Sunday, November 30, 2008

Will 11/30/08

Same Old New Deal?

My take on George Will's latest. His column was published in the Washington Post.

Summary: Barack Obama is poised to apply the New Deal thinking of the 1930's to this 21st. century economy. Guess what? The New Deal wasn't so great even when it was new.


By acting without rhyme or reason, politicians have destroyed the rules of the game. There is no reason to invest, no reason to take risk, no reason to be prudent, no reason to look for buyers if your firm is failing. Everything is up in the air and as a result, the only prudent policy is to wait and see what the government will do next. The frenetic efforts of FDR had the same impact: Net investment was negative through much of the 1930s.

- Russell Roberts, George Mason University

My Views: Yes, George, New Deal history has been lost in the mythology of the left. The biggest industrial crash occured not in 1929 but 8 years later in 1937. The New Deal was 5 years old. By 1938 the economy was down by every significant measurement from the time FDR took office. This is a point of the highest significance.

Now, Obama wants to step into the FDR myth and rerun the New Deal. This is what all this stimulus spending amounts to. The most serious questions about the overall strategy exist.

George Will almost didn't make it as a syndicated columnist. His style was considered too erudite for a general audience.

Whatever one thinks of his views, read his work for use of language and for how he marshals facts and uses logic.

Here's his Wiki bio.

His latest book is at the right.