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Quotation of the Day…

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… is from page 21 of economic historian Stanley Lebergott’s slim but important 1996 volume, Consumer Expenditures [2]: New Measures & Old Motives [2]:

The historic record, then, does not reveal the U.S. economy in 1929 poised for the deepest plunge in history because of any trend to “underconsumption.”  Nor does it show consumption being choked by “fundamental weaknesses” in income distribution, or the flow of wages relative to profits.  To understand why the Great Depression originated, or why it continued so endlessly, requires more than simple hypotheses of underconsumption and inequality.

UPDATE: Completely coincidentally, I posted the above quotation from Lebergott before learning of this blog-post by Scott Sumner [3].