Bryan Caplan  

Consensus on Roosevelt Fast Approaching

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Daniel Gross says Roosevelt was better than Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini. I agree.

This does raise the interesting point that given world conditions for investors, the U.S. should have been able to do really well without really trying. Instead it spent the thirties struggling to get back to 1928.

Hat tip to Alex.

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COMMENTS (4 to date)
Barkley Rosser writes:

This is all beginning to get rather amusing, but do keep in mind that the point of Gross's piece was that in fact at least in terms of employment both Hitler's Germany and Stalin's USSR did far better than did the US economy in the late 1930s, even if both had problems under the surface that made them less viable in the long run. What is not clear at all is whether a more free market US economy would have done better than it did. We simply do not know, although most on this blog probably believer that it would have. Fine, but keep in mind that when U. of Chicago's Arnold Harberger (who I saw hobbling on his cane a week ago there) did his estimate of the size of "his" inefficiency due to monopoly triangles back in 1954, they turned out to be very small. Very easy to exaggerate the stagnationist impact of FDR's various monopolizations and cartelizations.

Howie Copywriter writes:

Bush is going crazy. He is shooting down any way out of the mess. Meanwhile, the US and the dollar are ready to collapse. The fight is to persuade the US Congress to adopt a real capital budget, and get out of the Thirty Years War in Iraq, Iran, etc.

The idea of an expanded war is the option of "stabilization" of the financial bubble. Look at the US bombing of Somalia, this is part of it. Force panic stricken people to do anything for a so-called "war economy".

Meanwhile, the widespread fraud of not reporting the true state of the Housing Market, is seen in the NY Times, Jan. 7th. Also see Moody's . The US Comerce Dept figures reported for new home sales both 1. significantly overstate the level of new home sales, and 2. understate the number of new homes listed for sale- inventory of homes for sale- due to Commerce's not taking account of people cancelling their contracts to buy new homes.

Pretinieks writes:

...except for the fact Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini were all non-smokers... :)

Dezakin writes:
Very easy to exaggerate the stagnationist impact of FDR's various monopolizations and cartelizations.

I think FDR's real crime was the centralization of political power in the federal government away from the states rather than economic foibles. Under FDR, everything became interstate commerce, especially if it had nothing to do with commerce.

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