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America's Great Depression pdf America's Great Depression, ebook America's Great Depression, epub America's Great Depression, doc America's Great Depression, e-pub America's Great Depression, America's Great Depression 3e7d1d6b9a9 Applied Austrian Economics Doesn T Get Better Than This Murray N Rothbard S America S Great Depression Is A Staple Of Modern Economic Literature And Crucial For Understanding A Pivotal Event In American And World HistoryThe Mises Institute Edition Features A New Introduction By Historian Paul JohnsonSince It First Appeared In , It Has Been The Definitive Treatment Of The Causes Of The Depression The Book Remains Canonical Today Because The Debate Is Still Very AliveRothbard Opens With A Theoretical Treatment Of Business Cycle Theory, Showing How An Expansive Monetary Policy Generates Imbalances Between Investment And Consumption He Proceeds To Examine The Fed S Policies Of The S, Demonstrating That It Was Quite Inflationary Even If The Effects Did Not Show Up In The Price Of Goods And Services He Showed That The Stock Market Correction Was Merely One Symptom Of The Investment Boom That Led Inevitably To A BustThe Great Depression Was Not A Crisis For Capitalism But Merely An Example Of The Downturn Part Of The Business Cycle, Which In Turn Was Generated By Government Intervention In The Economy Had The Book Appeared In The S, It Might Have Spared The World Much Grief Even So, Its Appearance InMeant That Free Market Advocates Had Their First Full Scale Treatment Of This Crucial Subject The Damage To The Intellectual World Inflicted By Keynesian And Socialist Style Treatments Would Be Limited From That Day Forward

10 thoughts on “America's Great Depression

  1. says:

    This is a torrid love letter to laissez faire economics sure to raise a fiscal chubby on fans of the Austrian School of Economics ASE Of course, if limited government i.e., NONE , free markets i.e., unrestrained capitalism and non intervention with the money supply i.e., the Federal Reserve must go are not under pinnings of your own economic beliefs, or i.e., the ASE is just not your bag , this book may cause hives and periodic bouts of severe chafing I kept a jumbo jar of Aloe next to me while reading in case I started to itch Now, if you re not entirely sure what your tolerance for the invisible fist hand of laissez faire is, I ve included the following excerpt from the book which should be than adequate to help you test your relative placement along the spectrum of economic theory If government wishes to alleviate, rather than aggravate, a depression, its only valid course is laissez faire to leave the economy alone Only if there is no interference, direct or threatened, with prices, wage rates, and business liquidation will the necessary adjustment proceed with smooth dispatch.Any propping up of shaky positions postpones liquidation and aggravates unsound conditions Propping up wage rates creates mass unemployment, and bolstering prices perpetuates and creates unsold surpluses.Moreover, a drastic cut in the government budget both in taxes and expenditures will of itself speed adjustment by changing social choice toward saving and investment relative to consumption For government spending, whatever the label attached to it, is solely consumption any cut in the budget therefore raises the investment consumption ratio in the economy and allows rapid validation of originally wasteful and loss yielding projects.Hence, the proper injunction to government in a depression is cut the budget and leave the economy strictly alone Now take a moment to examine yourself for any severe physiological changes and you should have a good idea of where you reside in relation to the Austrian School PLOT SUMMARY This is one of the classics of the Austian School written by one of its staunchest proponents In it, Rothbard sets forth the foundational tenets of ASE philosophy and then ruthlessly applies them against what he describes as the disastrous actions of the government from 1921 1933 Actions that he argues led inexorably to, and greatly extended, the Great Depression.Rothbard traces the inflationary practices of the Federal Reserve which the ASE despises and considers the earthly manifestation of SATAN beginning in 1921 and argues that the Fed s manipulations of the money supply and its artificial expansion of available credit was a root cause of the factors that would eventually lead to the Great Depression Rothbard explains that when money and credit become too easy to obtain, the market spends the money unwisely and it leads to an over supply of unneeded assets the BOOM that must eventually be liquidated the BUST The arguments made by Rothbard are expansive and far detailed, but that is the gist.Rothbard then turns to President Herbert Hoover and the gloves come off as he presents a scathing indictment that places the vast majority of the blame for the depth, breadth and duration of Great Depression squarely at the feet of what Rothbard calls the interventionist policies of the Hoover administration Rothbard begins his historical smack down by debunking the commonly held view that President Hoover was a hands off, free market supporter and that it was his adherence to the principals of laissez faire that led to the onset of the Great Depression Rothbard argues that this is 180 degrees wrong and goes to great lengths to demonstrate how the do nothing President had both hands up to the elbow inside the economy trying to manipulate the market.This chronicle of the Hoover adminstrations policies takes up the last half of the book and is incredibly well laid out and pretty nasty Among Hoover s many interventionist mistakes, Rothbard discusses Hoover s voluntarism which Rothbard decries as nothing than massive government coercion of the country s leading companies to maintain wage rate, expand construction and cooperate regarding allocating reduced work Pushing for the passage of the Smoot Hawley Tariff which had a significantly negative effect on international trade just as the economy was in decline Weakening bankruptcy laws which allowed unsustainable companies to continue to operate rather than being able to redeploy their assets into productive endeavors Encouraging the Federal Reserve i.e., SATAN to expand credit, reduce interest rates and bolster shaky financial positions, thus continuing to encourage bad investments and speculation Pressuring Employers to maintain current levels of employment and not make required layoffs Imposing limits on immigration and deported illegal aliens Hoover was hoping to reduce unemployment by reducing supply in the available workforce Pushing for laws limiting the hours construction workers on Federal projects could work per day Publicly condemning short selling and supporting legislation banning the practice Enacting one of the largest tax increases in history while the U.S economy was tanking. All of these actions Rothbard argues had the opposite effect from what the Hoover administration intended and led the United States into the worst economic downturn in its history The analysis and the support for his position is cogent and if not always engaging Whether it is persuasive or not I will leave to you as much of the answer to that question will depend on what you bring with you to the reading FINAL THOUGHTS For me, I couldn t buy off on all of his assertions but that has nothing to do with the presentation of Rothbard s work in this book I found his case well laid out and it was obvious that he has a firm command of his subject matter He appeared just as comfortable discussing macro philosophical principals as he was applying those principals to a specific historical example Overall, this was an interesting, thorough analysis of the causes of the Great Depression from a perspective I had not previously encountered It is certainly worth checking out by anyone with an interest in economic history and philosophy whether or not you end up drinking the kool aid and buying off on Rothbard s conclusions.4.0 stars Highly Recommended unless you begin to chafe.

  2. says:

    Rothbard s great analysis of the causes of the Great Depression is one of the classics of Austrian economics and a must read for serious libertarians Rothbard presents conclusive evidence explaining the crucial mistakes made by Herbert Hoover and later exacerbated by FDR, that deepened and prolonged what should have been a short and sharp depression The Federal Reserve is also fingered as the culprit that expanded credit and the money supply and created the stock market bubble in the first place.I read it several years ago and am rereading it now for the book club meeting.

  3. says:

    I am deeply skeptical of the Austrian School of economics so I felt it important to start reading a bit about it, if for no other reason to help sharpen my arguments against it In that role, this book largely succeeds It is dated, and a serious adherent to the philosophy might point me elsewhere to catch up and I ll be poking around , but it is still clear and relevant The book, fairly succinctly, makes the case that it is government intervention in the markets, and only government intervention, that drives the boom and bust business cycle and economic depressions are purely a product of the presumably unintended consequences government action Well, that is clearly nonsense, but if you are willing willing to prune through some of the arguments you can learn a lot that is, I think, true.Where the book fails to make its case is it never really considers the role of World War I in creating the global economic imbalances of the 1920s It blows right by the possibility that most cataclysmic of events could have shaped the economic destiny of the ensuing decades, particularly in Europe where they struggled under the enormous load of war debts to America The book also never hints at the role of fraud in the build up of the stock market in the 1920s everything is laid at the feet of the easy money policy of the federal reserve and at the rah rah boosting of sentiment by government officials Never mind that the easy money policy Rothbard so deplores was executed to support the gold standard he so strongly believes in Neglecting these does serious harm to credibility of his thesis.His polemics against fractional reserve banking are border line delusional That is an institution that is never going away indeed, without it, we simply could not finance the industrial society we live in today and life would collapse to the standards of the eighteenth century We, as a civilization, have decided the occasional cost of bank runs is well worth the long term benefit, thank you.The most amusing failure though is the assertion that economic theory cannot be judged by how well it matches data it can only be judged by its logical internal consistency and by how appealing its arguments are While it is true that economic data is terrifically complex, and easy to misinterpret and is often misinterpreted willfully to meet an agenda , you simply cannot assert your theories are exempt from the scrutiny of real data Of course, Rothbard goes on to ignore this restriction and applies every economic statistic he can that could possibly support his thesis and either quietly ignores everything else or points to them as confounding features actually driven by other factors that he doesn t need to explain because they are too complex All that said, the book is still worth reading both a to help to understand Austrian School adherents who have a lot of sway today with the push for austerity and b because he does make some good points with respect to government intervention in markets He lists a series of devastating critiques of the Hoover administrations attempts at price fixing and shows how often that backfires He also convincingly demonstrates that make work programs that don t add real economic value cannot succeed so don t believe people when they tell you the government should pay people to dig holes and then fill them and that propping up input costs like labor in the face of falling prices can have very negative consequences if business can no longer remain profitable.So a good and important read that makes some excellent points, even if you find yourself laughing out loud occasionally.

  4. says:

    This is practically a technical handbook on how to screw up the economy so bad that it can take years to recover if recovery is even possible.The author names the people involved, the tangle of agencies and bureaucracies they created, the wild eyed philosophies they espoused, and the step by step tinkering by the Feds that, step by step, made things worse Reading this book, I now know where Ayn Rand got the idea for her book, Atlas Shrugged You can also see where some of the empty political rhetoric and programs today came from, and see how they re still making things worse.The Great Depression gained its foothold much earlier than the Hoover Administration, when government tinkering according to the Keynesian philosophy under the oversight of Wilson, Harding, and Coolidge created the boom of the Roaring Twenties But under that system, every boom has its bust, and the bust came in at about the same time Hoover did I knew going in that Hoover was a humanitarian, not the ogre that we have been presented with, but it was his humanitarianism that was his downfall Instead of allowing the economy its much needed self corrections after the boom, he gripped the economy even tighter, doing all the wrong things at the wrong times in hopes of easing the misery He only heightened it, and prolonged it.The author states, President Hoover, often considered to be a staunch exponent of laissez faire, had amassed by far the largest peacetime deficit yet known to American historyHoover had indeed placed humanity before money through the sacrifice of profits and dividends before wages, Hoover s words but people found it difficult to subsist or prosper on humanity When Democrat Franklin Roosevelt came in, he not only maintained the grip Hoover had placed on the economy, he doubled down on it, and the Great Depression would last for a decade longer until we were rescued by WWII.This book is complex, and slow going in places, but it s a must for anyone who is disillusioned by the Keynesian economics, and wants a dose of reality to explain what went wrong then and now I rated it 5 out of 5 stars.

  5. says:

    Very eye opening I had come to the conclusion a long time ago that FDR didn t get the U.S out of the Great Depression, that is a myth that everyone believes because we ve been told over and over until we just believe it What was eye opening was that the architect of the Great Depression was Hoover, who implemented most of the progressive ideas being championed by the democrats, and that directly led to and worsened the depression If Hoover had not been so married to the ideas that failed for the farmers, he would not have applied them to other parts of industry and the banks And FDR was only too eager to continue the policies that Hoover was so married to Hoover s ambition led him to be so blind to the unfolding facts, there was no way he was going to see that he was the architect.

  6. says:

    In this work, Rothbard describes the sources of the crisis and same course of the crisis until Roosevelt took power So book describes the events in the United States from the years 1921 1933 At the beginning the author explains the basics of the Austrian theory of the business cycle, and criticizes alternative explanations Then writes the events first before the crisis, and then in its initial phase, during the reign of Hoover According to me, the author effectively debunks the myth of laissez faire nature of government in this period The crisis of 1929 was preceded by a huge inflation of credit stimulated by the government According to Rothbard, the total money supply increased by over 60% within 8 years mostly by increasing reserves by buying acceptances and promissory notes When the crisis came, Hoover was not guided by laissez faire policies, and actively interfered in the market Hoover willingly financed the public works and fougth deflation But the amazing thing is that, along with a group of economists, he managed to convince business to not to reduce wages and costs By this in the beginning of the crisis, real wages have risen since nominal wages remained stable and profits and prices were falling There were also a redistribution of work, by reducing the number of hours hourly rates remained at the same level and hiring new employees This caused even greater pressure on maintaining wages This only extended agony of many companies, and wrong investments could not be quickly liquidated to free up capital and resources for effective and desired by consumers activities Hoover also involved in many other interventionist projects Herbert Hoover opposed to only direct assistance to the unemployed by giving them benefits from the state Instead, he preferred to create jobs by organizing the construction, eg The construction of the Hoover Dam etc Roosevelt did not create any New Deal , he only continued and deepened Hoover s policies to combat the crisis Analysis of the crisis only confirms misesian cycle theory, in which a boom triggered by inflation leads to crisis Increase in credit leads to increased investment by businesses that are not preceded by the reduction of consumption savings The investments that were previously unprofitable seem to profitable, which increases the demand for capital goods This leads to an increase in their prices and after some time previous investments cease to be profitable Then you market should eliminate bad investments However, the government, together with the banks may delay the process by increasing inflation even further, which deepens coming crisis Rothbard proved that the crisis affected to a much greater degree of capital goods than consumer goods, which confirms the thesis of the business cycles of Mises Production of capital goods declined much lower than the production of consumer goods, which refutes the thesis of underconsumption and confirmed thesis of overconsumption To consume something, first you have to produce The book, due to be concluded its contents is difficult, and I would not recommend it to people not familiar with the Austrian School of Economics It is a pity that the book ends with the election of Roosevelt I would happilly read about how Roosevelt deepened Hoover s interventionism Before reading this book I would recommend you read other basic works such as Works of Fr d ric Bastiat and the basic work of Ludwig von Mises, and his magnum opus Human Action A Treatise on Economics Without knowledge of human action do not read this book Reading a book additionally hampered by the fact that Rothbard mentions a lot of people, organizations and laws, so sometimes you can get lost Surprising to me was also the fact, that the author in one place seriously go wrong with counting the percentages Fortunately, the publisher has pointed out in a footnote polish W tym dziele Rothbard opisuje r d a kryzysu oraz sam przebieg kryzysu a do obj cia w adzy przez Roosevelta Czyli ksi ka opisuje wydarzenia w USA z lat 1921 1933 Na pocz tku autor wyja nia podstawy Austriackiej teorii cyklu koniunkturalnego, oraz krytykuje alternatywne wyja nienia kryzys w Nast pnie pisuje wydarzenia najpierw sprzed kryzysu, a nast pnie w pocz tkowej jego fazie za rz d w Hoovera Wed ug mnie autor skutecznie obala mit o leseferystycznym charakterze rz d w w tym okresie Kryzys z 1929 roku by poprzedzony olbrzymi inflacj kredytu stymulowan przez rz d Wed ug danych Rothbarda, czna poda pieni dza zwi kszy a si o ponad 60% w okresie 8 lat g wnie przez zwi kszanie rezerw przez skup akcept w i weksli Kiedy nadszed kryzys, Hoover nie kierowa si polityk laissez faire, a aktywnie ingerowa w rynek Hoover ochoczo finansowa roboty publiczne i walczy z deflacj Jednak zadziwiaj ce jest to, e wraz z grup ekonomist w uda o mu si przekona biznes do nieobni ania p ac i obni ania koszt w Przez to na pocz tku kryzysu p ace realne wzros y, poniewa p ace nominalne utrzymywa y si na sta ym poziomie, a zyski i ceny spada y Dochodzi o tak e do redystrybucji pracy, przez zmniejszanie liczby godzin stawki godzinowe utrzyma y si na tym samym poziomie i zatrudnianie nowych pracownik w To spowodowa o jeszcze wi ksze presje na nieobni anie p ac Przez to przed u ono tylko agoni wielu firm, przez co b dne inwestycje nie mog y zosta szybko zlikwidowane, aby uwolni kapita i zasoby do bardziej efektywnych i po danych przez konsument w dzia a Hoover anga owa si tak e w wiele innych interwencjonistycznych projekt w Herbert Hoover sprzeciwia si jedynie bezpo redniej pomocy bezrobotnym przez dawanie im zasi k w od pa stwa Zamiast tego wola tworzy miejsca pracy organizuj c budowy, np budow Zapory Hoovera itd Roosevelt nie stworzy adnego Nowego adu , a jednie kontynuowa i pog bi polityk Hoovera w zakresie walki z kryzysem Analiza kryzysu potwierdza tylko misesowsk teori cyklu, wed ug kt rej do kryzysu prowadzi boom wywo any przez inflacj Zwi kszenie kredytu prowadzi do zwi kszenia inwestycji przez przedsi biorc w, kt re nie s poprzedzone ograniczeniem konsumpcji oszcz dno ciami Inwestycje kt re wcze niej by y nieop acalne wydaj si op aca , przez co zwi ksza si popyt na dobra kapita owe To prowadzi do zwi kszenia ich cen i po pewnym czasie poprzednie inwestycje przestaj by op acalne Wtedy musi doj do zlikwidowania b dnych inwestycji Jednak rz d wraz z bankami mo e op ni ten proces zwi kszaj c inflacj jeszcze bardziej, przez co pog bia si przysz y kryzys Rothbard dowi d , e kryzys dotyczy w znacznie wi kszym stopniu d br kapita owych ni d br konsumpcyjnych, co potwierdza tezy Misesa o cyklach koniunkturalnych Produkcja d br kapita owych spad a znaczniej ni ej, ni produkcja d br konsumpcyjnych, co obala tezy o podkomsumcji, a potwierdza o nadkomsumcji eby co skonsumowa , najpierw trzeba to wyprodukowa Ksi ka ze wzgl du na zawierane w niej tre ci jest trudna, i nie poleca bym jej ludziom nie obeznanych z Austriack Szko Ekonomii Szkoda, e ksi ka ko czy si na obj ciu w adzy przez Roosevelta Ch tnie poczyta bym o tym, jak Roosevelt pog bi interwencjonizm zainicjowany przez Hoovera Przed przeczytaniem tej ksi ki poleca bym najpierw przeczytanie innych podstawowych dzie , jak np prace Frederica Bastiata i podstawowe prace Ludwiga von Misesa, oraz jego opus magnum Ludzkie dzia anie Bez znajomo ci Ludzkiego Dzia ania nawet nie zabierajcie si za t ksi k Czytanie ksi ki dodatkowo utrudnia fakt, e Rothbard wymienia w niej mas os b, organizacji i ustaw, przez co czasami mo na si pogubi Zaskakuj ce dla mnie by o tak e to, e autor w jednym miejscu powa nie pomyli si z liczeniem procent w Na szcz cie wydawca zwr ci na to uwag w przypisie Warto wiedzie tak e o tym, e wersja elektroniczna tej ksi ki zosta a udost pniona za darmo przez wydawc

  7. says:

    Read Rothbard s America s Great Depression A 1963 treatise on the 1930s Great Depression and its root causes, written by this remarkable Austrian School economist Worth reading as we seem not to learn the lessons from the past.

  8. says:

    America s Great Depression is one of the best books I ve ever read Arguably Murray Rothbard s most well known work, he presents an exhaustively sourced and detailed account of the lead up to the 1929 stock market crash and the aftermath of this crash from 1929 to 1933 Hoover was president of the U.S up until early 1933, so a majority of this book is about Hoover, not FDR The first third or so of the book deals with the lead up to the crash, which concentrates on the Coolidge presidency Hoover, as opposed to common knowledge about him, was a huge interventionist For whatever reason, we are taught that Hoover was a believer in markets that attempted to let the free market restore the economy following the stock market crash and the ensuing economic crash This could not be further from the truth, as Rothbard illuminates The 1920 s was a period of significant inflation, with an average annual growth in the money supply of approximately 8% This was also a time of large productivity gains prices remained fairly stable despite significant monetary inflation Rothbard breaks down the sources of monetary inflation during this period both by type and by time he breaks down the 20s into twelve separate periods to evaluate what happened and how things changed throughout the 20s Stable prices gave the Fed justification to continue to pump money into the economy they masked what was a ticking inflation bomb Large productivity gains enabled the Fed to get away with massive inflation without much hubbub from economists or the general public The Federal Reserve Bank of New York was also involved in inflationary schemes in concert with England to ease the gold outflow from England and easy the effects of their monetary mismanagement Rothbard details this Bank of England Federal Reserve Bank of New York relationship and how it shaped U.S monetary policy Though Coolidge largely adhered to laissez faire principles, officials during his time in office certainly did not The real meat of the book comes with Hoover s reaction to the 1929 stock market crash Rothbard does a fantastic job to document all of his interventions He attempted to prop up wages, prop up prices, protect failing institutions, and prevent liquidations To accomplish these goals, he and others during his administration cartelized industries, imposed high tariffs, heavily restricted immigration, and set up governmental agencies to loan to industry On the whole, these interventions aggravated unemployment and did not allow the government to quickly reset This was the first presidential administration that completely abandoned free market principles during a depression it is not a coincidence that this depression became the worst in American industry Rothbard makes the point that the 1921 mini depression saw rapid declines in prices, yet the economy recovered in about a year When government attempted to prop up the economy, it simply prolonged the depression The Great Depression, and specifically Rothbard s America s Great Depression, are fantastic lessons in Austrian economics Government induced inflation and loose monetary policy resulted in a boom bust cycle When the bust came, rather than allow malinvestments to be liquidated, continued governmental intervention prolonged the bust period It is amazing how many comparables there are between the Great Depression and the Great Recession The government s responses to the stock market crashes were extremely similar government got bigger and threw taxpayer dollars at the issue rather than get out of the way and allow the economy to reset and recover I wish I could say that we learned our lesson from these two vivid events, but we have not Ben Bernanke is credited in many circles for getting the U.S out of the Great Recession, but the economy is stagnant after seven years of zero percent interest rate and staggering monetary inflation Herbert Hoover is denigrated in most circles because he stubbornly adhered to free market principles, but this is simply wrong Hoover s actions aggravated the depression to the point where we today call in the Great Depression Without his interventions, it would just be another blip in the economic history of this country I do wish that Rothbard s book extended further into FDR s presidency, but this is still one of my favorite books despite this Maybe another economist from the Austrian school can pick up where Rothbard left off sometime in the future It would definitely be a tough act to follow, though.

  9. says:

    I wouldn t say this book is majorly enjoyable to read It s tough to be honest, but that is not the goal of a book like this The goal of this book is to layout the postulation that the depression was not caused by lassie Faire, but rather by intervention Rothbard beats this dead horse until no one can refute his claim The sheer amount of figures, for which he explains how he calculates things, is enough for me to accept his claim Noteworthy, this book focuses almost solely on the hoover Era when the intervention got started and popularized to later be used by Roosevelt.

  10. says:

    I read a then current 5th edition copy in PDF form from the mises.org website.A fabulous and eerily familiar read resonating strongly with the current 2008 2009 state of affairs, as it has also with previous major recessions.Each significant crises validates and reinforces the precepts of this book A priori proof of the validity of classical economics and the perspective of the Austrian school It s straightforward and really, uncomplicated.Keynesianism was borne out of the actions taken by our government to combat the Great Depression Such stuff is shown in the book to be utterly without merit and unable to stand up to close scrutiny.Obscuration and political expedience combine to keep the authentically discredited work of Keynes around as the go to playbook for fighting recession.This book will teach you about the failings of Keynes ideas how experiments in Keynesianism by Hoover and Roosevelt actually hurt people and extended the Great Depression, and how advocates of Keynes ideas are either ignorant of better operating and complete Austrian theory, indoctrinated by modern curricula which teach only Keynesianism, or most dangerously are simply disingenuous I give it 4 5 for it s instructive primer at the beginning, detailed and interesting historical account, and carefully annotated format I was left desperate for a continuation into the factors which finally broke the depression with the dawn of WWII This is missing, which is unfortunate, because such would give the Austrian perspective a bonus slam dunk against other, less complete, theories In debates with friends, it is about the endgame of the depression which is logically their first challenge to me, and mentally me to myself.I understand how Keynesian interventions can and did prolong the suffering of the depression But, then WWII happened and was followed by a post war mega boom that is still in place though battered, recently I naturally want to know why things ultimately ended up so good, if Roosevelt s actions and Hoover s before him were so bad.I seek answers to the question of the depression s endgame elsewhere Will report here on findings.

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