Unemployment in the US was about 30%, crop prices plummeted and global construction halted. All those distant black and white pictures of average folk covered in dirt and starving to death during non-war times in developed nations were likely taken during the 1930's. Ugly things happen when financial markets crash, very ugly things that most dramatically affect the poor and average gal.
So when a recent report states that the income gap, or the grand canyon that a person must jump to go from rich to poor, is widening. From 2009 until 2012 the wealthiest folks aka the "top 1%" saw their income grow by more than 30 percent and the rest of the United States population saw a growth of less than 1/2 percent. This is often partly attributed to the fact the the average American is not invested in the stock market and as world financial markets improve, those reaping the benefits are the ones who already had the financial wherewithal to wait it out or reinvest.
The Associate Press States:
"The top 1 percent of American households had pretax income above $394,000 last year. The top 10 percent had income exceeding $114,000.
The income figures include wages, pension payments, dividends and capital gains from the sale of stocks and other assets. They do not include so-called transfer payments from government programs such as unemployment benefits and Social Security.
The gap between rich and poor narrowed after World War II as unions negotiated better pay and benefits and as the government enacted a minimum wage and other policies to help the poor and middle class.
The top 1 percent's share of income bottomed out at 7.7 percent in 1973 and has risen steadily since the early 1980s, according to the analysis."