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Letter to The Wall Street Journal

To the Editor:

Andrew Wilson is right: the New Deal did not end the Great Depression ("Five Myths About the Great Depression," November 4). No less an authority than FDR's Treasury secretary and close friend, Henry Morganthau, conceded this fact to Congressional Democrats in May 1939: "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong ... somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises ... I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started ... And an enormous debt to boot!"*

Indeed, FDR's market-suffocating policies are almost surely what put the "Great" in "Great Depression."

Sincerely,

Donald J. Boudreaux

* Burton Folsom, Jr., New Deal or Raw Deal? (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008), p. 2.


Don Boudreaux is the Chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University and a Business & Media Institute adviser.