This article by Peter Schiff is a good read. Peter Schiff understands economics and knows how to communicate it. He knows how to break it down into simple examples. I would not use Schiff for investment advice for short-term investing, but then again, there are very few people who are good speculators in the short-term. Listen to Schiff's analyses for your long-term investments. He understands Austrian economics and he articulates well for anybody to understand. His predictions about the possible collapse of the dollar are worth listening to.
In this article, Schiff does a good analysis of what happened during the 1930's and the 1970's. Pay particular attention to the 1970's. While anything can happen and our situation is unique right now, the 70's are a better comparison because of the world we live in today. The country was completely off the gold standard after 1971 and the FDIC has been existent since the 30's. While our current economic woes may be a combination of the two time periods, there is definitely more in common with the 70's. Unlike the 30's, there won't be massive runs on banks that lead to a contraction of fractional-reserve lending (and deflation) because of the FDIC and the government's willingness to bail out the big banks.
Anyway, Schiff's article gives a good presentation on the cycles within a recession/depression. It is common to see wild swings in both directions. There will always be winning investments and losing investments. It is just a matter of picking the winners by picking the long-term trend.