Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on May 10, 2012

in Great Depression, History, Myths and Fallacies

… is from page 148 of Bob Higgs’s new book, Delusions of Power; here he’s speaking about the U.S. economy:

Private nonfarm hours, however, did not exceed their 1929 level until 1942, when Americans were energetically building up the war-supply industries and a gigantic complex of military facilities to accommodate an armed force that eventually exceeded 12 million men and women in uniform.  As late as 1939, Roosevelt’s seventh year in the presidency, private nonfarm hours were 16 percent below their total in 1929 – and about 21 percent below the trend high-employment level for 1939 (computed on the assumption of a constant rate of growth of such hours between 1929 and 1948).  Perhaps no other single comparison expresses so succinctly, so unambiguously, and so irrefutably the New Deal’s failure to bring about full economic recovery.

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