Friday, February 19, 2010

Economic Crises, Then and Now . . .

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) sent me an email with a sidelink to a brief (36:48) lecture by Dr. Brian Domitrovic, assistant professor of history at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, and author of Econoclasts: The Rebels Who Sparked the Supply-Side Revolution and Restored American Prosperity. (I didn't know anything about him from the sidelink. I was just intrigued by the title of the lecture: Economic Crises, Then and Now.)

Domitrovic begins with an observation I had thought of several times in the past, but had quit thinking about in the last many months: The media keep telling us that we are in "the worst recession since the Great Depression." But is this so? Are we really in "the worst recession since the Great Depression"?

Domitrovic's answer: No! No way! Not even close!

But, then, why do the media pundits keep talking about it in such terms?

I only listened to Dr. Domitrovic's lecture once--at high speed, so perhaps he answers this question. But I don't remember him attempting to explain why they say it. He was far more interested in demonstrating that it is not the worst. And, more, how we can avoid making it worse than it is.

But while we're on the subject, I'd like to state that it, from my perspective, there is one reason why the federal government is happy to feed this line to the media: Being able to fight "the worst recession since the Great Depression" gives the government implicit "permission" to do whatever they want, to build the government ever bigger and spend more money than ever: "We're in a crisis, you know!"

But Domitrovic gives a brief history of the financial ups and downs of American history--both before the Great Depression and after. And he provides a worthwhile historical perspective on things.

There is a way out of the wilderness, he says. And--surprise, surprise!--history teaches us that the way out is not through more government intervention. Indeed, additional government intervention is what will lead to greater disaster.

Don't believe him? Check out his stats. Take the time to listen to his presentation on MP3. And/or do as I have just done: order a copy of his book.
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