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  • great depression

    Austerity Successes in Previous Downturns

    The left continues to resist any suggestion of spending cuts right now. In their view, a depressed economy is no time to slash spending; that would only further weaken demand. The successful austerity policies adopted in response to the downturn of 1920, however, offer a clear rebuttal to this notion. … More

    Podcast: Keynes vs. Hayek

    Make sure to listen to a recent radio interview with Nicholas Wapshott, author of the new book, “Keynes Hayek: The Clash That Defined Modern Economics.” What was the relationship between Keynes and Hayek really like? Why did Keynesian thought dominate from WWII until 1980? Why did Hayekian thought dominate from 1980 … More

    Does 'Austerity' Work?

    Remember the Great Depression of the 1920s? If not, that’s because it didn’t happen. The recession of the early ‘20s quickly ended after spending and taxes were cut dramatically. It provides a clear lesson in “austerity” that President Obama should heed. In 1920, newly elected President Warren Harding inherited a … More

    President Obama, Paul Krugman Botch History

    Proponents of government spending are fond of citing 1937 as an example of when government implemented sharp austerity, and the economy derailed. This argument is dead wrong. On Thursday, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman argued that fiscal austerity right now would make our economic crisis worse. “Even if we manage to avoid immediate catastrophe, the … More

    The Return of the Forgotten Man?

    During the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt promised to act in the name of “the forgotten man,” that is, the poor man, the old man, the man “at the bottom of the economic pyramid” in need of government help.  Amity Shlaes explained that FDR redefined the forgotten man and his … More

    Hoover, FDR and Clinton Tax Increases: A Brief Historical Lesson

    The obvious reason to prevent a tax hike by extending current tax rates is that doing so will prevent further economic harm to an already flat economy. How do we know that tax increases will cause economic harm? Three examples: 1932, 1937 and 1993. After the 1929 stock market crash, … More

    The Obama Tax Hike and Lessons from 1937

    Raising taxes on successful businesses is one thing we cannot afford to do. Large, successful businesses that create jobs would be hit the hardest, but small businesses would also be hurt by such a tax increase. Although economists disagree on many aspects of economic growth and recession, there is near-unanimity … More

    Morning Bell: The Protectionist Threat of Another Great Depression

    A financial bubble fueled by easy money and loose credit bursts. Unemployment shoots up, and gross domestic product falls sharply. Some in the U.S. Congress blame foreigners for unfair trade practices and pass a trade bill that prompts widespread retaliation, exacerbates the popping of the bubble, and sends the country … More

    How to Cause Another Depression? Anyone? Anyone?

    An ugly financial bubble bursts. A misguided U.S. Congress responds by blaming foreigners and passes a trade bill that prompts widespread retaliation and exacerbates the initial popping of the bubble. That was 1930 and the Great Depression. Fast forward 80 years. An ugly financial bubble has burst and the U.S. … More

    Double Dip?

    Tax hikes helped the U.S. economy go from downturn to depression in 1932.Throughout the mid-30s there were glimmers of economic recovery until taxes were raised again in 1937, helping send the economy into another recession. So, why would it be smart to raise taxes now during such a fragile economic … More