The Truth About American History: An Austro-Jeffersonian Perspective

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6. The Great Depression, World War II, and American Prosperity, Part II

The Truth About American History

Tags Booms and BustsU.S. HistoryWar and Foreign PolicyBusiness Cycles

06/23/2005Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

FDR’s stated New Deal purpose was to keep work weeks short and to extend minimum wages which were extremely high. But, production is what makes demand possible and what increases purchasing power, not federal mandates.

FDR’s policies created ceaseless tax increases, suffocating regulations and inane projects like slaughtering animals and destroying crops. WPA money seemed to be spread in areas for political reasons of getting electoral votes. The West got considerably more money. In 1937 FDR schemes to pack the Supreme Court were presented as ways to help the Court. This Court later said that a farmer growing wheat on his own property for his own consumption was part of interstate commerce and subject to federal regulation.

The biggest myth is that an economy is helped by war. Did war end the Great Depression? No. War lends a stimulus to certain sectors of the economy, but it is overall destructive of things that are not seen and things that are lost opportunities to civilian producers.

Lecture 6 of 10 from Thomas Woods' The Truth About American History: An Austro-Jeffersonian Perspective.

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Contact Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Tom Woods, a senior fellow of the Mises Institute, is the author of a dozen books, most recently Real Dissent: A Libertarian Sets Fire to the Index Card of Allowable Opinion. Tom's articles have appeared in dozens of popular and scholarly periodicals, and his books have been translated into a dozen languages. Tom hosts the Tom Woods Show, a libertarian podcast that releases a new episode every weekday. With Bob Murphy, he co-hosts Contra Krugman, a weekly podcast that refutes Paul Krugman's New York Times column.

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