Great Depression II

Some people worry that we are headed for another Great Depression. The parallels between then and now are striking: insane blunders by first a Republican and then a Democratic administration pushed the country into a nightmare. I’ve just finished reading the best short analysis of the Depression and it’s, well, depressing.

The moral of the story comes at the end:

Nothing would be more foolish than to single out the men who led us in those baleful years and condemn them for all the evil that befell us. The ultimate roots of the Great Depression were growing in the hearts and minds of the American people. It is true, they abhorred the painful symptoms of the great dilemma. But the large majority favored and voted for the very policies that made the disaster inevitable: inflation and credit expansion, protective tariffs, labor laws that raised wages and farm laws that raised prices, ever higher taxes on the rich and distribution of their wealth. The seeds for the Great Depression were sown by scholars and teachers during the 1920s and earlier when social and economic ideologies that were hostile toward our traditional order of private property and individual enterprise conquered our colleges and universities. The professors of earlier years were as guilty as the political leaders of the 1930s.

Social and economic decline is facilitated by moral decay. Surely, the Great Depression would be inconceivable without the growth of covetousness and envy of great personal wealth and income, the mounting desire for public assistance and favors.

Sound familiar?

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