Tyler Cowen’s NY Times Economic Scene column on the Great Depression and the New Deal is a welcome dose of measured judgment. Bottom line:
In short, expansionary monetary policy and wartime orders from Europe, not the well-known policies of the New Deal, did the most to make the American economy climb out of the Depression. Our current downturn will end as well someday, and, as in the ’30s, the recovery will probably come for reasons that have little to do with most policy initiatives.
You know one of the many things I love about Tyler? I’d say I know him fairly well, and have a pretty good sense of his overall intellectual framework (including his not-as-elusive-as-it-seems moral and political theory). But I cannot predict his opinions on most topics with any precision, yet always find them consistent with what I already knew about his commitments. What do you suppose that means?