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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 23, 2008 26 Kislev 5769

Another Great Depression?

By Thomas Sowell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | With both Barack Obama's supporters and the media looking forward to the new administration's policies being similar to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's policies during the 1930s depression, it may be useful to look at just what those policies were and— more important— what their consequences were.


The prevailing view in many quarters is that the stock market crash of 1929 was a failure of the free market that led to massive unemployment in the 1930s— and that it was intervention of Roosevelt's New Deal policies that rescued the economy.


It is such a good story that it seems a pity to spoil it with facts. Yet there is something to be said for not repeating the catastrophes of the past.


Let's start at square one, with the stock market crash in October 1929. Was this what led to massive unemployment?


Official government statistics suggest otherwise. So do new statistics on unemployment by two current scholars, Richard Vedder and Lowell Gallaway, in their book "Out of Work."


The Vedder and Gallaway statistics allow us to follow unemployment month by month. They put the unemployment rate at 5 percent in November 1929, a month after the stock market crash. It hit 9 percent in December— but then began a generally downward trend, subsiding to 6.3 percent in June 1930.


That was when the Smoot-Hawley tariffs were passed, against the advice of economists across the country, who warned of dire consequences.


Five months after the Smoot-Hawley tariffs, the unemployment rate hit double digits for the first time in the 1930s.


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This was more than a year after the stock market crash. Moreover, the unemployment rate rose to even higher levels under both Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt, both of whom intervened in the economy on an unprecedented scale.


Before the Great Depression, it was not considered to be the business of the federal government to try to get the economy out of a depression. But the Smoot-Hawley tariff— designed to save American jobs by restricting imports— was one of Hoover's interventions, followed by even bigger interventions by FDR.


The rise in unemployment after the stock market crash of 1929 was a blip on the screen compared to the soaring unemployment rates reached later, after a series of government interventions.


For nearly three consecutive years, beginning in February 1932, the unemployment rate never fell below 20 percent for any month before January 1935, when it fell to 19.3 percent, according to the Vedder and Gallaway statistics.


In other words, the evidence suggests that it was not the "problem" of the financial crisis in 1929 that caused massive unemployment but politicians' attempted "solutions." Is that the history that we seem to be ready to repeat?


The stock market crash, which has been blamed for the widespread suffering during the Great Depression of the 1930s, created no unemployment rate that was even half of what was created in the wake of the government interventions of Hoover and FDR.


Politically, however, Franklin D. Roosevelt could not have been more successful. After all, he was the only President of the United States elected four times in a row. He was a master of political rhetoric.


If Barack Obama wants political success, following in the footsteps of FDR looks like the way to go. But people who are concerned about the economy need to take a closer look at history. We deserve something better than repeating the 1930s disasters.


There is yet another factor that provides a parallel to what happened during the Great Depression. No matter how much worse things got after government intervention under Roosevelt's New Deal policies, the party line was that he had to "do something" to get us out of the disaster created by the failure of the unregulated market and Hoover's "do nothing" policies.


Today, increasing numbers of scholars recognize that FDR's own policies were a further extension of interventions begun under Hoover. Moreover, the temporary rise in unemployment after the stock market crash was nowhere near the massive and long-lasting unemployment after government interventions.


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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