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Economics in PerspectiveA Critical History$
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John Kenneth Galbraith

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691171647

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691171647.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 16 September 2021

The Primal Force of the Great Depression

The Primal Force of the Great Depression

(p.211) Chapter 15 The Primal Force of the Great Depression
Economics in Perspective

John Kenneth Galbraith

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the impact of the Great Depression on classical economic ideas. When the Great Depression struck after the stock market crash of October 1929, economists in the classical tradition such as Joseph Schumpeter and Lionel Robbins chose to do nothing. They argued that the depression must be allowed to run its course. The chapter first considers U.S. economic policy under Franklin D. Roosevelt, focusing on how he addressed three visible features of the depression: deflation in prices, unemployment, and the hardship depression suffered by especially vulnerable groups. It also discusses the views of two scholars who belonged to the group known as the Roosevelt Brains Trust (later the Brain Trust), Rexford Guy Tugwell and Adolf A. Berle Jr. Finally, it explores how depression and price deflation led to two efforts to raise prices, one through the National Recovery Act and the other through agriculture.

Keywords:   agriculture, Great Depression, Joseph Schumpeter, economic policy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, deflation, prices, unemployment, Rexford Guy Tugwell, National Recovery Act

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