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Fdr's Folly - Jim Powell

Paperback Published: 28th September 2004
ISBN: 9781400054770
Number Of Pages: 352

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“Admirers of FDR credit his New Deal with restoring the American economy after the disastrous contraction of 1929—33. Truth to tell–as Powell demonstrates without a shadow of a doubt–the New Deal hampered recovery from the contraction, prolonged and added to unemployment, and set the stage for ever more intrusive and costly government. Powell’s analysis is thoroughly documented, relying on an impressive variety of popular and academic literature both contemporary and historical.”
Milton Friedman, Nobel Laureate, Hoover Institution

“There is a critical and often forgotten difference between disaster and tragedy. Disasters happen to us all, no matter what we do. Tragedies are brought upon ourselves by hubris. The Depression of the 1930s would have been a brief disaster if it hadn’t been for the national tragedy of the New Deal. Jim Powell has proven this.”
P.J. O’Rourke, author of Parliament of Whores and Eat the Rich

“The material laid out in this book desperately needs to be available to a much wider audience than the ranks of professional economists and economic historians, if policy confusion similar to the New Deal is to be avoided in the future.”
James M. Buchanan, Nobel Laureate, George Mason University

“I found Jim Powell’s book fascinating. I think he has written an important story, one that definitely needs telling.”
Thomas Fleming, author of The New Dealers’ War

“Jim Powell is one tough-minded historian, willing to let the chips fall where they may. That’s a rare quality these days, hence more valuable than ever. He lets the history do the talking.”
–David Landes, Professor of History Emeritus, Harvard University

“Jim Powell draws together voluminous economic research on the effects of all of Roosevelt’s major policies. Along the way, Powell gives fascinating thumbnail sketches of the major players. The result is a devastating indictment, compellingly told. Those who think that government intervention helped get the U.S. economy out of the depression should read this book.”
David R. Henderson, editor of The Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics and author of The Joy of Freedom


The Great Depression and the New Deal. For generations, the collective American consciousness has believed that the former ruined the country and the latter saved it. Endless praise has been heaped upon President Franklin Delano Roosevelt for masterfully reining in the Depression’s destructive effects and propping up the
country on his New Deal platform. In fact, FDR has achieved mythical status in American history and is considered to be, along with Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln, one of the greatest presidents of all time. But would the Great Depression have been so catastrophic had the New Deal never been implemented?

In FDR’s Folly, historian Jim Powell argues that it was in fact the New Deal itself, with its shortsighted programs, that deepened the Great Depression, swelled the federal government, and prevented the country from turning around quickly. You’ll discover in alarming detail how FDR’s federal programs hurt America more than helped it, with effects we still feel today, including:

• How Social Security actually increased unemployment
• How higher taxes undermined good businesses
• How new labor laws threw people out of work
• And much more

This groundbreaking book pulls back the shroud of awe and the cloak of time enveloping FDR to prove convincingly how flawed his economic policies actually were, despite his good intentions and the astounding intellect of his circle of advisers. In today’s turbulent domestic and global environment, eerily similar to that of the 1930s, it’s more important than ever before to uncover and understand the truth of our history, lest we be doomed to repeat it.


From the Hardcover edition.

Introductionp. vii
How Could Such Bright, Compassionate People Be Wrong?p. 1
What Caused the Great Depression?p. 27
What Did FDR Borrow from Hoover?p. 39
Why Did New Dealers Break Up the Strongest Banks?p. 53
Why Did FDR Seize Everybody's Gold?p. 65
Why Did FDR Triple Taxes During the Great Depression?p. 75
Why Was So Much New Deal Relief and Public Works Money Channeled Away from the Poorest People?p. 89
Why Didn't New Deal Securities Laws Help Investors Do Better?p. 105
Why Did New Dealers Make Everything Cost More in the Depression?p. 113
Why Did the New Dealers Destroy All That Food When People Were Hungry?p. 129
How Did the Tennessee Valley Authority Depress the Tennessee Economy?p. 141
Why Did the Supreme Court Strike Down Early New Deal Laws?p. 153
How Did Social Security Contribute to Higher Unemployment?p. 173
How Did New Deal Labor Laws Throw People Out of Work?p. 187
How Did FDR's Supreme Court Subvert Individual Liberty?p. 207
How Did New Deal Policies Cause the Depression of 1938?p. 221
Why Did New Deal Lawyers Disrupt Companies Employing Millions?p. 231
What Have Been the Effects of the New Deal Since the 1930s?p. 245
What Can We Learn from FDR's Mistakes?p. 263
Notesp. 275
Selected Bibliographyp. 307
Acknowledgmentsp. 323
Indexp. 325
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781400054770
ISBN-10: 140005477X
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 28th September 2004
Publisher: Random House USA Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.5 x 13.0  x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.25
Edition Number: 1