Dis­cred­ited con­cepts back in play

Financial Times Middle East - - Letters -

Sir, It is cu­ri­ous that the fi­nan­cial brains trust around our pres­i­dent has be­come en­am­oured with poli­cies that in one form or an­other have been in­ef­fec­tive through­out our his­tory (US Bud­get, March 17).

Thomas Jef­fer­son’s em­bargo of im­ports from Bri­tain in 1807 bat­tered our own econ­omy. In the fi­nal third of the 19th cen­tury un­fet­tered cor­po­ra­tions trig­gered a se­ries of dev­as­tat­ing fi­nan­cial pan­ics. War­ren G Hard­ing won the 1920 elec­tion with a slo­gan of Amer­ica First, and Her­bert Hoover, his sec­re­tary of com­merce who be­came pres­i­dent in 1928, em­bel­lished it to such an ex­tent that the Great De­pres­sion en­sued. Lyn­don B John­son’s “guns and but­ter” sup­ported by lay­ers of debt re­sulted in 1970s stagfla­tion. I won­der how these dis­cred­ited con­cepts will turn out this time. Stew Goodwin Co­tuit, MA, US

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