Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Real Deal The Real Deal

Amity Shlaes in AEI: The Real Deal takes to task historians, and probably economists, for refusing to look at the reality of the New Deal. The evidence continues to mount that Hoover screwed up by walking away from his free enterprise roots, but then FDR came in and totally demolished the economy, greatly lengthening and deepening what should have only been a couple years of hardship into the Great Depression. Little of what FDR did helped the economy, most hurt it, and some was devastating. And one of the oft missed problems was that FDR never could hold the course very long, whatever course he chose to chart for the country.

One interesting point that Ms. Shlaes points out is that much of the socialism of the New Deal is forgiven as necessary to prevent a socialist takeover of this country. But this ignores the reality that FDR's Brain Trust had spent time with the Communists in Russia and the Fascists in Italy before coming to power in this country. They were, in essence, fellow travelers with the socialists taking power then in Europe, whether they be Communists in Russia, Fascists in Italy, or Nazis in Germany.

What she doesn't address is the why for this failure to investigate one of the more momentous epochs in our history. My belief is that it is almost entirely a result of the extreme liberalism we now find in academia, and notably in the social sciences. This questioning of the demi-god FDR and his legacy would be political suicide in many universities right now, the height of political correctness, worse than challenging affirmative action, white male oppression, etc.

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