Friday, December 19, 2008

Robert Higgs On The New Deal & World War II

I've frequently recommended Murray Rothbard's great book America's Great Depression. Yet that book's historical section only covers the inflationary boom of the 1920s and the presidency of Herbert Hoover. It doesn't say anything about the New Deal and World War II, leaving the myth that the New Deal helped create a partial recovery and that World War II restored full prosperity untouched.

In this very interesting and lengthy interview at Econtalk , however, Robert Higgs of the Independent Institute does a really good job at setting the record straight on the New Deal and World War II. You can both hear the audio interview, and read the highlights.


Anonymous AustrianBanker said...

Rothbart never claims that WWII or FDR rescued the economy. He is quite clear about the limitations of his study, should you have bothered to read it properly:

As in most historical studies, space limitations require confining
oneself to a definite time period. This book deals with the period
1921–1933. The years 1921–1929 were the boom period preceding
the Great Depression. Here we look for causal influences
predating 1929, the ones responsible for the onset of the depression.
The years 1929–1933 composed the historic contraction
phase of the Great Depression, even by itself of unusual length and
intensity. In this period, we shall unravel the aggravating causes
that worsened and prolonged the crisis.
In any comprehensive study, of course, the 1933–1940 period
would have to be included. It is, however, a period more familiar
to us and one which has been more extensively studied.

11:37 PM  
Blogger stefankarlsson said...

Austrianbanker: Before accusing me of not reading things properly, you should bother to read what I write properly. I didn't claim that Rothbard endorsed the myths about the New Deal and World War II, just that he didn't refute them because he only covered the period before that.

8:25 AM  

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