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They're finally going after the New Deal

Usually when liberals complain about Reagan or Bush destroying the New Deal, they mean it as more or less a rhetorical point. And conservatives like Gingrich would usually insist that they were merely rolling back the excesses of the Great Society expansion of the New Deal, not the New Deal itself.

But now that the last of the generation of voters who know that they owe their economic security entirely to FDR is dying off, and now that the right has succeeded in rolling back almost everything associated with the Great Society (they still have to work out that agreement on the Medicare bill, though), it's almost as if a decision has been made to go after the New Deal.

Amazon.com: Books: FDR's Folly: How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression

Here's the description of the book:

In FDR’s Folly, historian Jim Powell argues that it was in fact the New Deal itself, with its shortsighted programs, that deepened the Great Depression, swelled the federal government, and prevented the country from turning around quickly. You’ll discover in alarming detail how FDR’s federal programs hurt America more than helped it, with effects we still feel today, including:

- How Social Security actually increased unemployment
- How higher taxes undermined good businesses
- How new labor laws threw people out of work

By the way, this book ranks 245 on Amazon. Not bad, without a single review that I can find in any non-right-wing paper or magazine. What prompted me to look it up was a reference in the New York Times business section last Sunday in a little filler column where they ask executives what they're reading. (Not online.) So a book like this, which is one of the first products of the new Crown Forum line of right-wing books, is evidently in circulation among businesspeople, etc.

The only press coverage of the book has been from Robert Bartley, the longtime editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and from Thomas Sowell, who reports that the book proves that "some of the people who most admired and almost worshipped FDR -- poor people and blacks, for example -- were hurt the most."

I haven't read this book so I can't judge whether it really makes the case that poor people and African-Americans would have been better off under the Hoover regime. But I'd sure like to see the Times Book Review or The American Prospect give it to Alan Brinkley or William Leuchtenberg or some other first-rate historian of the 30s and 40s and have them treat it like a real history, which is what it pretends to be. Perhaps there's some truth to the book. But we ignore the Right's attempt to write it's own version of history at our own peril.

Posted by Mark Schmitt on October 24, 2003 | Permalink


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Although I didn't read the book, Bartley's description of Powell's argument that devaluation was a mistake, flies in the face of Barry Eichengreen's "Golden Fetters" which makes a compelling case that shows that countries that devalued were the most effective in coming out of the Great Depression.

Also see Billmon's post at:

Posted by: Lerxst | Oct 25, 2003 12:34:11 AM

raucher entwoehnung
endlich nichtraucher allan carr
nichtraucher werden
nichtraucher de
Nicht raucher

Posted by: Nichtraucher | Aug 24, 2004 4:00:12 PM


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Posted by: portal web | Sep 8, 2007 11:53:30 AM