Posted by Steven Hayward
This chart tells you all you need to know.
As someone mentioned here yesterday, everyone should run, not walk, to the nearest bookstore to get a copy of Amity Shlaes The Forgotten Man. One gushing reviewer called it "the finest history of the Great Depression ever written."
Haven't read it, but I could recommend William Sumner's essay: The Forgotten Man, and still be on topic.
Mr. Hayward, what is the official "conservative economist" reading list on the great depression?
I am currently skimming/reading John Kenneth Galbraith's "The Great Crash: 1929." It comes highly recommended by the interesting duo of Paul Krugman + Cramer(of Mad Money fame)
How highly do you rate Galbraith's work?
That chart stops at 1945, the high taxes continued during the growth periods of the 1950's. Eight years of low taxes got us here we are now. Taxes are not all that important, especially in a system with a million page tax code that ensures most wealthy entities don't pay much if any. The fact that we wan't lower taxes and refuse to name one thing we want cut is laughable. Business is not going to create jobs with the extra tax benifits in a down market where the profits are not there to be made. If you really want to understand the depressions then read G. Edward Griffin's The Creature from Jekyll Island : A Second Look at the Federal Reserve
John: Galbraith's book on the Great Crash is actually pretty good in my estimation--maybe his best book. Among other things, he exonerates Coolidge from blame, and criticizes the liberal historians who tarred Coolidge. And he gets Hoover's bad economics right.
Brutus: You're kidding, right? High growth in the 1950s?? You should go back to see how liberals (like JFK) complained strenuously about slow growth in the 1950s. (They were right.) Growth rates didn't really tale off until JFK cut taxes in the early 1960s.
And, um, if tax rates aren't that important, why did nearly every nation in the world cut their rates after we did in the 1980s? And why are the places that have had the fastest growth rates over the last decade (like Ireland and Slovakia) places that adopted low, flat-rate tax systems?
I would recommend Gene Smiley's Rethinking the Great Depression.
Well I felt somewhat sheepish after posting when I read what I should have been able to guess about the identity of the gushing reviewer. So thanks for the reply.
Thanks also to Dr. Mosier, I will add Smiley's Rethinking the Great Depression to my reading list.
I know Brutus hates the federal reserve and favors the gold standard. But I am just aiming at understanding what is happening for the moment.
So if Mr. Hayward would be so kind as recommend what could be read to understand the upcomming newest Bretton Woods conference...and maybe opine on why the Euro is sinking while the dollar is climbling and the Yen is surging...or what role currency traders like Soros play or how they think.
In the interest of full disclosure I am playing the MSNB portfolio challenge which gives me an a free $25 real money FOREX currency account. But if folks think 40 to 1 leverage is dangerous/high, currency trading allows leverage over 350 to 1.
Some idiot like myself could actually take $25 and make a $9000 bet.
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