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Slow Blogging/Economics Bleg

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:18 pm - December 30, 2011.
Filed under: Blogging,Economy,Family

I apologize for not blogging as much as I normally do, even as much as I would like, but am now on a vacation with my family in Florida and when the choice comes down to reading/writing about politics and spending time with my siblings or nibblings, well, I prefer the latter.  You could kind of say it’s not really a choice.

Anyway, in between conversations about the merits of dump trucks with my youngest nephew, his Dad, the younger of my two brothers-in-law, and I have been debating economic policy with my sister’s husband defending the “macroeconomic” policies of the incumbent Administration.  He recently shared with me this article from the Economist arguing that expansionist (i.e., big government policies) spared us a second Great Depression. I have read the article twice and, not having all the data at my fingertips, have only partially been able to refute it.

So, my bleg.  Have any of you seen any articles/blog posts taking issue with said article (linked above).  Also, I recall reading a recent blog post (with data similar to this one) showing how unemployment didn’t begin its steep upward ascent until after the Smoot-Hawley tariff and Hoover’s expansionist policies (that is, unemployment had remained relatively low for about a year after the market crash of 1929 which supposedly caused the Great Depression).  Do any of you have a link to that post?

If you have any such information, please leave it in the comments or e-mail me.

And if I were to buy my brother-in-law a book that best summarizes libertarian economics, including an explanation for how market forces could have spared us the ravages of the New Deal, please let me know.  I was thinking of getting him Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson.  Is there a better book out there?

He has been very civil in his discourse, eager to listen and ever ready to respond with arguments not innuendo.  So, I want to encourage his interest — and hope to change his mind, hence wishing to provide information laid out by someone with a far greater understanding of economics than I.