There have been many truly awful presidents elected in the United States, but if I had to pick my least favorite, I might choose Herbert Hoover.
I obviously have disdain for Hoover’s big-government policies, but I also am extremely irritated that – as Jonah Goldberg explained – he allowed the left to create an utterly bogus narrative that the Great Depression was caused by capitalism and free markets.
Indeed, the Center for Freedom and Prosperity produced a video demonstrating that the statist policies of both Hoover and Roosevelt helped trigger, deepen, and lengthen the economic slump.
Building on that theme, here’s a new video from Prager University that looks specifically at the misguided policies of Herbert Hoover.
Amen. Great job unmasking Hoover’s terrible record.
As I explained when correcting a glaring error by Andrew Sullivan, Hoover was a big-government interventionist. Heck, even FDR’s inner circle understood that the New Deal was simply an extension of Hoover’s statist policies.
In other words, FDR doubled down on Hoover’s awful record. And with awful results. We have a better understanding today of how the New Deal caused the downturn to be deeper and longer.
This Tom Sowell video is definitely worth watching if you want more information on that topic.
And here’s something else to share with your big-government friends. The Keynesian crowd was predicting another massive depression after World War II because of both a reduction in wartime outlays and the demobilization of millions of troops. Yet that didn’t happen, as Jeff Jacoby has succinctly explained. And if you want more details on how smaller government helped restore growth after WWII, check out what Jason Taylor and Rich Vedder wrote for Cato.
P.S. I’ve compared Bush and Obama to Hoover and Roosevelt because of some very obvious similarities. Bush was a big-government Republican who helped pave the way for a big-government Democrat, just as Hoover was a big-government Republican who also created the conditions for a big-government Democrat.
The analogy also is good because I suspect political and economic incompetence led both Hoover and Bush to expand the burden of government, whereas their successors were ideologically committed to bigger government. We know about Obama’s visceral statism, and you can watch a video of FDR advocating genuinely awful policy.
The good news is that Obama will never be as bad as FDR, no matter how hard he tries.
P.P.S. It’s also worth mentioning that a very serious downturn in 1921 was quickly ended in part thanks to big reductions in the burden of government spending. Your Keynesian friends will also have a hard time explaining how that happened.