quarta-feira, 29 de setembro de 2004

A Grande Depressão foi causada pelo New Deal

"Macroeconomic model builders have finally realized what Henry Hazlitt and John T. Flynn (among others) knew in the 1930s: FDR's New Deal made the Great Depression longer and deeper. It is a myth that Franklin D. Roosevelt "got us out of the Depression" and "saved capitalism from itself," as generations of Americans have been taught by the state's educational establishment.

This realization on the part of macroeconomists comes in the form of an article in the August 2004 Journal of Political Economy entitled "New Deal Policies and the Persistence of the Great Depression: A General Equilibrium Analysis," by UCLA economists Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian. This is a big deal, since the JPE is arguably the top academic economics journal in the world.

"Real gross domestic product per adult, which was 39 percent below trend at the trough of the Depression in 1933, remained 27 percent below trend in 1939," the authors write. And "Similarly, private hours worked were 27 percent below trend in 1933 and remained 21 percent below trend in 1939."

This should be no surprise to anyone who has studied the reality of the Great Depression, for U.S. Census Bureau statistics show that the official unemployment rate was still 17.2 percent in 1939 despite seven years of "economic salvation" at the hands of the Roosevelt administration (the normal, pre-Depression unemployment rate was about 3 percent). Per capita GDP was lower in 1939 than in 1929 ($847 vs. $857), as were personal consumption expenditures ($67.6 billion vs. $78.9 billion), according to Census Bureau data. Net private investment was minus $3.1 billion from 1930–40."

The New Deal Debunked (again), By Thomas J. DiLorenzo

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