Medical Tuesday Blog

Great Myths of the Great Depression

May 5

Written by: Del Meyer
05/05/2020 11:26 PM 

Voices of Reason – Are we repeating the events that led to the Great Depression?

Mackinac Center for Public Policy President Lawrence W. Reed debunks the conventional view and traces the central role that poor government policy played in fostering this legendary catastrophe. . .

Adapting a phrase from 19th century writer Henry David Thoreau, Roosevelt famously declared in his address that, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” But as Dr. Hans Sennholz, of Grove City College explains, it was FDR’s policies to come that Americans had genuine reason to fear: In his first 100 days, he swung hard at the profit order. Instead of clearing away the prosperity barriers erected by his predecessor, he built new ones of his own.  He struck in every known way at the integrity of the U.S. dollar through quantitative increases and qualitative deterioration. He seized the people’s gold holdings and subsequently devalued the dollar by 40 percent.17

Frustrated and angered that Roosevelt had so quickly and thoroughly abandoned the platform on which he was elected, Director of the Bureau of the Budget, Lewis W. Douglas, resigned after only one year on the job. At Harvard University in May 1935, Douglas made it plain that America was facing a momentous choice: Will we choose to subject ourselves — this great country — to the despotism of bureaucracy, which will control our every act, destroy what equality we have attained, and reduce us eventually to the condition of impoverished slaves of the state? Or will we cling to the liberties for which man has struggled for more than a thousand years? It is important to understand the magnitude of the issue before us. … If we do not choose to have a tyrannical, oppressive bureaucracy controlling our lives, destroying progress, depressing the standard of living … then should it not be the function of the Federal government under a democracy to limit  its activities to those which a democracy may adequately deal, for example: national defense, maintaining law and order, protecting life and property, preventing dishonesty, and guarding the public against vested special interests?18

To Many Americans, the National Recovery Administration’s bureaucracy and mind-numbing regulations became known as the “National Run Around.”

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