New Deal Revisionism

The NYTimes has a short piece in the arts section on "new deal revisionism."  Rich Vedder gets the best line:

Mr. Vedder playfully offered another analogy: the recession of 1920. Why was that slump, over and done with by 1922, so much shorter than the following decade’s? Well, for starters, he said, President Woodrow Wilson suffered an incapacitating stroke at the end of 1919, while his successor, Warren G. Harding, universally considered one of the worst presidents in American history, preferred drinking, playing poker and golf, and womanizing, to governing. “So nothing happened,” Mr. Vedder said.

Of course Mr. Vedder does not wish ill health – or obliviousness – on any chief executive. Still, in his view, when you’re talking about government intervention in the economy, doing nothing is about the best you can hope for from any president.

By the way, I am looking forward to hearing Bob Higgs on C-Span this weekend.  Higgs is a top-rate economic historian from whom I learn something new everytime I hear him.


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