The 1920s Florida bubble was actually replicated around much of the world, as the ‘Californian Bungalow’ became an oft-replicated housing feature of Australia’s 1920s property bubble. The 1929 stock market collapse came later, following the collapse of real estate prices.
Just as America had its “roaring ’20s”, and ‘prosperity’ was evident to everyone except those who were ensnared in rapidly increasing poverty (inversely proportional to the speculative bubble), the US economy is again said to be healthy. But to what extent is it, really? Isn’t it once again an economy where banking and monopolies have done extremely well at the expense of the poor and a massively increasing number of the middle class? Is not the greater part of America struggling with extreme levels of private debt, many having to work at more than one job to survive?
The answer for those prepared to investigate more than superficially is a resounding “yes”.
GDP doesn’t tell us the tale of distribution. Nor does it distinguish between the mindless inflation of stock and real estate markets and genuine wealth creation.
A century later, we watch on as a repetition of the decay and mindless speculation of the 1920s stumbles towards its appalling conclusion.
Pass the popcorn.