November 27, 2019

How Roosevelt Depressed America

Timothy Birdnow

Depressions were a normal part of the business cycle, and the Depression of 1920-21 was every bit as bad as the "Great Depression" but it ended because we cut taxes and regulations. Roosevelt's policies took money out of the pockets of the People, who no longer had it to spend while government was "stimulating" the economy, paying people to dig holes and others to fill them in. In fact, Roosevelt caused the "depression within a depression". Had he just left the economy alone America would have ground through that in a couple of years, tops. Of course, the Depression was triggered primarily by the Federal Reserve contracting the money supply all at once - not by anything the market was doing.

Of course, Roosevelt was using taxpayer money to buy votes and give his party the imperium.

I wish we'd get the straight dope on the real causes of the Depression, but the media and academia isn't going to tell the truth on this since they want a socialized economy.

FDR's Folly: How Roosevelt and his New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression

In DR’s Folly, Jim Powell ably and clearly explains why New Deal spending failed to lift the American economy out of its morass. In a nutshell, Powell argues that the spending was doomed from the start to fail. Tax rates were hiked, which scooped capital out of investment and dumped it into dozens of hastily conceived government programs. Those programs quickly became politicized and produced unintended consequences, which plunged the American economy deeper into depression.

More specifically, Powell observes, the National Recovery Administration, which was Roosevelt’s centerpiece, fixed prices, stifled competition, and sometimes made American exports uncompetitive. Also, his banking reforms made many banks more vulnerable to failure by forbidding them to expand and diversify their portfolios. Social Security taxes and minimum-wage laws often triggered unemployment; in fact, they pushed many cash-strapped businesses into bankruptcy or near bankruptcy. The Agricultural Adjustment Act, which paid farmers not to produce, raised food prices and kicked thousands of tenant farmers off the land and into unemployment lines in the cities. In some of those cities, the unemployed received almost no federal aid, but in other cities — those with influential Democratic bosses — tax dollars flowed in like water.

Powell notes that the process of capturing tax dollars from some groups and doling them out to others quickly politicized federal aid. He quotes one analyst who discovered that "WPA employment reached peaks in the fall of election years. In states like Florida and Kentucky — where the New Deal’s big fight was in the primary elections — the rise of WPA employment was hurried along in order to synchronize with the primaries.” The Democratic Party’s ability to win elections became strongly connected with Roosevelt’s talent for turning on the spigot of federal dollars at the right time (before elections) and in the right places (key states and congressional districts).

Read it all.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 10:54 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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