Eric Rauchway: Stop lying about Roosevelt’s record
Oh for pity’s sake. Some real news outlet needs to publish a nice short piece on conservative falsehoods about the New Deal. Amity Shlaes’s Liberty League retread has got a new lease of life, thanks to the Daily Show of all outlets (Jon Stewart, you should be ashamed) and now in the Wall Street Journal’s five “myths” about the Great Depression, we find stated as fact
As late as 1938, after almost a decade of governmental “pump priming,” almost one out of five workers remained unemployed.
Readers of this site know this is simply not true. For pity’s sake, Conrad Black knows this is not true. (You may here enjoy Bill Scher pointing out that Shlaes describes the Historical Statistics of the United States as an “obscurer” source of data.)
We find listed as a myth
The stock market crash in October 1929 precipitated the Great Depression. What the crash mainly precipitated was a raft of wrongheaded policies that did major damage to the economy
I’m sure Christina Romer would have something to say about that; so would Joseph Schumpeter. So indeed would Ben Bernanke. Interestingly, had the WSJ writer listed as a myth that the crash “caused” the Depression, he would have had a case. But that the crash “precipitated” the Depression is not so much myth as exactly right: it crystallized and let drop consumer worries, accelerating the downturn by occasioning a drying-up of buying on credit.
We find listed as a myth
Where the market had failed, the government stepped in to protect ordinary people
I’m sure the people saved from starving and homelessness by CWA, WPA, and CCC would differ; so would those saved from penury by FDIC; so would those saved from poverty by Social Security.
These people, these people who spend their time propagating these incorrect lessons from the Great Depression, the truth is not in them. For the record, here’s a quick look at economic performance under the New Deal.
Paul Krugman: New Deal economics Eric Rauchway: When is it lying? Alex Tabarrok: Unemployment During the Great Depression Eric Rauchway: Response to Tabarrok
comments powered by Disqus
- T. rex fossils arrive at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History
- Quote of the Day -- Time Magazine's Top 100 People
- Investigation: The Resegregation of America's Schools
- 5 Explosive Revelations Leaked from Senate Report Exposing CIA Torture
- In Parts of the South, Glorifying Slavery No Longer Pays the Bills
- UC Berkeley professor emeritus Robert Harlan dies at 84
- She Came All the Way from Melbourne to Attend the OAH
- The 7 Most Popular HNN Videos from the 2014 OAH
- Jesse Lemisch’s up-from-below history is still strikingly original
- U.Va. Historian Alan Taylor Wins 2014 Pulitzer for Book on Slaves and War -- His second Pulitzer!