NOT YOUR GARDEN VARIETY DEPRESSION.
In a nutshell: the present crisis consists in a whole succession of crises imbricated like Russian dolls within each other, when they are not entangled in even more complex ways. Many of these crises are much graver than in those in the 1930s, because they belong to the philosophical, or very deep psychological, realms .
An advantage we have, though, is that we know how bad it went in the 1930s, and that the application of more brainpower and solidarity would have allowed us to go through, then… except for the problem there was with the basic mentality of all too many Germans, who, at the time, thought that war was a panacea… of course no such thing would happen again now that the USA, the dominant military power (just as Germany used to be the dominant military power), is led by a Nobel Prize.
The USA could start pulling out of its dive by acknowledging that American institutions and American individuals are not to big to fail, and are not too big to fault, and acting accordingly. That would be a significant difference with the Germany that flew into WWII as a butterfly of hubris into the flame of civilizational collapse.
The present crisis is way worse than just a financial crisis, such as the Great Depression of the 1930s. Even during that one, the median income over a period of, say, twenty years, always went up. But this is not the case now: the average real median income in the last 20 years has been, at best, stagnant, in the USA.
On top of the financial crisis, there is now a serious economic crisis. It is caused by several factors: the so called "globalization", caused by average developing country workers doing the same work at a very small percentage of the salary of the developed country workers, is part of it; another part is the collapse of lending, the usual problem in a big financial crisis. Nationalizing the management of the banks would have insured lending to the real economy, but, instead, the Obama administration used nationalization instead as a gift to the entire oligarchy which caused the crisis, thus comforting them in the errors of their ways.
On top of the economic crisis, there is such a deep corruption crisis that it has become a cognitive crisis.
Indeed, instead of calling bankers, "banksters", as F. D. Roosevelt did, Obama embraced them, calling Jamie Dimon, head of JP Morgan "my friend" and professing his admiration. Then Obama went on to make derogatory, nationalistic, hubristic declarations on the Swedish bank sector, celebrating the superiority of the American one, thus demonstrating no conceptual awareness.
This all the more remarkable that the bankers Roosevelt accused to be “banksters” were not the prime causal agents of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Instead, the crisis of 2008 was entirely caused by the bankers. Thus the 2008 bankers deserve much more than the 1933 bankers the title of “banksters”. And what do we observe?
Obama’s chief of staff got more than a 16 million dollar bribe in two years, between stints in various public-private banks. Summers and Geithner were on formidable payrolls of various financial conspiracies for years (Congressman Ron Paul and Al. want the Fed to reveal what it has been plotting about, year in, year out, and with whom).
On top of the economic crisis there are energy crisis and a CO2 crisis, entangled with it, which put the biosphere at bay. The encroaching water crisis is part of the energy crisis (a lot of energy could allow to desalinate and transport).
Finally there is a scientific and value crisis. We need more rationality to get out of all the crises, but all what the "Nobel Peace Prize" can propose, is the eternal peace of killing all his enemies, real or imagined, plus untold numbers of completely innocent people.
And "Nobel Eternal Peace Prize" kills people with robots, in video games, at a distance, without even bothering with any semblance of due process. "We kill who we please, therefore we work for peace" seems the new modus operandi of the USA.
In other words, we are observing a moral crisis, the total collapse of the most basic legal and moral orders, breaking through various moral floors that even the Nazis did not dare break through, officially speaking.
Some will scoff, others will scream: the Nazis did worse, they will gloat, in their naivety. Sure, they did worse, at the end of their tether. The Nazis cycled through: they had to swallow their own poison, they collapsed with the holocaust they had organized for themselves. The Nazis went criminally insane, because they were losing the war, and they had been losing the war all along. Hitler confided this to Goebbels, as early as before attacking the USSR. The Fuhrer said to his propaganda minister, that they had already committed so many crimes, they were condemned to win, or die.
All along, the Nazis, even Hitler himself, pretty much knew that it was curtains for them after France, Great Britain and their enormous empires, Commonwealths and influences, declared war on September 3, 1939. Hence their weird, hyper criminal rage, as early as 1939 (they bombed flour mills in Poland before winter, so that the Poles would starve to death).
The Nazis were despaired all the way down their ranks. Even, as they looked at the height of their glory, vanquishing France in May 1940, Nazi engineers had to resort to suicide charges, carrying high explosives on their backs, Jihad style, to break through fortifications held by a second rate French reserve division (the Nazi armor, army and air force were concentrating on this point of the front, and they had to break through, or die, because there was no coming back through one narrow Ardennes road, while losing hundreds of planes, as only a fraction of the French and British air forces had been engaged yet).
So the Nazis were desperate, all along; they knew they would lose the war, and their hatred was the only thing that could grow without bounds. Thus, what the Nazis did secretly in their despair, the holocaust, is another matter entirely, from the further moral collapse of killing arbitrarily for all to see, with obvious immoral arrogance. The crucial point about the Nazi extermination: it was secret.
U.S. terminator robots manned by underlings of "Eternal Peace" guy is an official extermination program all too many Americans approve, whether they like it or not, as they morally collapse down the black hole that is engulfing their decaying civilization.
If one compares with the early 1930s, one sees that the problem then, was that enough Germans had understood nothing about the philosophical shortcomings and errors of their society. That guaranteed a disaster. For reasons I will not get into here, the basic fascist attitude of Germany led, or pushed the USSR, Italy, Spain, Japan, and many other countries into somewhat similar fascisms, either by direct impulse, or reaction (the later, in the case of Stalin).
Right now, it’s the USA and its long encouraged killer boy, Muslim fundamentalism, which don’t get it. The fact that they fight each other is no encouragement: Stalin justified his ways, killing millions of Soviet citizens, to his colleagues, by what he saw as the future, coming extermination war with Germany (as it turned out, Stalin was right, in more ways than one!) Stalin even allied himself with German fascism, for tactical advantage (although not as long as Qaeda was allied with Washington).
Some Americans may scoff, seeing no Soviet Union for them to invade, but that is to forget that the Bush’s government financed the Pakistani thermonuclear bombs, AND that it will not take many Islamist bombs exploding in the USA to incite the USA to verse into total fascism, even at home, as a remedy…
So there is a lot of work to do, just to conserve the world, and the peace we have now, and we are not heading that way, as the deference with whom the financiers and their perverse tools (derivatives) have been treated as "Too Big To FAULT".
P/S: it will not escape the astute that German real median income had not gone up for 20 years, as Hitler rolled in…