When following coverage of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill (let us call it the
“Oil  Slick”),  I  cannot  help  but draw comparisons to the Dust Bowl of the
1930s,  which  exacerbated and prolonged the Great Depression. Both natural
calamities  occurred  during periods of economic weakness, characterized by
high  unemployment  and  sluggish  or  negative  growth.  Both  occurred in
relatively  impoverished  areas of the country where wealth is dependent on
natural  resources  (agriculture for the Dust Bowl, fishing/tourism for the
Oil  Slick).  Those  who  will be directly impacted are people who are most
vulnerable to any sort of unanticipated calamity.
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