments and added their own observations to it. "the difference is, in the great depression, the rich lost everything too. now, the rich are fine, so it doesn't need recognizing," wrote user @budtheclyde

Several others continued to point out the differences between the 1930s and today. "and back then, most households only had 1 income.... nowadays you need 2 people making 2 incomes each," suggested user @theseeinghealer

For more such interesting analysis and content follow Average Joe @averagejoegam3 on TikTok.

Despite easing inflation and relatively low unemployment rates, consumers feel things are as bad as they could be. Creators and users on social media have shared several theories and coined the term "silent depression" for the current situation.

However, experts and journalists have dug into their claims and found their comparison to be flawed. In an article from the New York Times, reporter Jeanna Smialek pointed out that solid, reliable government data didn't really exist before 1940, thus, the numbers used by creators are from unreliable sources.

Jack Kelly, senior editor at Forbes, also noted that there are several factors to consider before comparing the standard of living as well.  Kelly argued that back then, things like Social Security, welfare, food stamps, and other such safety nets didn't exist and the lifestyle of people has also changed for the better.

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