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Cause Of The Great Depression : What Reagan Doesn 't Know About The 1920s '

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This paper will present a brief summary and discussion of the causes of the Great Depression based on Frank Stricker 's paper, "Causes of the Great Depression: or What Reagan doesn 't know about the 1920s." Stricker presents an argument as to what he believes to be the root causes of the Great Depression as they relate to the decade preceding the stock market crash of 1929. This review is intended for undergraduate and graduate students of U.S. American History. Stricker present 's several essential points in his paper. The capitalist form of economy, by its nature, has an insatiable appetite for ever-increasing profits. During the 1920 's profits were high, yet income distribution was unequal (95). The only real benefactors were…show more content…
Big business was sinking "big" money in loans to speculators because loan returns usually exceeded gains made by reinvesting in their own businesses. However, the confidence ended suddenly and sellers began significantly outnumbering buyers. As profits and savings declined from the resulting low stock prices, both speculators and big business cut back on investments and focused on paying off old debts, thus the market fell in 1929 (108). Stricker also argues that the problem relates to the Government 's fooling itself on the true unemployment rates and the health of the market. The published government estimates of unemployment were 2.2 to 5 percent. Stricker proposes that the numbers were far higher, 7.5 to 12 percent (102). Additionally, the impact of low-income growth may not have been fully appreciated. Based on the low growth of income for the average laborer (2.8 percent over the period 1924-1929) this equated, as discussed in this paper, to a 4 percent decline in income over the same period (104). Little of the "benefits of rising productivity went to wages" - though corporate profits rose 35 percent during the decade (101). Stricker 's paper "Causes of the Great Depression: or What Reagan doesn 't know about the 1920 's," presents a convincing argument to the real causes of the Great Depression. He presents a handful of interrelated issues that worked in concert with
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