Framing the Dialogue

In The Year 2525

The year 2525 is probably the year when we “officially” find out from historians that conservatives were right and that Barney Frank and Democrat policies started the global financial meltdown and Obama’s policies like the Stimulus, Obamacare, and Dodd-Frank prolonged the agony.  That is because history is mostly written by liberal academics (I know that is redundant) and they have a slightly biased view of the world.

I am exagerating about the date 514 years from now, but consider that until recently most historical accounts of the Great Depression give FDR credit for ending it.  There have been books like The Forgotten Man which set the record straight, but few probably read this.  However nearly seventy years after the depression ended two UCLA economists place the blame where it belongs…on FDR.

“The fact that the Depression dragged on for years convinced generations of economists and policy-makers that capitalism could not be trusted to recover from depressions and that significant government intervention was required to achieve good outcomes,” Cole said. “Ironically, our work shows that the recovery would have been very rapid had the government not intervened.”

This is interesting in that the research was published in 2004 and I only heard about it on talk radio (Jim Quinn).  Perhaps in a prophetic moment the authors made this statement four years before our current economic meltdown and politicians’ weak attempts to “fix” the problem.

“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 UCLA’s Department of Economics. “We found that a relapse isn’t likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies.”  [emphasis added]

While it is refreshing that the record is starting to be set straight my guess is that most school history books, if they teach about the Great Depression at all, still give credit to FDR.  Perhaps students should learn about this historical period in their economics class rather than U.S. History.

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