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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 461 of economic historian Stanley Lebergott’s comprehensive, eloquent, and wise 1984 volume, The Americans: An Economic Record; specifically, this passage is from Chapter 35 (“The New Deal”) [footnote excluded; links added {these links are to the two books that Lebergott cites to confirm his claims about Schumpeter’s and Gordon’s criticisms of the New Deal}]:

The New Deal consisted of two quite different sets of cards.  One represented the combined economic wisdom of army generals, farm activists, business leaders, distinguished economists.  The other represented the wisdom of ward politicians, social workers, and some economists.

The first set of policies hamstrung business by pushing prices and output around in such unpredictable ways, and by vague promises of “reform,” that it delayed the new investment that would otherwise increase jobs and speed recovery.  So contended Schumpeter, saturnine, shrewd supporter but critic of capitalism.  And so agreed Robert Aaron Gordon, liberal and Keynesian though he was.

Can you say “Robert Higgs”?