The more things change… Meet the new boss? Bah, I’m lousy at writing catchy headlines. Bottom line: 80 years ago Americans were dealing with corrupt bailouts and rampant cronyism, just like we are today. In a way, the cartoons below, from 1929-1932, convey this more clearly than charts or old news clips ever could.

This first editorial piece, Recovery Package by John Baer, is from 1931. Interestingly enough, Mr. Baer is the man credited with coining the term “New Deal”:

pigs at the trough

Billions of Deficit, Billions of Government Spending, by Herbert Johnson:


A Normal Stock Market, Just What He Wanted. Wish denied. This cartoon is from 1929. Artist: William Kemp Starrett, appeared in Life Magazine:


Gosh Joe, There Ain’t No Justice! By Ralph Fuller, Feb 1931:


The Trojan Horse at Our Gate, by Carey Orr. Good example of early New Deal criticism:


Come away Junior, while Daddy enjoys his business slump:


With this depression on, Maria, I s’pose we ought to go out tonight and consume something.


Update: Check out part 2 of cartoons from the great depression.

More toons and sources:

Updated 8/11/2009 – Formatting and clarification.