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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/8017/hoovers-attack-on-laissez-faire/

Hoover’s Attack on Laissez-Faire

April 11, 2008 by

If government wishes to alleviate, rather than aggravate, a depression, wrote Murray Rothbard, its only valid course is laissez-faire — to leave the economy alone. Currently fashionable economic thought considers such a dictum hopelessly outdated, yet it is the policy dictated both by sound theory and by historical precedent. But in 1929, the sound course was rudely brushed aside. Led by President Hoover, the government embarked on what has accurately been called the “Hoover New Deal.” FULL ARTICLE

{ 5 comments }

Michael A. Clem April 11, 2008 at 7:50 pm

Harding declared that liquidation was inevitable and attacked governmental planning and any suggestion of Treasury relief. He said, “The excess stimulation from that source is to be reckoned a cause of trouble rather than a source of cure.”[13]
Wow. I’m finding more reasons to like Harding.

DS April 12, 2008 at 7:51 am

Good article, but very light on the causes of these depressions, only a spot-on criticism of the government interventions that followed. Too often analyses of the great depression start in 1929, not 1913 or 1921 when the inflation process started.

Brent April 12, 2008 at 12:23 pm

>Good article, but very light on the causes of these depressions, <

This is one chapter out of a much larger book on the subject of the depression. Rothbard’s book is anything but light on the causes of the depression.

Matt April 12, 2008 at 3:37 pm

The tax, tax, spend, spend, crew in Washington DC
had better concentrate on lower taxes and lower spending and not worry whether we are in a Recession or not or they will find a Depression around the neck of the American Public.

Of course politicians will blame a Depression on Laissez-Faire if we are unfortunate to have one, if we don’t have one, Laissez-Faire will be given no
credit in the role it played. Has anything been learned since 1929?.

We are all born Ignorant but there is a special breed of politicians who stay that way in the realm of economics all the days of their lives.

Paul Marks April 13, 2008 at 9:35 am

A good section of a good book.

I can see only two weak spots:

Firstly former President Wilson was in no position to support anything in December 1921 (due to his state of health) – others spoke for him.

Secondly I am not sure that the oft repeated claim that Hoover supported laissez-faire is an “ironic twist of fate” – after all this claim was first made by people who knew perfectly well that Hoover was an ardent interventionist.

So “bare faced lie” would be more accurate than “ironic twist of fate”.

Of course, now several generations have passed, people (such as media types) who make the “Hoover was a free market person” assumption are NOT telling lies – they are simply comming out with the nonsense they were taught at school and college.

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