America's Great Depression

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The Great Depression is probably one of the most misunderstood events in American history. It is routinely cited, as proof that unregulated capitalism is not the best in the world, and that only a massive welfare state, huge amounts of economic regulation, and other Interventions can save capitalism from itself. Among the many myths surrounding the Great Depression are that Herbert Hoover was a laissez faire president and that FDR brought us out of the depression. What caused the Great Depression? To get a handle on that, it's necessary to look at previous depressions and compare. The Great Depression was by no means the first depression this country ever had, but it was clearly the worst. What made it different than the rest? At the time…show more content…
But there are some indicators that that is not responsible either. Detailed studies have been done to compare post-war business cycles with prior ones. At least one indicates that there was no improvement. Obvert Lucas made a key insight into the difficulties of managing the economy. Looking at post-World War II business Cycles, he argued that if one could choose between smoothing out the cycles completely and increasing the annual economic Growth by 0.1%, the latter would make people better off overall. As we consider the different policy options, it is important to keep this insight in mind as one more trade off that has to be considered. <br><br>The Federal Reserve Board was created in 1913. Ostensibly, it was to act as the lender of last resort to prevent bank panics like the one that had occurred in 1907. Although some conspiracy minded folks might weave elaborate tales regarding its Creation, the reason is rather straightforward. The big banks simply wanted government protection and bailouts and were more than willing to endure a little government regulation in return. Like the Interstate Commerce Commission before it, the Federal Government would be staffed with people from the industry that it was supposedly a watchdog over and who would most likely feel that what's good for banks are good for America? Throughout the years preceding the Stock Market crash, the Federal Government did just that. The Federal Government set
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