Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Blizzard Conditions Prevail

William E. Leuchtenburg, in Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal:

In primitive societies, homage was paid to the witch doctors who could control those forces -- sun, rain, and wind -- which could spell the difference between plenty and privation in a primitive economy and before which most men stood helpless. The crisis of the Great Depression revealed that the American people had come to view their financial "wizards" in the same light; the businessman had been thought of as a magic-maker who could master the forces of a complex industrial society which the common man viewed with awe, and which were as much out of his control as the wind or tides. By the winter of 1932, the businessman had lost his magic and was as discredited as a Hopi rainmaker in a prolonged drought.

America's Adam Smith, in The Roaring 80s:

Kenneth Boulding, the distinguished economist, wrote that in the Great Depression, economists wrote about unemployment as if it were a bad hailstorm; then the Keynesian revolution gave some hope that nations could do something about the 'economic blizzards' that had previously been considered as random as the weather.

From a Google search, 2 March 2010:

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