Recently I have read opinions that FDR and Hoover made the Depression worse through intervention and the market should have been left (substantially) alone. Quien sabe? You can’t clone history, so we will never know for sure. There are obviously lessons for the present, but what are they?
Not long ago (Oct. 14) David Brooks predicted that Obama would be pulled both ways and side with the interventionists. He seems to have been at least partially correct in his prediction – Obama’s new fireside YouTube chat has the president-elect proposing an extensive program of job creation aimed at building up our infrastructure and creating energy independence.
It’s hard not to be sympathetic to the goals. (Our highway system appears to have gone backwards in recent decades.) It’s the means that are the problem. Can we afford all this? I guess we’re going to find out. Here’s the good part: There might be some pretty good poster art and some interesting architecture. For all our sakes, I hope this pans out.