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Matthew Hoy currently works as a metro page designer at the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The opinions presented here do not represent those of the Union-Tribune and are solely those of the author.

If you have any opinions or comments, please e-mail the author at: hoystory -at- cox -dot- net.

Dec. 7, 2001
Christian Coalition Challenged
Hoystory interviews al Qaeda
Fisking Fritz
Politicizing Prescription Drugs

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Friday, March 18, 2005
This'll be interesting: I'm going to be really interested to see what the reaction from the left side of the blogosphere is when this gets around. (via VikingPundit)

Two UCLA economists say they have figured out why the Great Depression dragged on for almost 15 years, and they blame a suspect previously thought to be beyond reproach: President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

After scrutinizing Roosevelt’s record for four years, Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian conclude in a new study that New Deal policies signed into law 71 years ago thwarted economic recovery for seven long years.

“Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump,” said Ohanian, vice chair of UCLAs Department of Economics. “We found that a relapse isn’t likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies.”

In an article in the August issue of the Journal of Political Economy, Ohanian and Cole blame specific anti-competition and pro-labor measures that Roosevelt promoted and signed into law June 16, 1933.

“President Roosevelt believed that excessive competition was responsible for the Depression by reducing prices and wages, and by extension reducing employment and demand for goods and services,” said Cole, also a UCLA professor of economics. “So he came up with a recovery package that would be unimaginable today, allowing businesses in every industry to collude without the threat of antitrust prosecution and workers to demand salaries about 25 percent above where they ought to have been, given market forces. The economy was poised for a beautiful recovery, but that recovery was stalled by these misguided policies.”

Well, that certainly provides an answer for why we haven't had another major depression since then.

3:27 AM

That was a very nice bit of research. I'd always read that Roosevelt had screwed up with his alternate wage and price freezes, which disable the market's natural correction mechanisms and create disaster. I guess that's why my dad campaigned for Hoover.

Strangely enough, many in Appalachia also blame the New Deal and WPA for destroying the region's economy, since the government fixed the price of coal without regard to the fact that Appalachian bituminous and anthracite is worth far more per pound than more cheaply mined lignite from the flat lands. In addition, the WPA came through paying wages far above market rates, so foremen, engineers, and skilled laborers took unskilled highway jobs in other regions, leaving many of the mines without enough trained personnel to operate. Combining those two effects created a lot of poverty in Appalachia. As we say, "Go help someone else, cause we done been helped to death."
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