Each of us “wants what's coming to them”. It's just human nature that we expect our lives to have progressed by a certain age. When that measure of success doesn't happen we get angry and increase our level of forcefulness to achieve it. During the New Deal, as the government had limited dollars to allocate, people fought over scraps. Because the squeaky wheel gets the grease, the people who have the ear of those who administer the doling out of money, will get more.
Since there often inequalities in any economic system, despite having jobs, people will fight for more. Expect to see more of this among unions or other organizations to make certain that the political groups that they represent get their “fair share”.
Since racial inequalities are always going to be present, expect ethnic groups who don't receive public assistance in whatever proportion is fair, to vie for government assistance.
Since the composition in a post-Christian society has changed, expect groups that are rising in political power to get their “fair share”.
Because food can be raised in abundance in certain areas, but not in others, crop surpluses were wasted in the Great Depression since the prices were so low. Similarly every other good which will be needed as critical to survivability, will also perform based upon the vagaries of chance, the productivity of the people producing them, and luck.
Since some goods are perishable, the minimal amount of time to ship goods will be needed to route supplies. Since goods created in one area may be all the way across the country, minimizing shipping times, but minimizing waiting and inventory times will be critical too. We can't waste diesel to ship something quickly and then let it just sit there. It needs to move on to the people who need it.
Giving out public money is terribly inefficient due to administrative costs and analysis. Less than 70% of the money gets to the people and that is unacceptable. The most ideal way of creating wealth is offering people skills to work jobs which are needed, while offering them jobs which they have a passion and an ability in. Coupling personal responsibility in exchange for this assistance is far better than a low pay, low skill, part-time job (the precise kind of jobs offered under the New Deal).
Since world supply chains and credit will no doubt break down, we should be seeing how we can be invest intracountry to make our own situation more stable. Interfering with other nations when we are broke is stupid. The worst thing we could do is enact protectionist trade tariffs- that was tried just before and during the Great Depression. But we must reinvest in our own country to provide local materials (and hence reduce shipping costs) plus put people to work transforming them into needed goods.
Since crops and supplies in a capitalist society are based upon supply and demand, then in an interim, we'll need to guarantee a set price for a good until the market stabilizes. The danger is artificially boosting prices and creating inflation. This means instead we need to guarantee that a certain amount of trade will occur based upon whatever can be produced within that area, and not boost the money supply.
For example, in the late nineteen forties, it became apparent to the American government that Japan might lose the war. Their country was economically devastated by trying to compete against the other Allied nations military and guerillas groups from areas like the Philippines. Some prophetic government officials could see that the Japanese if defeated wouldn't be able to feed themselves for a time. That kind of chaos would lead to communism being accepted in Japan, and that just wouldn't do after spending so much money to fight them.
One idea was to raise soybeans in the US. Soybeans make up a large component of the Japanese diet. It's used in just about everything, much as wheat or corn is used in the American diet. How in the world would you get farmers to raise a crop unless you guarantee a price for trying something experimentally? It worked. The US government agree to pay American farmers a set price and they carefully planted and created a crop that to this day is sold profitably to the Japanese who can't raise enough based on living area.
In fact, as a result of this, some researchers found in the last thirties and early forties that soybeans could produce plastics. We have to be careful with this kind of concept. We needlessly are using up wheat to make ethanol and not efficiently and perhaps driving up wheat prices when people could eat that wheat. Still new products spur on research on ways to deal with the surplus of them.
If we have another great Depression, we can't let the mistakes of making lots of oranges or cotton or really any other crop fail due to prices. The average price loss during the Depression was 60% and that is criminal when we can guaranteed prices initially. It's a risk, but a statistical one based upon historical data. Even though some areas will no doubt not produce, others will to balance it out.
Those crops will act as initial stabilizers on commodities. Speculators have been driving up prices. It's understandable to some degree as less farms exist each year, less people become farmers, and as the dollar is devalued by deficit spending. However if we concentrate on stabilizing our own economy and spend less time trying to build up other nations economies, then we have a much better way to initially feed people.
When crop prices fell, the farmers couldn't pay their mortgages. Since the banks has speculated by lending out 10 times reserves, and since the dollar was back by 40% gold, then when the market crashed, the banks called in mortgages early. This forced people off their farms and homes. See how how interconnected it is? Today we lend out much higher amounts, perhaps 20x reserves and no metal based currency. It should be noted while all economic problems are complex that China had backed their currency with silver and as a result didn't have the same issues. But that's one portion of the pie, and China isn't the USA.
We have many experts today on best practices for sustainable agriculture. As much as possible, if we can foster a new spirit of pioneering the land, and re-offer the old homestead acts, and couple that with ways to continuously improve the food supply over a set period, then we can boost production, boost security, feed the people, and most importantly, create wealth and stability by sponsoring land/home ownership and not giving people money.
All plans, unless they create wealth in some way, should be thrown out, or made very interim projects. Otherwise it's literally pouring money down the drain.
What's the American Way? Is it to concentrate wealth in the hands of a few? No. Capitalism is great because the idea is that those who better themselves and build wealth, buy more things and usually reinvest in their businesses for the employment of those who don't want businesses. The more that one business controls the market, the more political power they have, and the more the mega-business and the owners become more important than the people. That system has failed us.
Microloans are an economic program that exists in 3rd world nations. In this example, an expert comes in to teach how to raise rabbits. Rabbits are prolific and produce lean meat, fur, and good manure which can increase the richness of the soil and can be utilized in other permaculture ways (like composting and raising earthworms). This expert gives a few rabbits, tiny seed money usually, and advice. The first test group raises the rabbits, and makes a surplus, which they sell, and then they pay off the loan. In most cases the most successful ones end up administering the program and teach people what mistakes they made, and what happened as a result, and collaborate with the initial expert to fine tune the system for that region. Then subsequently the profits they make are their own. As an agreement to be in the program, the participants agree to return some portion of the profit back into the program. Some people will fail, but historically people for the most part succeed. They'll be able to pay back through money, giving rabbits to new farmers, scientific research, running a newsletter or website with the information, teaching, or being officers in giving out tiny loans for initial start ups. The recipients become the administrators who are responsible for the programs success to save their communities.
Rather than feed a few people with meat, we create a controlled program so people can raise their meat. If they fail, then the administrators and the whole group work to help them succeed. If they continue to fail then other steps are taken to find a better program for them to be in. No continuous amount of government aid comes to those who fail. Since the burden of responsibility, a chance to feed their family, and a chance to make a profit is on those individuals, then it's in their best interest. We're giving people survival skills.
It's hard for a few people to raise enough rabbits to feed a lot of diverse people over a diverse area. It's relatively easy to raise local rabbits on low cost feed and not have major transportation costs. However some people will undoubtedly end up raising a kind of rabbit that tastes better or has better meat or is really good at raising them. That person can become far more successful and could end up buying several smaller rabbit farms. That's capitalism.
Using old systems of using artificial ways like genetic modification to produce a rabbit that produces more meat costs a lot of R&D. It's doubtful that such ways are sustainable. Having a foreign reliance on oil to use as fertilizers to grow more crops per area is ultimately akin to slavery.
Here's another example. Many people in a major depression won't be able to afford natural gas and electricity to heat their homes. While people can purchase a wood stove to do this, and because it's sustainable, some might suggest it. However because of technology, we've discovered a relatively new method called a rocket mass stove. This system burns incredibly efficiently versus a wood stove using as little as 1/9 of the same amount of wood. The system can be used to cook on and produce hot water. It has a very pleasant release of heat. It produces low carbon emissions. It uses inexpensive local materials. It requires little finesse to produce. It is in every way an adaptation of old technology that uses far less to create that trying to weld up a better wood stove that requires foundries, and technical skill, and specialized materials. Who knows if we put some of best young minds on the problem what they can come up with?
This means less wood is needed to replant as an energy source. It can be taught and made with a little guidance by almost everyone. This means not stripping out valuable trees that prevent erosion. It means far less need to come up with new ways of producing some of the natural gas (like fracking). It's minimally polluting. The very same kinds of microloans could be created to build them, teach people, produce resource websites, and administer it. Then those who benefit would be responsible for paying back for the government's initial investment, but it would dramatically cut down on creating power plants.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with infrastructure projects to rebuild America. What tends to happen is ridiculous waste as the projects are projects just to be temporarily boosting the economy in one area. Instead we should be using the best permaculture ways to create sustainable buildings, bridges, and whatever to improve existing and crumbling cities.
Very successful simple homes are built today based on the tested principles of Habitat for Humanity. I suggest we teach people to work in creating small but very energy efficient homes to get people into their own homes. Everyone may not like these homes. That's fine, it's a starter home intended to get people back on their feet, in stable shelters, that cost less to heat, and use less water, and produce less sewage. Rainwater systems would be installed to help that small home owner garden at the same time.
We put our best minds on developing these tiny homes. Students have long running contests rather than going through pointless exercises and create working plans to develop them. Those who significantly create better homes have their student loan amounts reduced or eliminated.
Anyone who gets to live in these homes will have to pay by working in some job to create something to helps house another. We do this only for a period to create stability. Certain workers will have a natural knack in construction. Using talented construction workers who unify their methods to most efficiently build these, plus apprentice new workers who show skills, will revitalize the construction industry.
What about mortgages? Well unique sweat equity loans will be created. Those same bankers instead of taking in money and loaning it out at 20 x deposits will help administer the sweat equity paperwork. Most people who are prospering, move every 7 years. If the program succeeds, then the difference in the amount of sweat equity is subtracted from the mortgage and the sale of the property and whatever profit is given to the former deed owner. We're creating wealth. Those who decide to work more hours can apply more sweat equity. It's analogous to prepaying on your mortgage, and therefore increasing the amount of wealth from the sale. Since some areas are growing and people will want to move to those areas, or the house has more permaculture on it to raise it's value, then the home price could be far more and generate more profit.
Of course a home could decline in value too, but usually this happens as a result on not taking care of a property. In that event a penalty is placed upon the mortgage based upon average wear and tear. Those folks are penalized by less profit...it's all up to them. This peer pressure will tend to foster cooperation as those local mortgage owners who better the overall community by making it more stable will see more income from future home sales.
These won't be luxury homes, and no one is forced to live in them. They could definitely be used as retirement homes as people get older and need less space and simpler homes to maintain. For them, it will be an interim before perhaps living in a rest home. Other uses might be as group homes for people in other than single families. Perhaps two single mothers would share certain homes. Perhaps mildly mentally challenged people would live in these permaculture homes as ways to participate and have skills and provide some of their own food too. Since often mentally challenged people are wards of the state, money could be saved by the residents helping to create their own food.
Perhaps they might house college students instead of paying for expensive dinky dormitories? Most students want off campus housing. There's a college in Kentucky called Berea. There people work for their college education by performing a task for the college community, using the local skills of the community around them, acting as a living museum of the culture, and as a result have less and perhaps no student loan.