This essay by economist Lawrence Reed challenges the current on the Left about our economic ills being caused by the excesses of the free market. Reed is president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute.
The genesis of the Great Depression lay in the inflationary monetary policies of the U. S. government in the 1920s. It was prolonged and exacerbated by a litany of political missteps: trade-crushing tariffs, incentive-sapping taxes, mind-numbing controls on production and competition, senseless destruction of crops and cattle, and coercive labor laws, to recount just a few. It was not the free market which produced 12 years of agony; rather, it was political bungling on a scale as grand as there ever was.