How Government Impedes Recovery: The Great Depression and the Current Recession

W2 — with Robert Higgs

Cost: $10   Length: 1 Session
Format: Independent Study
Status: Open for enrollment

This webinar will consider why the current recovery is proceeding so slowly, if at all. It will approach this question by comparing the current situation with the incomplete recovery from the Great Depression that occurred between 1933 and 1939. Before 1929, in U.S. history, absent extensive government intervention in the market system, business-cycle recoveries normally occurred within a year or two. Slow recovery, ironically, has been associated with extensive government efforts to bring about or speed recovery. The webinar will consider various ways in which the Hoover and Roosevelt administrations and the Bush and Obama administrations impeded a rapid, complete recovery from a business bust. Special attention will be given to how “do something” governments can create “regime uncertainty”―pervasive, serious apprehension about the security of private property rights―which causes private investors and business people to refrain from the long-term investment and the hiring of full-time, permanent employees that are necessary for normal recovery and sustained economic growth.


Robert Higgs

Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy for The Independent Institute and Editor of the Institute’s quarterly journal The Independent Review. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and he has taught at the University of Washington, Lafayette College, Seattle University, and the University of Economics, Prague. He has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University and Stanford University, and a fellow for the Hoover Institution and the National Science Foundation.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Gary Schlarbaum Award for Lifetime Defense of Liberty, Thomas Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties, Lysander Spooner Award for Advancing the Literature of Liberty, Friedrich von Wieser Memorial Prize for Excellence in Economic Education, and Templeton Honor Rolls Award on Education in a Free Society.

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