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The Great Depression and The Free Market

February 11th, 2009 by admin

The PM assures us that he is concerned about jobs. If he and his advisers knew anything about how real jobs are created and maintained he would not now be acting out the most incredibly destructive fiasco in Australian history.

A short letter cannot possibly do justice to the subject. But the following book does so.

Murray N. Rothbard’s book titled America’s Great Depression is a staple of modern economic literature and crucial for understanding a pivotal event in American and world history. Applied Austrian economics doesn’t get better than this.

Since it first appeared in 1963, it has been the definitive treatment of the causes of the depression. The book remains canonical today because the debate is still very alive.

The Great Depression was not a crisis for capitalism but merely an example of the downturn part of the business cycle, which in turn was generated by dishonest government generated money and government intervention in the economy.

Its appearance in 1963 meant that free-market advocates had their first full-scale treatment of this crucial subject. The damage to the intellectual world inflicted by Keynesian- and socialist-style treatments are illustrated and demolished.

The Great Depression was a failure not of capitalism but of the hyperactive state.

It is available in hard copy and on line at: www.mises.org/rothbard/agd.pdf [PDF, 956KB].

Ronald Kitching

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