Blogs > Liberty and Power > More on the Depression

Jan 4, 2009 2:52 am


More on the Depression



I just came across Thomas Sowell's pre-Christmas discussion of the Great Depression. He points out (citing statistics by Richard Vedder and Lowell Galloway) that the unemployment rate, which had been only 5 per cent before the October 1929 crash, rose to 9 percent after the crash -- but recovered to 6.3 per cent by mid-1930. Then, the Smoot-Hawley tariff was enacted (in June 1930). Five months later, the rate was"double-digits" -- and that is how we remember the Great Depression.

Of course, Hoover was the the president at that time (his reign also brought in disastrous tax increases). Sowell is no friend of FDR's but he concludes his column by saying that FDR was simply following in Hoover's footsteps, and"Barack Obama already has his Herbert Hoover to blame for any and all disasters that his policies create: George W. Bush."




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David T. Beito - 1/4/2009

Good point. The depression pretty much started as a garden variety recession. The trick is to explain who it morphed into a depression and why it lasted so long.

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