Skip to main content

Myths of the Great Depression

Andrew B. Wilson debunks the prevailing views on the Depression in the November 4, 2008 edition of WSJ online.

The five myths he explodes are:

- Herbert Hoover, elected president in 1928, was a doctrinaire, laissez-faire, look-the-other way Republican who clung to the idea that markets were basically self-correcting.

- The stock market crash in October 1929 precipitated the Great Depression.

- Where the market had failed, the government stepped in to protect ordinary people.

- Greed caused the stock market to overshoot and then crash.

And the most disastrous myth of all:

- Enlightened government pulled the nation out of the worst downturn in its history and came to the rescue of capitalism through rigorous regulation and government oversight.

Comments