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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Learning from the Great Depression

Since the late summer of 2008, the Great Depression has made a big comeback in discussions over the economy and public policy. Unfortunately, the lessons that politicians and pundits say we're supposed to learn for today often turn out to be dead wrong.

But that's not surprising. Perhaps no other period in U.S. history is so riddled with errors and outright falsehoods.

For example, we often hear that Herbert Hoover was a laissez faire, free market president. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. As we shall see, Hoover was a big government Republican.

The other mistake is that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal saved the U.S. economy. Again, the exact opposite turns out to be the truth.

Following are the four most important lessons we should learn from the Great Depression...

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