Thanks to comments made via the “private messaging” system of HCR from a person on my friends list there, was turned toward this very eye-opening article: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/FDR-s-Policies-Prolonged-Depression-5409

Explains implementation of bad policies, and their effects. Highlights:

“…In an article in the August issue of the Journal of Political Economy, Ohanian and Cole blame specific anti-competition and pro-labor measures that Roosevelt promoted and signed into law June 16, 1933…”

“…The number of antitrust cases brought by the Department of Justice fell from an average of 12.5 cases per year during the 1920s to an average of 6.5 cases per year from 1935 to 1938, the scholars found. Collusion had become so widespread that one Department of Interior official complained of receiving identical bids from a protected industry (steel) on 257 different occasions between mid-1935 and mid-1936. The bids were not only identical but also 50 percent higher than foreign steel prices. Without competition, wholesale prices remained inflated, averaging 14 percent higher than they would have been without the troublesome practices, the UCLA economists calculate….”

“…Recovery came only after the Department of Justice dramatically stepped up enforcement of antitrust cases nearly four-fold and organized labor suffered a string of setbacks, the economists found.”

Fascinating. It shows the government’s role in “checking” private industry, and how it can go very wrong.

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