A selec­tive read­ing of his­tory

The Denver Post - - OPINION - Re: Gary Wald­man,

“His­tor­i­cally, in­fra­struc­ture projects are boon­dog­gles,” Nov. 27 Ge­orge F. Will col­umn.

In den­i­grat­ing the ef­fi­cacy of in­fra­struc­ture spend­ing by the fed­eral govern­ment, Ge­orge Will presents a con­ve­niently selec­tive read­ing of his­tory when he as­serts that New Deal spend­ing dur­ing the Great De­pres­sion did not sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce un­em­ploy­ment, which never went be­low 14 per­cent. While it is true that the un­em­ploy­ment rate never went be­low 14 per­cent from 1933 through 1940, Will ne­glects to in­form his read­ers that it was 25 per­cent in 1933 when New Deal spend­ing (not all on in­fra­struc­ture) started. I would say that a re­duc­tion of more than 10 per­cent­age points was sig­nif­i­cant.

Like most con­ser­va­tives, Will cred­its spend­ing on World War II for end­ing the De­pres­sion. The salient point is that govern­ment spend­ing, not pri­vate en­ter­prise, ended the De­pres­sion. And it was deficit spend­ing; the fed­eral deficit for the first year of the war, 1942, was about equal to all the deficits for the New Deal years 1934-40 added to­gether. Send let­ters of 150 words or fewer to open­fo­rum@den­ver­post.com or 101 W. Col­fax Ave., Suite 800, Den­ver, CO, 80202. Please in­clude full name, city and phone num­ber. Con­tact us at 303-954-1331.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.