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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Libertarianism and the Great Depression
    #2545351 - 04/10/04 12:21 AM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Just wondering: From a libertarian point of view, how could the Great Depression have been prevented, or if it couldn't, then how should it have been dealt with. My understanding is that the US economy was much more Laissez Faire before the Depression.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Libertarianism and the Great Depression [Re: silversoul7]
    #2545372 - 04/10/04 12:30 AM (13 years, 1 month ago)

I believe Evolving has posted a few relevant tidbits on this before. Perhaps he'll repost them.

And yes, the US economy was more Laissez-faire before the Great Depression -- just not Laissez-faire enough to prevent it.

pinky


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InvisibleDoctorJ
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Re: Libertarianism and the Great Depression [Re: silversoul7]
    #2546779 - 04/10/04 06:54 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

good question ss7!

I have often wondered about this myself. But every time I ask someone I always get a partisan answer: "It was the commies' fault/ it was the capitalist pigs' fault"

just once I would like to see this economic event examined objectively.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Libertarianism and the Great Depression [Re: DoctorJ]
    #2546802 - 04/10/04 07:02 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Well, although I am no expert in this, I do have to say that businesses at the time were getting away with more than even more than most (true) libertarians would let them get away with. Kinda like now.


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InvisibleLetto
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Re: Libertarianism and the Great Depression [Re: silversoul7]
    #2547320 - 04/10/04 11:48 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

My economics professor was just talking about this on Wednesday. A recession was certainly bound to happen after the roaring 20s as the nation was growing extremely fast (something like 30% GDP a year, and now it's just ~2%). But before the Great Depression, economists believed that left on it's own, the US economy would recover from a recession in the long run, without government interference, by natural mechanisms built in (i.e - lower prices -> more goods bought -> more workers hired).

After Black Tuesday and everyone losing their money in the bank failures (which was mainly caused by the Federal Reserve giving out credit out like it was nothing, and once the banks started failing, the Fed refused to make more money to help the banks out. In recent recessions [I think the 1980s one, maybe the '76 one too] the Fed has printed more money to make sure no bank failed), the US government passed a few laws that they thought would help the American workers (such as increasing export costs to foreign nations, so Americans would make more revenue, but many companies just stopped doing business with us), and these laws worked against the American economy. As a few years passed, economists found out that the economy wasn't naturally fixing itself like it was supposed to. So the government took measures to repair it (which I know hardly anything about).

I think with a Libertarian government in place before the Depression, at least a mild recession would have occurred (just like the recent recession, they're bound to happen after periods of large growth). It wouldn't have been anywhere near as severe as the Great Depression because banks wouldn't have given out credit as easily and the banking system wouldn't have just lost everyone's money. And even after Black Tuesday and bank failures, the government would have left the market alone, and it would have fixed itself from the recession. (A depression is a recession which lasts 2 years).


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OfflineThe_Red_Crayon
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Re: Libertarianism and the Great Depression [Re: Letto]
    #2549028 - 04/11/04 07:48 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Tariffs hurt the economy mainly cause we imposed tariffs on different countries who were in the midst of a depression themselves. So they tariffed our exports. Caused major problems to our economy.


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