Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Jonah Goldberg on the New Deal

I have covered this a couple of times already, but I don't know if there is a modern political pundit who lays it out any better than Jonah Goldberg.  I wish I could write this well.

In fairness to Sirota, DeLong, and Gross, their argument is more empirical. They rebut the charge that the New Deal “prolonged” the Great Depression by pointing to FDR’s efforts to stabilize the banking system. And they’re right to make that argument. Many of those efforts did help end the Depression, as even Milton Friedman and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke have argued. But some of those efforts didn’t help. For example, it’s doubtful Gross et al. would defend FDR’s embarrassingly erratic and ultimately destructive behavior during the ill-fated London Economic Conference in 1933. Few would dispute that his decision to blow up the conference as a sop to protectionist Democrats helped prolong the Great Depression, at home and abroad. More generally, the apologists protest too much. Plenty of “normal” and sane people believe the New Deal prolonged the Great Depression. In 1995 a survey by Robert Whaples, published in the Journal of Economic History, showed that half of economists and one-third of historians agreed somewhat or entirely with the proposition that the New Deal prolonged the Great Depression. 

1 comment:

Lonnie Bruner said...

"Plenty of “normal” and sane people believe the New Deal prolonged the Great Depression." -- just the fact that Goldberg has to mount this defense kind of tells you something. Then he cites some obscure survey from an academic journal (without link) from 14 years ago. Huh? I'd like to see that survey but couldn't find it.

Goldberg's article seems to be criticism for criticism's sake. The right has nothing much to offer right now except nothing -- just do nothing. And since history contradicts them on the "do nothing" tack, they've (and you) have decided to simply re-write that history.

This Goldberg douche is a Coulter wannabe. He's probably just pissed that his book ("Liberal Fascism" LOL) didn't sell as many copies as hers.

Cue ad hominem charges in 1, 2, 3 ...