Where my mother was raised, they ate potatoes, had re-constituted dehydrated milk, and relied on the government and charities to get by. She would get 1 pair of shoes for the entire year, her clothes became the hand - me - downs for her younger sisters.
My dad was in overalls through most of his childhood, and since he was raised on a farm, they grew what they ate.
Most of us living today didn't live through the Crash of 29, much less the Great Depression. That means that many of the stories of how people survived (and didn't survive) that period of U.S. history are either lost, or recorded. My parents were children of the Great Depression, and yes, I know many of their stories, such as my mother fainting on the street from hunger and how worried my maternal grandmother was that her oldest child was having to experience this.
This American Experience show from PBS is very good at explaining what happened that led to the Crash of 29. More on the Great Depression at a later date.
I've never thought of either one this way, but I totally get it.
I can also say how thankful I am to be in neither boat, but only because I was willing to make the changes in my life to decrease my spending and the blessing of a better paying job. I needed to trust God and take that step into the darkness on both.