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.
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