Sunday, November 30, 2008

same damn thing over and over

Who said something about not learning from history?

I've had my problems with that canard, but seems at least once there is some truth to it.

From my favorite columnist, George F. Will , another history lesson.

Early in what became the Great Depression, John Maynard Keynes was asked if anything similar had ever happened. "Yes," he replied, "it was called the Dark Ages, and it lasted 400 years." It did take 25 years, until November 1954, for the Dow to return to the peak it reached in September 1929. So caution is sensible concerning calls for a new New Deal.

John Maynard Keynes

I remember as a youngster being indoctrinated in the now discredited concept which was called "Keynesian economics."

people whose recipe for recovery today is another New Deal should remember that America's biggest industrial collapse occurred in 1937, eight years after the 1929 stock market crash and nearly five years into the New Deal

How can this be?

the Depression would have ended in 1936, rather than in 1943, were it not for policies that magnified the power of labor and encouraged the cartelization of industries.
These policies expressed the New Deal premise that the Depression was caused by excessive competition that first reduced prices and wages and then reduced employment and consumer demand. (italics and color mine)

It is unimaginable at this late date some would buy into such a destructive concept.

pressuring businesses to keep nominal wages fixed.
, , ,, Hoover's 1932 increase in the top income tax rate, from 25 percent to 63 percent, was unhelpful. And FDR's hyperkinetic New Deal created uncertainties that paralyzed private-sector decision making. Which sounds familiar


"By acting without rhyme or reason, politicians have destroyed the rules of the game. There is no reason to invest, no reason to take risk, no reason to be prudent, no reason to look for buyers if your firm is failing. Everything is up in the air and as a result, the only prudent policy is to wait and see what the government will do next. The frenetic efforts of FDR had the same impact: Net investment was negative through much of the 1930s."

Those policies didn't work then so one should wonder why it would work now?

Same Old New Deal?