Found this at Capitol Hill Blue this morning.
Recession set to be longest of postwar period
By DEB RIECHMANN
Factory jobs disappeared. Inflation soared. Unemployment climbed to alarming levels. The hungry lined up at soup kitchens.
It wasn't the Great Depression. It was the 1981-82 recession, widely considered America's worst since the depression.
That painful time during Ronald Reagan's presidency is a grim marker of how bad things can get. Yet the current recession could slice deeper into the U.S. economy.
If it lasts into April — as it almost surely will — this one will go on record as the longest in the postwar era. The 1981-82 and 1973-75 recessions each lasted 16 months.
Unemployment hasn't reached 1982 levels and the gross domestic product hasn't fallen quite as far. But the hurt from this recession is spread more widely and uncertainty about the country's economic health is worse today than it was in 1982.
_In January, reports showed 207,000 manufacturing jobs vanished in the largest one-month drop since October 1982.
_Major automakers' U.S. sales extended their deep slump in February, putting the industry on track for its worst sales month in more than 27 years.
_Struggling homebuilders have just completed the worst year for new home sales since 1982.
_There are 12.5 million people out of work today, topping the number of jobless in 1982.
The 1982 downturn was driven primarily by the desire to rid the economy of inflation. To battle a decade-long bout of high inflation, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, now an economic adviser to President Barack Obama, pushed interest rates up to levels not seen since the Civil War. The approach tamed inflation, but not without suffering.
Hardest hit was the industrial Midwest; the Pacific Northwest, where the logging industry lagged from construction declines; and some states in the South, where the recession hit late.
Frustrated workers fled to the Sunbelt to find work. In Michigan, which led the nation in jobless workers, newspapers offered idled auto workers free "job wanted" ads in the classified section. Mortgages carried double-digit interest rates. When the 1982 recession ended, the national jobless rate had hit 10.8 percent.
Once again we find ourselves in a recession, which is looking more like a depression every day, which was created by the neo-fascist rethuglicans through tax cuts for the wealthy few and the removal of the controls which were placed on the banks and Wall Street to prevent such a thing from happening.