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  1. The memoirs of Herbert Hoover: the Great Depression 1929-1941.
  2. The Two Phases of Herbert Hoover’s Constitutional Conservatism | SpringerLink
  3. Hoover, Herbert.
  4. Standard explanations

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The memoirs of Herbert Hoover: the Great Depression 1929-1941.

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  1. Gestion de production : Les fondamentaux et les bonnes pratiques (Références) (French Edition).
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  5. The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover: The Great Depression, 1929-1941.

When FDR came into office, he merely upped the ante on everything Hoover had started, and that's why the nation stayed mired in depression for another decade. On the face of it, there's something very fishy with the official version of history regarding the Great Depression.

The Two Phases of Herbert Hoover’s Constitutional Conservatism | SpringerLink

If the explanation for the worst economic calamity the country ever faced is that Herbert Hoover believed in small government and didn't lift a finger to help, then why did it take so long for the Great Depression to occur? After all, the US had had serious depressions or "panics," as they called them earlier in its history. It's not as if the presidents at the helm during those crises had implemented Social Security or FDIC, and then Herbert Hoover came along and dismantled them.

No, generally speaking, the federal government's powers grew over the decades from the country's founding. So to explain the Great Depression by pointing to Hoover's reluctance to intervene is like explaining the sinking of the Titanic by pointing to gravity. In contrast, my own explanation doesn't suffer from this problem. I claim that Hoover's unprecedented at the time interventions exacerbated the fallout from the stock-market crash — in particular his insistence that businesses prop up wages even as other prices fell sharply.

That is a major reason that unemployment increased so much more in the early s, even though deflation both in monetary terms and prices was more severe in the earlier — depression.


  1. In This Review;
  2. Book Review: The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover: The Great Depression, 1929–1941;
  3. The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover: The Great Depression, - Price Estimate: $10 - $.
  4. Is Budget Austerity Modern-Day Hooverism?.

In other words, it's quite easy for the Austrian to explain why the United States didn't experience the horrors of the Great Depression in earlier crises: those presidents didn't foolishly intervene as much as Hoover and FDR did. They largely left the market to its own devices, and the economy recovered much more quickly than it did in the s. In a previous article I laid out the figures of government spending to show that Herbert Hoover was no fan of austerity.

David Friedman has made the point as well, to rebut the Hoover myth as it was propounded by another NYT writer. In the present article, I'll make the point using literary sources. First of all, let's go back to Krugman's discussion of Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon and his infamous advice about liquidation. To his credit, Krugman acknowledges that this quote comes from Hoover's own memoirs, written well after the fact. But to his discredit, Krugman fails to notify us that on the very next page of Hoover's memoirs, after he explains the liquidationist advice he got from his treasury secretary, Hoover wrote,.

But other members of the Administration, also having economic responsibilities — Under Secretary of the Treasury Mills, Governor Young of the Reserve Board, Secretary of Commerce Lamont and Secretary of Agriculture Hyde — believed with me that we should use the powers of government to cushion the situation.

Hoover, Herbert.

If you read Hoover's memoirs in context, you see that his whole point in bringing up the Mellon doctrine was to tell his readers that he rejected the advice. Hoover was trying to show people and of course I'm paraphrasing here , "Hey, I did everything I could to get us out of that awful downturn! You should have seen the crazy laissez-faire stuff my treasury secretary was recommending. We don't need to rely on Herbert Hoover's own proclamations of his big-government instincts, nor just the raw figures of government spending that I've outlined here and here.

Ironically, I can quote from Rapaport's Salon article to make my case. The following quotation is a bit lengthy, but I promise you will not be disappointed:. Interestingly, in the decades leading up to the presidential campaign, Hoover wore the mantle of greatness with as much authority as Roosevelt.

Standard explanations

A renowned mining engineer and a self-made millionaire by 40, Hoover had become a household name for his work on the Commission for Relief in Belgium. Hoover's abilities made him an exemplar of the utopian, ideology-free "master engineers" whose business skills were seen as the path to postwar prosperity. In , Hoover seemed to his neighbor and fellow-Washington up-and-comer, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Roosevelt, just the man for that year's Democratic presidential nomination.

In , Hoover, who had stubbornly avoided party affiliation, finally declared himself a Republican, and was appointed commerce secretary in the new Harding administration. In the Cabinet, Hoover was regarded as a highly capable busybody. Hoover's failures were not for lack of effort. Despite popular conviction, he was no American Nero, fiddling inside the Oval Office while the country burned. Hoover funded public work and relief programs at then-unprecedented levels. He used the presidential "bully pulpit" as capably as anyone since FDR's late cousin, Theodore. Hoover jawboned businesses to prevent them from cutting workers' wages.

He pushed through a moratorium on World War I-related German reparations. Hoover also encouraged the private sector to create its own self-help organizations, including the Federal Farm Bureau, National Business Survey Conference and National Credit Corporation. Unfortunately, his good decisions were overmatched by the disastrous ones. In , against the advice of leading economists, Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, effectively slaughtering international trade and devastating already distressed American agriculture and livestock production.