Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on May 7, 2012

in Great Depression, History, Politics

… is from William F. Shughart’s excellent 2010 presidential address – “The New Deal and Modern Memory” – to the Southern Economic Association; specifically, it is from page 539 of the version of Bill’s address published in the January 2011 issue of the Southern Economic Journal:

[T]he Great Depression was deepened and prolonged by the policies of the New Deal, not because Washington spent too little in an attempt to prime the economic pump, but because what it did spend was influenced more by FDR’s strategy for reelection to the White House in 1936 than by the economic misery into which the nation had been plunged….

A third and final lesson to be drawn from the Great Depression as well as the New Deal’s responses to it is that it may be better to do nothing than to rush into the adoption of policies, many of which are irreversible, that do much more harm than good.

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