Friday, March 8, 2013

The Dust Bowl | Economic History Services

The Dust Bowl | Economic History Services

Despite the multiple uses of the phrase "Dust Bowl" it was an event which occurred in a specific place and time. The Dust Bowl was a coincidence of drought, severe wind erosion, and economic depression that occurred on the Southern and Central Great Plains during the 1930s. The drought – the longest and deepest in over a century of systematic meteorological observation – began in 1933 and continued through 1940. In 1941 rain poured down on the region, dust storms ceased, crops thrived, economic prosperity returned, and the Dust Bowl was over. But for those eight years crops failed, sandy soils blew and drifted over failed croplands, and rural people, unable to meet cash obligations, suffered through tax delinquency, farm foreclosure, business failure, and out-migration. The Dust Bowl was defined by a combination of:
  • extended severe drought and unusually high temperatures
  • episodic regional dust storms and routine localized wind erosion
  • agricultural failure, including both cropland and livestock operations
  • the collapse of the rural economy, affecting farmers, rural businesses, and local governments
  • an aggressive reform movement by the federal government
  • migration from rural to urban areas and out of the region
This also occurred as part of the Iv-B economy of the roaring 20s, business grew exponentially along with weak I-O policing. Fraudsters as Iv-Oy sold land to R-B farmers that historically didn't have enough rain for farming, the result was destroying natural vegetation for new crops that failed producing dust storms with a loss of topsoil. Some abandoned these farms returning it to being G public land again, for many they were on the G-Gb fence where it was barely worth owning as Gb private property. 

This is like in the Roy animal kingdom where R prey might overeat V natural vegetation beyond its ability to maintain normal growth, this results in collapse of the Biv vegetation and chaotic collapse of the R animals as well as the Roy food chain depending on them. In poor economies a similar process occurs, the Biv capitalistic system is like vegetation in areas with few resources. Roy animals can easily overeat them creating a dustbowl or grasslands instead of a forest. The Biv businesses become attacked by Roy criminals or bad debts so they lose money and die out like the Biv forest leaving a grassland of small and poor businesses or none at all in an economic dustbowl.

The Dust Bowl on the Great Plains coincided with the Great Depression. Though few plainsmen suffered directly from the 1929 stock market crash, they were too intimately connected to national and world markets to be immune from economic repercussions. The farm recession had begun in the 1920s; after the 1919 Armistice transformed Europe from an importer to an exporter of agricultural products, American farmers again faced their constant nemesis: production so high that prices were pushed downward. Farmers grew more cotton, wheat, and corn, than the market could consume, and prices fell, fell more, and then hit rock bottom by the early 1930s. Cotton, one of the staple crops of the southern plains, for example, sold for 36 cents per pound in 1919, dropped to 18 cents in 1928, then collapsed to a dismal 6 cents per pound in 1931. One irony of the Dust Bowl is that the world could not really buy all of the crops Great Plains farmers produced. Even the severe drought and crop failures of the 1930s had little impact on the flood of farm commodities inundating the world market.

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