Re: An Even Shorter Introduction to The Great Depression & The New Deal: A Very Short Introduction

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Pacing!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 12:06 PM
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I thought the index was particularly well done.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 12:10 PM
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I had to buy the volume in that series on the Qur'an for one of my classes. Unfortunately, there was a printing error in the copy I bought that left several of the pages blank, so I didn't learn as much from it as I might have.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 12:10 PM
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Regarding the title, one has to ask, than what other introduction to The Great Depression and the New Deal: A Very Short Introduction is this one even shorter?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 12:12 PM
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5: The one at Edge of the West, perhaps?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 12:13 PM
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That must have been annoying. But aren't they great little things? I have a disproportionate liking for really small books, which may not be shared by everyone, but any book that fits easily in the hip pocket of a pair of jeans makes me happy. (Well, assuming the contents are worth reading.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 12:13 PM
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Recursion!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 12:13 PM
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But aren't they great little things?

Yeah, they're great.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 12:14 PM
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4: The first draft of the post, of which this is an edited version?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 12:14 PM
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"An introduction to The Great Depression and the New Deal: A Very Short Introduction than the introduction referenced in the title itself," perhaps.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 12:14 PM
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It is a nice series. Several of the volumes (mostly, but not entirely, the volumes on philosophers) are just re-packaged versions of the older series "Past Masters" and "Modern Masters". Still, they are usually good reads and usually done by real experts in the fields. I've enjoyed all of the ones I've read.


Posted by: Matt (not the famous one) | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 12:16 PM
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I didn't know about this series, which seems like a great idea.

Also, my periodic reminder that if one is going to buy books online, Powell's is a union bookstore. If you enter the site through powellsunion.org, 10% of what you spend goes directly to the workers.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 12:32 PM
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Oops, powellsunion.com


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 12:33 PM
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How do you enter the site through powellsunion.org I tried typing www.powellsunion.org and powellsunion.org all alone into my browser, and I just got verizon's websearch page, probably because they're my ISP.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 12:36 PM
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Thanks, I knew that but I always forget. Link edited.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 12:37 PM
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Too slow of a typer and failed to preview. Badly pwned.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 12:37 PM
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As a litigator, I am vaguely familiar with absolutely everything, but have exact knowledge of nothing I haven't researched in the last week,

Interesting. Sounds a little like being a reporter.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 12:39 PM
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There's a "Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction" which I haven't seen, but is clearly impossible.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 12:49 PM
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Someone who has read the book should post a review on Amazon. Some would say that as e-friends of Rauchway we shouldn't, bcause of conflict of interest, but that is the very opposite of the truth. If not us, who? If not now, when?

I rarely review Amazon books, and one of my reviews is probably to be regretted, but recently I found two excellent books reviewed as 3s by people who were not capable of appreciating them.

Within a couple of weeks I expect Rauchway's book to be entirely covered over with reviews by Randian, Austrian and monetarist vermin. The New Deal caused the Depression, you know.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 12:54 PM
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The series is inevitably uneven. I remember their Sociology one as not being very good.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 12:55 PM
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18: A lot of the titles are like that -- you simply can't imagine what a hundred pages or so on the topic would contain.

19: Huh. I hadn't thought of that. Should I copy this over, do you think?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 12:57 PM
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The New Deal caused the Depression, you know.

Oh yeah, what was that one that came out recently ... The Forgotten Man, by Amity Shales. I didn't follow the reviews but it set off all kinds of BS detectors.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 12:59 PM
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||

I am absolutely charmed by having just received a Christmas card from some Ukranian clients. With 3 Hryvnia 35 Kopecks in brightly colored stamps stuck on the envelope slightly crookedly. Part of our defense in the action in which I represented them was that as a Ukrainian business they lacked the capacity to successfully participate in litigation overseas. Given their success in having holiday mail delivered in a timely fashion, the defense may have been stronger than I realized.

|>


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 1:09 PM
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In July, you can review my book (now available for preorder on Amazon!). Or you can have a British person review it in May.

I was in Oxford when that series first came out, and my classmates and I were all fascinated by them. You are right that they are very attractively designed.

You know what else I like? The more recent cover design for Penguin Classics. The old yellow ones were pretty ugly, and I often regretted that it was the only option for certain texts. Now I can't get enough of them.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 1:12 PM
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The Great Depression was caused because of insufficient globalization? Ummm, uh, right, okay. A hypothesis thats fits well with the current political agenda of economic elites, I'll give it that.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 1:14 PM
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24: Cool. If you want me to review it, do I need a reading list of other things to read first to have a hope of understanding what you're talking about, or is it fairly general-reader friendly?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 1:15 PM
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Adam, I'm not the man to review a book giving a Christian persp4ective on Lacan. If you dare me, though, I will happily buy the book with my own money and review it.

But seriously, get Jodi Dean, Cult Rev and the others on the job. Logrolling isn't the best way -- it's the only way!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 1:18 PM
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25: This is admittedly my ill-informed oversimplification of an already summary argument, but it makes sense -- large war debts; no money to repay them; import policies making payment in goods difficult; defaults; economic collapse.

(Geez, I hate writing about anything substantive. I put up posts wincing with the probable wrongness of everything I've written. But I do it anyway out of a twisted sense of self-discipline.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 1:20 PM
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There's a "Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction" which I haven't seen, but is clearly impossible.

What you don't realize is that the Very Short Introduction weighs twenty pounds and opens into another dimension. Topology is covered.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 1:23 PM
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Hey, what happened to my italics? My joke is ruined!!!
[sob]


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 1:27 PM
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26: If you're the equivalent of an upper-division undergrad theology student, we're good to go.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 1:30 PM
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I am absolutely charmed by having just received a Christmas card from some Ukranian clients.

Big Tobacco's arm is long.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 1:30 PM
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31: Eh, you'll get the review you get. This sounds as if it should lead to entertaining misunderstandings, at least.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 1:32 PM
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But seriously, get Jodi Dean, Cult Rev and the others on the job.

Emerson's living in 2005!


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 1:33 PM
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29: Topology is covered in a nonvanishing continuous tangent vector field. Or then again, maybe not.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 1:38 PM
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34: At the very least, I'm not so internet-dependent for academic contacts.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 1:38 PM
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... as I was in 2005.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 1:42 PM
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28: old war debt going bad shouldn't cause something like the Great Depression, if the monetary/financial system is regulated properly. Which of course it wasn't, so there's that. But even then you need to understand why all of a sudden 11-12 years after the war debts were made everything implodes.

Of course, this is for the U.S., in Germany it's obvious that war reparations were connected to the Depression.

At least you now make it sound like he's not adopting the old "Smoot-Hawley tariff caused the great depression!" argument. I've heard something like that war debt connection made before, but it always sounded to me like the people were saying that if post-WWI economic history and the economic system had been totally different than it in fact was, they can imagine a situation where the Depression didn't happen. Which I'm sure is true.

Nobody really knows why the Great Depression happened, so I'm sure this explanation has its relevance along with all the other ones.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 1:43 PM
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Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction

Everything is relative. Here's a `fun' game: no matter where you are in your mathematical education, it seems there is always a book that both requires large chunks of what you know to understand it, and has the word `introductory' in its title. Or perhaps `elementary', or `basic'. I'm not sure how prevalent that effect is in other disciplines. However, It's made me wonder how much of mathematics you can map out using only `elementary' texts.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 1:44 PM
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"Naive Set Theory". So much inferior to "Street-Smart Set Theory". Sort of like Lawrence Welk compared to [insert street-smart contemporary band here].


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 1:49 PM
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Adam laughs, but I've seen excellent books with no Amazon review, or bad ones. Ten good reviews is better than 3, too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 1:50 PM
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Hey, LB, you can get my worm book if you're feeling masochistic. Published by Columbia University Press in the US, just like a proper work of scholarship.

And I have a good-ish book on Sweden coming out in July. Though reading the page proofs today, I am struck by how much of it is bad and misplaced.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 2:12 PM
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This is you? I'll look for a copy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 2:15 PM
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42: My father told me in 1956 that Sweden would soon be bankrupt because of socialism. Do you cover Swedish bankruptcy? It must have been horrible, all of those hott blondes thrown into destitution because of their elders' contempt for sound economics.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 2:17 PM
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44: it finally happened in 1991. All better now, though, with Sweden less socialist than it was but still way more socialist than the wildest dreams of the American left.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 2:23 PM
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The subtitle of Nworb's book is really befitting for an Unfogged commenter.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 2:26 PM
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And who would that be?


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 2:39 PM
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OMFG I've read your book, Andrew. We were thinking of teaching it in a science-writing class here. The guy running the seminar that quarter was an entomologist, so he wanted worms and bugs -- note to everywhere, never read this book if you ever want to sleep again -- but he went with Zimmer's parasite book instead. (Which, yes, isn't about worms or bugs strictly speaking, but hey, I was just consulting.)


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 2:44 PM
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48: A friend of mine took a parasitology class and became a doorknob wiper and compulsive handwasher.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 2:46 PM
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note to everywhere, never read this book if you ever want to sleep again -

Even the title makes me want to curl up in a ball and whimper.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 2:48 PM
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And I think it would make a splendid birthday gift for my mom. (Now back to lurkin')


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 2:51 PM
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Someone who has read the book should post a review on Amazon. Some would say that as e-friends of Rauchway we shouldn't, bcause of conflict of interest, but that is the very opposite of the truth

I like the cut of John Emerson's jib.


Posted by: Eric | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 2:53 PM
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The Great Depression was caused because of insufficient globalization? Ummm, uh, right, okay. A hypothesis thats fits well with the current political agenda of economic elites, I'll give it that.

More like the Great Depression was caused by poor management of the debts left over from WWI and the structure of credit within the US and the gold standard--part of good management would have been not raising tariffs and immigration barriers through the 1920s.

Don't know about current political elites, but it's what Keynes said.


Posted by: Eric | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 2:56 PM
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Logrolling is the only way to roll.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 2:59 PM
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52: Hey! How badly have I garbled your arguments?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:00 PM
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Logrolling is the only way to roll. logs


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:01 PM
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he's not adopting the old "Smoot-Hawley tariff caused the great depression!" argument

No, he's not.

it always sounded to me like the people were saying that if post-WWI economic history and the economic system had been totally different than it in fact was, they can imagine a situation where the Depression didn't happen

More like, if you have a war-destroyed Europe in desperate hock to the US, what you need is something like the IMF, the World Bank, and the Marshall Plan to prevent everything from falling apart. Which you didn't have; as Keynes said (I paraphrase) the real problem with the Versailles Treaty isn't what's in it, but what's not in it--nothing to put the world back together.

As it was, the world depended on loans from the US to pay back the US. Along the way some of the money might have got invested in reconstruction. There's some reason to believe that had you got something like the Dawes plan earlier than you did, and you had no Fed tightening, and no other shocks to the system, you might have seen the world right itself, given time.

But of course, you don't get that much time.


Posted by: Eric | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:02 PM
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Hey! How badly have I garbled your arguments?

Not at all. You're a wonderful human being. Thank you ever so much. (Where should I send the check?)


Posted by: Eric | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:04 PM
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(I thought we'd agreed on payment in ferrets, to be delivered by hand to Rudy Giuliani. You're not reneging, are you?)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:06 PM
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Of course, this is for the U.S., in Germany it's obvious that war reparations were connected to the Depression.

Yeah, but it's also true that Germany is connected to the US. The hip bone connected to the thigh bone. See the map on p. 158 of that book. Which is connected to this book.

Speaking of that book, everyone here should look on p. 178.


Posted by: Eric | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:09 PM
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I would like to hand Rudy Giuliani a ferret.


Posted by: Eric | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:09 PM
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I, on the other hand, would like to hand Giuliani to a ferret.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:11 PM
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It's good to see The Man Himself pushing back on PGD's dismissiveness -- which, by the way, is becoming such a calling card for PGD that I'm considering changing it to "Pretty Goddamn Douchey."


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:16 PM
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From the AP obit of Buckley:

A precocious controversialist, William was but 8 when he wrote to the king of England, demanding payment of the British war debt.

See? William F. Buckley, Jr. caused the Great Depression. Hence all the misdirection from the Shaleses of the world.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:21 PM
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Adam, I think that PGD was responding to my #19, which was a joke and not a paraphrase of Rauchway. I myself of dubious of the idea that the lack of an IMF was the cause of the Depression, however.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:23 PM
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William F. Buckley, Jr. caused the Great Depression

I dearly wish I'd known that when I was writing the book. (Has anyone noticed how good the index is?)


Posted by: Eric | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:23 PM
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Buckley was a Nazi, as we know. But an aberrant, non-liberal Nazi. Nowhere near as bad as FDR, the Nazi Jew.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:25 PM
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I myself of dubious of the idea that the lack of an IMF was the cause of the Depression

John, I'm using IMF and World Bank and Marshall Plan emblematically of the institutions coordinating the reassembly of the world post-1945. Absent any such thing, with all that debt and death and destruction, and you're in a pickle.


Posted by: Eric | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:26 PM
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Thanks for dropping by, Eric.

There are different ways to think about what "cause" means in the "cause of the great Depression". If you're going to say the flaws Keynes identified in Versailles are what caused the Depression, then that's different than the cause circa 1929, when the government could have taken different steps to prevent the financial contagion from spreading. Both are valid causes in their own way, but I sort of lean toward the second way of thinking. It's the "General Theory" Keynes vs. the "Economic Consequences" Keynes.

poor management of the debts left over from WWI and the structure of credit within the US and the gold standard

right, if the structure of credit and the gold standard had been different than the debt problems could have been prevented from having such catastrophic effects in the real economy.

part of good management would have been not raising tariffs and immigration barriers through the 1920s.

I disagree, except in the sense that many economists will always say low tariffs and low immigration barriers are part of "good management" in all circumstances. There's no reason to think that tariffs and immigration would have such disastrous macroeconomic effects in a large economy such as the U.S. with a small traded goods proportion.

In general, I think people put too much emphasis on the efficiency gains to free trade/open borders compared to the distributional and other questions involved. Connecting them to the Great Depression has been one traditional way to do that rhetorically, which is why I reacted.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:27 PM
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63: pot, kettle...


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:29 PM
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My hypocrisy doesn't make my words untrue.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:30 PM
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I disagree, except in the sense that many economists will always say low tariffs and low immigration barriers are part of "good management" in all circumstances.

I hear that since his defection they're talking about asterisking Stiglitz's Nobel Prize.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:31 PM
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If you're going to say the flaws Keynes identified in Versailles are what caused the Depression, then that's different than the cause circa 1929, when the government could have taken different steps to prevent the financial contagion from spreading. Both are valid causes in their own way, but I sort of lean toward the second way of thinking. It's the "General Theory" Keynes vs. the "Economic Consequences" Keynes.

Woudl you mind spelling this out super slowly for the economically innumerate?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:32 PM
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There's no reason to think that tariffs and immigration would have such disastrous macroeconomic effects in a large economy such as the U.S. with a small traded goods proportion.

The issue isn't the effect on the US, it's the effect on other countries, who owe money to the US from 1919 and who go into recession/depression before 1929. Remember, in this story the Depression is a global event (because, on my reading, in history it was too).

Same goes for your distinguishing between the two Keyneses and the two ways of describing the "causes" of the GD. Another way of putting what you put there is saying, on the one hand you had a system vulnerable to shocks; on the other hand you had a big shock or two to the system. Which is the cause?


Posted by: Eric | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:38 PM
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My hypocrisy doesn't make my words untrue.

This swings like a Superchunk lyric!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:38 PM
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We have available necessary cause, sufficient cause, contributing cause, proximate cause, concurrent cause, sufficient combined causes, material cause, efficient cause, formal cause, final cause, and butterfly effect.

Please specify before ordering.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:41 PM
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Nowhere near as bad as FDR, the Nazi Jew.

Great, Emerson, you've just given fucking Jonah Goldberg his next book proposal.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:41 PM
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Is there also a biscuit cause?


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:42 PM
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See, Roosevelt was a self-hating Jew. A mischlinge. His support for Hitler was the result of his pathetic desire to prove that he was a true Aryan. Without Roosevelt's support, Hitler would have been defeated by mid-1940.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:45 PM
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I hear that since his defection they're talking about asterisking Stiglitz's Nobel Prize.

I figured all the economics ones have a star already.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:46 PM
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I would wonder if anyone's seen Goldberg & Emerson in the same place/time, except that if Emerson had written Liberal Fascism, it would've been a really entertaining book.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:47 PM
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Notice that Goldberg never calls anyone a motherfucker? What a weenie.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:49 PM
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73: all the macro stuff is really confusing and I don't have a great grasp on it myself. But I think you can think about it this way (others will correct me if I'm wrong or if I'm misrepresenting the argument):

(1) Versailles treaty (and other policies) make it hard for Europe to rebuild post WWI.

(2) This means Europe is not generating enough wealth to transfer to the U.S. to service the loans the U.S. made during WWI, or to serve as a good market for U.S. exports, source of imports, etc.

(3) Stock market drop hits, simultaneously banks have bad European loans on their books, also U.S. companies do not have external markets when the U.S. economy hits a snag.

(4) People lose confidence. Runs on banks cause banks to crash. People lose more confidence. People stop spending and investing. Economy tanks, unemployment up to 25%, etc.

The question is whether you put the cause at point (1) -- which was a real contributor to underlying weaknesses in the economy -- or at point (4), where the actual crash happens.

The point is, macroeconomists think they have a set of tools that prevent weaknesses and snags in the economy (which happen all the time) from converting into a self-reinforcing cycle of loss of confidence and decline in economic activity as described in (4). So that if you had modern financial institutions, no gold standard, macro management, etc. then you could prevent (4) even with a similar set of weaknesses to 1-3.

For instance, in the 70s financial institutions made a lot of bad loans to South American economies that couldn't pay them back, but the problem was contained without a depression.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:50 PM
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No one has responded to my demonstration that Roosevelt's support was the key to Hitler's early success, and ultimately cost millions of lives.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:50 PM
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Economists win the Bank of Sweden Prize, not the Nobel Prize.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:51 PM
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They won't tell you that, though, w-lfs-n.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:52 PM
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Even when he had the use of his legs, Roosevelt was taunted and bullied by his honky friends. Only after Pearl Harbor did he suddenly realize that carpetbombing Germany and Japan was the way to become accepted by the crowd. Hitler was righteously pissed off by this.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 3:54 PM
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posted 83 before seeing 74, which put my point in a much better and more concise way.

I plead guilty to being totally U.S.-centric.

But, staying U.S.-centric for a minute: was the initial shock in the U.S. traceable to international capital or trade flows? Leaving aside the problematic maintenance of the gold standard post-WWI (which everyone agrees was a contributor), can you even say the globalization issue was a "shock" in 1929?

I honestly don't know if e.g. war debt went bad in 1929-1930 and this helped push the U.S. further into depression or something like that.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 4:01 PM
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macroeconomists think they have a set of tools that prevent weaknesses and snags in the economy (which happen all the time) from converting into a self-reinforcing cycle of loss of confidence and decline in economic activity

Yes, they do think that. Kohn says "we have the tools," Bernanke says "we will do what is needed." (BB is of course a distinguished scholar of the GD himself.) I would say a couple things. (1) I hope they're right. (2) To the degree that they are right--that monetary policy is now all that's needed to prevent shocks from creating a 1929-32 spiral--it's because the New Deal installed various shock absorbers and accustomed people to the idea of a little government intervention in such cases.

Hey, wouldn't it be great if someone wrote a short book--scratch that, a very short book, maybe a slim, pocket-sized volume--on the Great Depression and the New Deal, that you could buy for about ten bucks?


Posted by: Eric | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 4:07 PM
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80 -> 85


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 4:09 PM
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In Minnesota during the 20s and 30s small-town bankers were among the most important supporters of the radical (and successful) Farmer-Labor Party. For farmers the problems hit well before the Depression.

I don't have a lot of detail, but it must have been brutal. The Farmer-Labor Party was Socialist, more or less, and included crypto-Communists and Trotskyists along with the bankers. And also bootleggers and gangsters.

Lake Wobegon wasn't always mellow, bland yuppy fare.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 4:10 PM
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How many of those shock absorbers were disabled during the recent deregulation era?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 4:11 PM
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It's hard to have a really good party without bootleggers and gangsters getting involved somewhere.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 4:11 PM
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How many of those shock absorbers were disabled during the recent deregulation era?

As many as they could get their sweaty little palms on, I'd think.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 4:12 PM
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was the initial shock in the U.S. traceable to international capital or trade flows

I'll say one more thing--two more things!--then I'll refer you to this fine, fine source--which is pithy and concise!

I'm a little unhappy with the presumption that there was an "initial shock in the U.S." What there was, was a tightening of credit at the Fed in 1928, which dried up capital going overseas and let other countries begin their slide into recession/depression, and default. I suppose you could make the case that Americans aren't interested in what happens to other countries when the US helps them slide into depression, but at least in the 1930s, other countries forced the US to become interested in what had happened to them.

The stock market crash in the US in 1929 is, you're right in saying (somewhere above) primarily important inasmuch as it leads to a drop in consumer confidence and consumer borrowing. (To tell this story properly, I think you need to emphasize there was growth in both international and domestic debt in the 1920s, and both vulnerable to shocks of the kind that did occur.)



Posted by: Eric | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 4:16 PM
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How many of those shock absorbers were disabled during the recent deregulation era?

Okay, one more, one more thing: some, but I don't know if a crucially important number. Social Security--as to old age and unemployment relief--is still there. That's something you didn't have in 1929-32. The FDIC is still there. The Federal Reserve is there in its post-1935 form, and it is still a banking regulator as well as a monetary policy-maker. So too are many other institutions.


Posted by: Eric | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 4:21 PM
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Thanks, Eric, I'll definitely buy your book now that you've been so patient with me patronizing you.

I'll put it right next to Bernanke's "Essays on the Great Depression". There's a guy who is getting to test his theories in real time.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 4:27 PM
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The Repubs have been notably unsuccessful in dismantling the basic New Deal structure, which the public likes.

But they also did not extend SEC-style prudential regulation to new financial sectors and instruments -- like all these securitized loans, hedge funds, etc.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 4:29 PM
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98: I guess that's the key point, it's not like the old stuff has been effectively dismantled, but that newer stuff was not built with the same checks and balances.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 4:31 PM
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Kobe!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 5:17 PM
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100: geez I just bet it was his fault, too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 5:18 PM
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But wouldn't the Very Short Introduction to History cover all of this in, like, two pages?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 5:27 PM
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Better yet, wait for the Very Short Introduction to Knowledge (forthcoming).

It would be fun to speculate on the author. But I'm not that into having fun, really.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 6:01 PM
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43,48: yes -- that's me up on the jukebox. If you mail me your address, LB, I will send you a FREE copy, though it will be in English and properly spelled.

Zimmer's parasite book is very good indeed. Also, it is about animals whereas my book is actually about humans and science. There is not a great deal that anyone can say about c. elegans although there is more than you might think and it does have its own remarkable swag

c. elegans and the endless gonad soiunds like a good name for the bpl's group.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:12 AM
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