Review of Doug Irwin’s Peddling Protectionism

by Don Boudreaux on September 19, 2011

in Books, Great Depression, History, Politics, Trade

Here’s my hot-off-the-press review, in the Independent Review, of Doug Irwin’s superb new book Peddling Protectionism: Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression.

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Iain September 19, 2011 at 9:03 pm

If you are trying to target a location in a very distant location, say in the case of space travel, and you are off in your calculations by just a minuscule amount you will miss your destination by thousands or tens of thousands of miles (or more depending on the distances involved).

Invisible Backhand September 19, 2011 at 9:11 pm
W.E. Heasley September 19, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Smoot-Hawley tariff and subsequent passage there of, can be summed up as follows: Dopeler Effect.

Dopeler Effect: the tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

AU03 September 20, 2011 at 12:23 pm

From these facts, Irwin sensibly concludes that “Smoot-Hawley made the Depression worse for the United States than it might otherwise have been”

Would would there have still been a Depression (as opposed to a milder “recession”? Sowell notes in The Housing Boom and Bust that unemployment had made it’s way to somewhere around 5% in June of 1930.

Obviously it’s not just Smoot-Hawley responsible alone, but as Rothbard and others have shown, inner operatives of FDR’s administration have admitted that many of their interventionist policies were just doulbing down one Hoover already started, while FDR on the campaign trail attacked Hoover for being fiscaly irresponsible. Why does this seem so familiar?

AU03 September 20, 2011 at 12:24 pm

(please ignore my lack of proofreading, as I am unable to edit)

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