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9. The Truth about the Great Depression

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06/09/2006Thomas J. DiLorenzo

The interventionist myth is that Federal meddling in domestic or foreign economics can make anything better. Instead, meddling produced the American Great Depression. Doing nothing with a depression in 1920 produced resolution within eighteen months. Nobody hears of the depression of 1920-21.

Herbert Hoover put into place almost all of the New Deal policies that are blamed on FDR. FDR continued and deepened Hoover’s disastrous programs. They thought the depression was caused by low prices and believed that high prices would cure it. So, they raised prices. They raised tariffs. The Great Depression did not end until the Federal budget in absolute dollars was reduced by two-thirds.

Decades of high pork barrel spending were answering to ordinary politics, not to concern for alleviating any poverty.

Lecture 9 of 10 from the Steven Berger Seminar: Thomas DiLorenzo on Liberty and American Civilization.

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Contact Thomas J. DiLorenzo

Thomas DiLorenzo is professor of economics at Loyola University Maryland and a member of the senior faculty of the Mises Institute. He is the author of The Real Lincoln; How Capitalism Saved America; Lincoln Unmasked; Hamilton's Curse; Organized Crime: The Unvarnished Truth About Government; and The Problem with Socialism.

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