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Did FDR end the great depression?


cooltigger21

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I briefly mentioned recently that the new deal, instead of ending actually prolonged the depression. There was typical derision from the usual suspects. This particular article is but one of many that dispels the myth of the new dea. This is important simply because of the current economic situation and the policies proposed to deal with it. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304024604575173632046893848

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"Excess profits tax." Reading that makes me cringe. Folsom's "New Deal or Raw Deal" is a brilliant takedown of FDR and his legacy of statist failure. Check it out if you haven't already.

The fact that we're still hailing FDR as a hero just befuddles me to no end. He was a thief, a liar, and a thoroughly reprehensible human being.

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And I was accused of being a revisionist over the Nukes.

Bad Hoover

Good FDR

Stick with the program

Give it a few more years and the right will be telling us it was Reagan that ended the Great Depression. :-\

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If you read "The Forgotten Man" by Amity Shlaes, you will realize that the depression was prolonged. The United States came out of the depression long after Europe.

The other tidbit was that industry forced Roosevelt to relax his fiscal policies so that we could produce the armaments needed to win the war. Truman wanted to reinstate the regressive fiscal policy but was stopped.

Obama's policies have likewise prolonged our recession.

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Ideologues do not really comment on history and economics. They bend history and economics into a shape that fits their ideology.

ANYONE who attempts to frame the answers to problems, past, present, or future, into a neat ideological package is disingenuous at best. THERE IS NO PERFECT IDEOLOGY. There is no ideology that cannot be corrupted.

When the interests of a few become more important that the interests of all, society will typically suffer, regardless of ideology.

STOP LOOKING FOR A CONVENIENT NARRATIVE. Look for truth.

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FDR was a great president! He guided us through WWII and did it very well. I think the New Deal was helpful to America at a time when it was needed but I would think that the biggest driver for economic improvement had to be the war itself (and post war America). The war prepared the US moving forward and left it with a huge population gap. We lost so many men to the war that it reset a generation. It also made us tougher and pushed us to work harder and drive to become the best we could be.

The next president who can harness the fullest potential of this nation will be a hero. Until that happens we are a fractured land with little optimism and only ourselves to blame. We continue to elect bad leaders and get what we deserve in return because most of this country is either too busy to care or just too selfish.

Back to my sarcastic self. :)

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FDR was a great president! He guided us through WWII and did it very well. I think the New Deal was helpful to America at a time when it was needed but I would think that the biggest driver for economic improvement had to be the war itself (and post war America). The war prepared the US moving forward and left it with a huge population gap. We lost so many men to the war that it reset a generation. It also made us tougher and pushed us to work harder and drive to become the best we could be.

The next president who can harness the fullest potential of this nation will be a hero. Until that happens we are a fractured land with little optimism and only ourselves to blame. We continue to elect bad leaders and get what we deserve in return because most of this country is either too busy to care or just too selfish.

Back to my sarcastic self. :)

Good post. Please, no more of what you call "sarcasm". It is too depressing.

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If you read "The Forgotten Man" by Amity Shlaes, you will realize that the depression was prolonged. The United States came out of the depression long after Europe.

The other tidbit was that industry forced Roosevelt to relax his fiscal policies so that we could produce the armaments needed to win the war. Truman wanted to reinstate the regressive fiscal policy but was stopped.

Obama's policies have likewise prolonged our recession.

About that...

And off we go

First off, we get some hooey about the Roaring Twenties being great for poor people (in reality, income inequality drastically increased) and how the 1929 crash was not really caused by speculation. Yes, the stupidity starts this early.

Then there's the totally inaccurate picture of Herbert Hoover as some kind of unprecedented and newly anointed progressive. Hoover was more pro-active than his predecessors (especially do-nothings like Calvin Coolidge) and was known for his work in foreign aid after World War I as well, but his administration was not a drastic break from typical GOP administrations before him. He was still an ardent fiscal conservative and believer in "private charity" and "rugged individualism." This is a fairly naked attempt by Shlaes to pin the beginnings of the Depression on dreaded "liberal" policies. (Glenn Beck has really seized on this talking point to paint Hoover as some kind of socialist equivalent to FDR.)

Shlaes goes completely off the rails once FDR comes into the picture. She uses outdated unemployment statistics that don't count jobs created by public works projects because they're "make work" and as such not "real jobs." (Gummint can't create jobs! Only the John Galts of the world can do that!) In addition to that, she measures the economy using the Dow Jones Industrial Average. This puts the lie to the fact that Shlaes is simply being stupidly oblique — she is outright cherry-picking at this point. She also defends the use of the gold standard — something even right-leaning economists and historians agree worsened the Depression. Shlaes, of course, goes on to paint the favorite New Deal denialist target, the National Recovery Administration (NRA), as the centerpiece of the New Deal. The NRA did devolve into crony capitalism, but was junked as early as 1935 by the Supreme Court and suggesting that it was the "centerpiece" of New Deal legislation is disingenuous at best. It is, however, convenient to use to paint FDR as a commie and fascist, which she delights in, comparing him to Stalin and Mussolini. She even goes so far as to decry an expansion of FDA powers as "theft." Right, screw clean and uncontaminated food!

Once we get to the Roosevelt Recession, the idiocy only gets worse. No, it had nothing to do with Roosevelt's reversal of monetary and fiscal policy. You see, it had everything to do with "predictability" and "uncertainty" in markets, the weasily escape hatch that Shlaes can invoke anywhere she wants. Coolidge and Mellonnomics were predictable: "Do nothing." So that meant the market would fix everything because conditions were "predictable." Despite the fact that the heaviest regulations under FDR were gone with the dismantling of the NRA, Shlaes blames the Wagner Act, which protected unions' rights to actually be unions, for creating "uncertainty." Unions at the time fought for such outrageous things like basic subsistence wages, which cut into corporate profits and thus wrecked the economy, causing the recession within a depression somehow. Yep, keep ignoring FDR's policy reversal, it had to be unions that did it.

Ironically, at one point, she admits that spending did have a positive effect on the economy, then promptly ignores her own statement and launches into attacks on government spending. So much for consistency.

So...

Both prominent Depression historian Robert McElvaine and Matthew Dallek (son of presidential historian Robert Dallek), have called the nonsense what it is: "Social Darwinism."

Actually, Shlaes' work ought to be read as a lesson in how history plays a role in the present and how it can be distorted for ideological purposes. Any crap you hear on the television set about the "failure" of the New Deal can most likely be traced back to this one book. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) has said, "In these economic times, a number of members of the Senate are reading a book called The Forgotten Man, about the history of the Great Depression, as we compare and look for solutions, as we look at a stimulus package."

Conservatives need to keep shoving FDR's legacy down the memory hole. You can thank Amity Shlaes for that.

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FDR was a great president! He guided us through WWII and did it very well. I think the New Deal was helpful to America at a time when it was needed but I would think that the biggest driver for economic improvement had to be the war itself (and post war America). The war prepared the US moving forward and left it with a huge population gap. We lost so many men to the war that it reset a generation. It also made us tougher and pushed us to work harder and drive to become the best we could be.

The next president who can harness the fullest potential of this nation will be a hero. Until that happens we are a fractured land with little optimism and only ourselves to blame. We continue to elect bad leaders and get what we deserve in return because most of this country is either too busy to care or just too selfish.

Back to my sarcastic self. :)

Good post. Please, no more of what you call "sarcasm". It is too depressing.

I pretty much feel that way about this country. I keep hoping it will change but I don't see it happening before I pass on. It is what it is.......

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You left out the introduction:

Amity Shlaes is a journalist who, unbelievably, has written for a number of publications, including the Wall Street Journal,Forbes, and The New Republic. Shlaes is hailed as an "expert" in history and economics, although she holds only a BA in English.

She is also a minor darling of conservative media, and a professional bull**** artist.[2] She wrote one of her early books, The Greedy Hand, about excessive taxation during a time when taxes were, by historical standards, fairly low (i.e., the end of theClinton administration). It also appears she was fired by the Financial Times for praising George Bush's response toHurricane Katrina.[3] However, she rocketed to lesser stardom with her 2007 book, The Forgotten Man, a revisionist history of the Great Depression that made her the queen of New Deal denialism. This happened to be especially timely, considering the banking crisis in 2008.

Shlaes is responsible for elevating the myth that "FDR made the Depression worse" from fringe, libertarian circles to Republican dogma in the past few years. Incidentally, back in the 50s, Dwight Eisenhower actually referred to those who opposed the New Deal as "stupid." Ike does a good job of summarizing Shlaes' "scholarship," but let's delve in further for the hell of it.

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You left out the introduction:

Amity Shlaes is a journalist who, unbelievably, has written for a number of publications, including the Wall Street Journal,Forbes, and The New Republic. Shlaes is hailed as an "expert" in history and economics, although she holds only a BA in English.

The degree is irelavant. At least she can make a cogent statement. So many of our professional historians get it wrong.

She is also a minor darling of conservative media, and a professional bull**** artist.[2] She wrote one of her early books, The Greedy Hand, about excessive taxation during a time when taxes were, by historical standards, fairly low (i.e., the end of theClinton administration). It also appears she was fired by the Financial Times for praising George Bush's response toHurricane Katrina.[3]

Contrary to the mainstream media spastic and uninformed reporting, Bush handled Katrina quite well. Don't forget that Katrina had already hit and crossed Florida which consumed a large portion of FEMA assets. The screw ups were the Louisiana governor and the NO mayor. Their poor response and obstinate refusal of help from Bush made for the tragic situation that it was. Katrina did not cause the failure of the levees in NO, years of corruption and failure to maintain the levees did that.

However, she rocketed to lesser stardom with her 2007 book, The Forgotten Man, a revisionist history of the Great Depression that made her the queen of New Deal denialism. This happened to be especially timely, considering the banking crisis in 2008.

There is nothing false or misleading in her book. It merely points FDR's action and the effect on the ordinary American.

Shlaes is responsible for elevating the myth that "FDR made the Depression worse" from fringe, libertarian circles to Republican dogma in the past few years. Incidentally, back in the 50s, Dwight Eisenhower actually referred to those who opposed the New Deal as "stupid." Ike does a good job of summarizing Shlaes' "scholarship," but let's delve in further for the hell of it.

​Eisenhower was merely reflecting the prevailing thought of the the time. We are able to now examine the depression in a historical perspective now and see the effects of a tyrannical government effect on a damaged economy. That America lagged the rest of the world in recovery is undisputed.

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You left out the introduction:

Amity Shlaes is a journalist who, unbelievably, has written for a number of publications, including the Wall Street Journal,Forbes, and The New Republic. Shlaes is hailed as an "expert" in history and economics, although she holds only a BA in English.

She is also a minor darling of conservative media, and a professional bull**** artist.[2] She wrote one of her early books, The Greedy Hand, about excessive taxation during a time when taxes were, by historical standards, fairly low (i.e., the end of theClinton administration). It also appears she was fired by the Financial Times for praising George Bush's response toHurricane Katrina.[3] However, she rocketed to lesser stardom with her 2007 book, The Forgotten Man, a revisionist history of the Great Depression that made her the queen of New Deal denialism. This happened to be especially timely, considering the banking crisis in 2008.

Shlaes is responsible for elevating the myth that "FDR made the Depression worse" from fringe, libertarian circles to Republican dogma in the past few years. Incidentally, back in the 50s, Dwight Eisenhower actually referred to those who opposed the New Deal as "stupid." Ike does a good job of summarizing Shlaes' "scholarship," but let's delve in further for the hell of it.

You left out the introduction:

Amity Shlaes is a journalist who, unbelievably, has written for a number of publications, including the Wall Street Journal,Forbes, and The New Republic. Shlaes is hailed as an "expert" in history and economics, although she holds only a BA in English.

The degree is irelavant. At least she can make a cogent statement. So many of our professional historians get it wrong.

She is also a minor darling of conservative media, and a professional bull**** artist.[2] She wrote one of her early books, The Greedy Hand, about excessive taxation during a time when taxes were, by historical standards, fairly low (i.e., the end of theClinton administration). It also appears she was fired by the Financial Times for praising George Bush's response toHurricane

Contrary to the mainstream media spastic and uninformed reporting, ​Bush handled Katrina quite well. The screw ups were the Louisiana governor and the NO mayor. Their foot dragging and obstinate refusal of help from Bush made for the tragic situation that it was.

Katrina.[3] However, she rocketed to lesser stardom with her 2007 book, The Forgotten Man, a revisionist history of the Great Depression that made her the queen of New Deal denialism. This happened to be especially timely, considering the banking crisis in 2008.

Shlaes is responsible for elevating the myth that "FDR made the Depression worse" from fringe, libertarian circles to Republican dogma in the past few years. Incidentally, back in the 50s, Dwight Eisenhower actually referred to those who opposed the New Deal as "stupid." Ike does a good job of summarizing Shlaes' "scholarship," but let's delve in further for the hell of it.

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You left out the introduction:

Amity Shlaes is a journalist who, unbelievably, has written for a number of publications, including the Wall Street Journal,Forbes, and The New Republic. Shlaes is hailed as an "expert" in history and economics, although she holds only a BA in English.

The degree is irelavant. At least she can make a cogent statement. So many of our professional historians get it wrong.

She is also a minor darling of conservative media, and a professional bull**** artist.[2] She wrote one of her early books, The Greedy Hand, about excessive taxation during a time when taxes were, by historical standards, fairly low (i.e., the end of theClinton administration). It also appears she was fired by the Financial Times for praising George Bush's response toHurricane Katrina.[3]

Contrary to the mainstream media spastic and uninformed reporting, Bush handled Katrina quite well. Don't forget that Katrina had already hit and crossed Florida which consumed a large portion of FEMA assets. The screw ups were the Louisiana governor and the NO mayor. Their poor response and obstinate refusal of help from Bush made for the tragic situation that it was. Katrina did not cause the failure of the levees in NO, years of corruption and failure to maintain the levees did that.

However, she rocketed to lesser stardom with her 2007 book, The Forgotten Man, a revisionist history of the Great Depression that made her the queen of New Deal denialism. This happened to be especially timely, considering the banking crisis in 2008.

There is nothing false or misleading in her book. It merely points FDR's action and the effect on the ordinary American.

Shlaes is responsible for elevating the myth that "FDR made the Depression worse" from fringe, libertarian circles to Republican dogma in the past few years. Incidentally, back in the 50s, Dwight Eisenhower actually referred to those who opposed the New Deal as "stupid." Ike does a good job of summarizing Shlaes' "scholarship," but let's delve in further for the hell of it.

​Eisenhower was merely reflecting the prevailing thought of the the time. We are able to now examine the depression in a historical perspective now and see the effects of a tyrannical government effect on a damaged economy. That America lagged the rest of the world in recovery is undisputed.

I find it fascinating the same person can buy into basically one book as God's own "truth" while at the same time, dismissing AGW as a hoax.

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I think some people like to paint in black and white. The truth is usually found in the shades of gray.

FDR's legacy is undeniable.

I see what you did there. You may not, but I do.

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You left out the introduction:

Amity Shlaes is a journalist who, unbelievably, has written for a number of publications, including the Wall Street Journal,Forbes, and The New Republic. Shlaes is hailed as an "expert" in history and economics, although she holds only a BA in English.

The degree is irelavant. At least she can make a cogent statement. So many of our professional historians get it wrong.

She is also a minor darling of conservative media, and a professional bull**** artist.[2] She wrote one of her early books, The Greedy Hand, about excessive taxation during a time when taxes were, by historical standards, fairly low (i.e., the end of theClinton administration). It also appears she was fired by the Financial Times for praising George Bush's response toHurricane Katrina.[3]

Contrary to the mainstream media spastic and uninformed reporting, Bush handled Katrina quite well. Don't forget that Katrina had already hit and crossed Florida which consumed a large portion of FEMA assets. The screw ups were the Louisiana governor and the NO mayor. Their poor response and obstinate refusal of help from Bush made for the tragic situation that it was. Katrina did not cause the failure of the levees in NO, years of corruption and failure to maintain the levees did that.

However, she rocketed to lesser stardom with her 2007 book, The Forgotten Man, a revisionist history of the Great Depression that made her the queen of New Deal denialism. This happened to be especially timely, considering the banking crisis in 2008.

There is nothing false or misleading in her book. It merely points FDR's action and the effect on the ordinary American.

Shlaes is responsible for elevating the myth that "FDR made the Depression worse" from fringe, libertarian circles to Republican dogma in the past few years. Incidentally, back in the 50s, Dwight Eisenhower actually referred to those who opposed the New Deal as "stupid." Ike does a good job of summarizing Shlaes' "scholarship," but let's delve in further for the hell of it.

​Eisenhower was merely reflecting the prevailing thought of the the time. We are able to now examine the depression in a historical perspective now and see the effects of a tyrannical government effect on a damaged economy. That America lagged the rest of the world in recovery is undisputed.

I find it fascinating the same person can buy into basically one book as God's own "truth" while at the same time, dismissing AGW as a hoax.

From the one who chases after every liberal lie.

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I find it fascinating the same person can buy into basically one book as God's own "truth" while at the same time, dismissing AGW as a hoax.

From the one who chases after every liberal lie.

That's called "begging the question". It's often used in debates as a substitute for an actual argument.

But thanks for making my point. One (weak) economics book by someone with a BA English and you are convinced FDR aggravated the depression.

Virtually every climatologist in the world plus every major scientific society? Pfffffft

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Homer, as usual, attacks the author without disputing the facts.

From the brilliant economist, Thomas Sowell

Guess who said the following: "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work." Was it Sarah Palin? Rush Limbaugh? Karl Rove?

Not even close. It was Henry Morgenthau, Secretary of the Treasury under Franklin D. Roosevelt and one of FDR's closest advisers. He added, "after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started. . . And an enormous debt to boot!"

This is just one of the remarkable and eye-opening facts in a must-read book titled "New Deal or Raw Deal?" by Professor Burton W. Folsom, Jr., of Hillsdale College.

Ordinarily, what happened in the 1930s might be something to be left for historians to be concerned about. But the very same kinds of policies that were tried-- and failed-- during the 1930s are being carried out in Washington today, with the advocates of such policies often invoking FDR's New Deal as a model.

Franklin D. Roosevelt blamed the country's woes on the problems he inherited from his predecessor, much as Barack Obama does today. But unemployment was 20 percent in the spring of 1939, six long years after Herbert Hoover had left the White House.

Whole generations have been "educated" to believe that the Roosevelt administration is what got this country out of the Great Depression.

History text books by famous scholars like Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., of Harvard and Henry Steele Commager of Columbia have enshrined FDR as a historic savior of this country, and lesser lights in the media and elsewhere have perpetuated the legend.

Although Professor Schlesinger admitted that he had little interest in economics, that did not stop him from making sweeping statements about what a great economic achievement the New Deal was.

Professors Commager and Morris of Columbia likewise declared: "The character of the Republican ascendancy of the twenties had been pervasively negative; the character of the New Deal was overwhelmingly positive." Anyone unfamiliar with the history of that era might never suspect from such statements that the 1920s were a decade of unprecedented prosperity and the 1930s were a decade of the deepest and longest-lasting depression in American history. But facts have taken a back seat to rhetoric.

In more recent years, there have been both academic studies and popular books debunking some of the myths about the New Deal.

Nevertheless, Professor Folsom's book "New Deal or Raw Deal?" breaks new ground. Although written by an academic scholar and based on years of documented research, it is as readable as a newspaper-- and a lot more informative than most.

There are few historic events whose legends are more grossly different from the reality than the New Deal administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. And there are few men whose image has been more radically different from the man himself.

Some of the most devastating things that were said about FDR were not said by his political enemies but by people who worked closely with him for years- Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau being just one. Morgenthau saw not only the utter failure of Roosevelt's policies, but also the failure of Roosevelt himself, who didn't even know enough economics to realize how little he knew.

Far from pulling the country out of the Great Depression by following Keynesian policies, FDR created policies that prolonged the depression until it was more than twice as long as any other depression in American history. Moreover, Roosevelt's ad hoc improvisations followed nothing as coherent as Keynesian economics.

To the extent that FDR followed the ideas of any economist, it was an obscure economist at the University of Wisconsin, who was disdained by other economists and who was regarded with contempt by John Maynard Keynes.

President Roosevelt's strong suit was politics, not economics. He played the political game both cleverly and ruthlessly, including using both the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service to harass and intimidate his critics and opponents.

It is not a pretty story. But we need to understand it if we want to avoid the ugly consequences of very similar policies today.

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"Brilliant economist"? :rolleyes:/> That's like calling Rush Limbaugh a journalist.

Sowell is a political hack.

I hope you consider Krugman to be a political hack. He's every bit as partisan as Sowell.

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"Brilliant economist"? :rolleyes:/> That's like calling Rush Limbaugh a journalist.

Sowell is a political hack.

I hope you consider Krugman to be a political hack. He's every bit as partisan as Sowell.

Not at all. Krugman makes sense whereas Sowell not so much.

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But for the purpose of clarification, I am not arguing that Roosevelt ended - the depression. I am arguing that he did not extend it.

And while I have little expertise in economics, if one assumes the spending associated with WWII ended the depression then one is basically saying the stimulative model works. That doesn't jive with the thesis Roosevelt made the depression worse unless you are suggesting he didn't take his stimulative parties far enough.

Surely, in light of 2008 no one is making the argument that financial regulation was responsible for extending the depression.

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Homer, you are nothing but an ideologue.

You can't get much worse than a depression, but his socialist policies and restriction on freedoms did prolong it. The depression ended with WWII because business prevailed upon him to stop his BS policies and restore freedom to business to manufacture armaments.

In light of 2008, we should be in full blown growth by now, but Obama's policies are prolonging this recession.

Krugman is a hack.

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Homer, you are nothing but an ideologue.

You can't get much worse than a depression, but his socialist policies and restriction on freedoms did prolong it. The depression ended with WWII because business prevailed upon him to stop his BS policies and restore freedom to business to manufacture armaments.

In light of 2008, we should be in full blown growth by now, but Obama's policies are prolonging this recession.

Krugman is a hack.

I have no idea what you are talking about. Care to elucidate?

(And yes, when it comes to economics, I am a hack. But Krugman isn't.)

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