Depressions Then and Now

In reading about the Great Depression of the 1930s, it’s fascinating to learn how responsible Republican President Herbert Hoover was for the economic disasters that took place. He pushed for the biggest tariff in history, effectively shutting down trade between Europe and America at a time when they needed trade the most; he paralyzed Wall Street with arbitrary regulation which created a climate of uncertainty for bankers and brokers; and he pursued government interventionist policies to force businesses to spend more than they wanted so that wages could artificially rise.

The policies of this Republican President sound a lot like the policies of the current Democratic President and Congress. This proves that the issue is not party so much as policy. It also proves an important principle at work: Government intervention always makes things worse, sometimes in the short run and always in the long run. As 2010 and 2011 unfold, watch and learn.

Overlooked is the fact that government intervention is just plain wrong. Government means force. While government is justified in using force against those who are violent and who blatantly defraud victims, government has no moral right to intervene in the private affairs of individuals and businesses to determine the outcome of everything. All government intervention has brought us are decades of boom and bust economies and a crop of politicians so corrupt it will take your breath away. It’s time for change, all right. It’s time to change the channel from government intervention to government policies of “hands off.” That’s another reason to vote not for Republicans, but for divided government next election and the election after. A government kept from doing anything is the last best hope for what remains of our economy and our civilization. That is, until we get leaders who understand what I just wrote.