We are lucky to be able to look at the past and see what has happened before to our economy and country. The great depression itself started in 1929 but by some estimates ended in 1933...There was a second recession in 1938 so some say that the Great Depression lasted from 1929 to the early 1940's however most scholars really put the end of most of the fundamental problems halted in 1933. So in a sense the greatest depression in the history of mankind only lasted 4 years. We are facing a crisis that many are quick to label the greatest danger since the Great Depression but is FAR from it.
When the Great Depression occurred economists had no real basis to compare that economic crisis. And because of that they advised many policies that inflamed the situation more. They also made great suggestions and policies that helped the country out of that Depression. Our current Economic Crisis is not much different from the Great Depression or all the other recessions this country has faced (roughly one every decade). We are in FAR better shape and we also have the benefit of proven policies that WORK and we know what does NOT work. I dont have any doubt in my mind that this recession will not reach the scale of the great depression, neither in terms of economic loss nor in terms of length. No one can tell but I'd say the worst hasn't come and next year will be our worse year yet. However within two to three years we will be back on the rise and within 5-7 we will be back at pre-crisis times. Unemployment will never hit 30% again like it did...although I think at maximum it could hit 15%.
There are always industries that thrive in economic crisis's and just because the majority of people are doing bad doesn't mean you have to.