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Does austerity lead to economic depression? One often hears that cutting government spending now would derail our nation's fragile economic recovery, and perhaps even throw the economy into deep recession. Advocates of this view sometimes point to the Great Depression as evidence that dramatic cuts to government spending lead to economic disaster. If only Herbert Hoover had been more like Franklin Roosevelt, we hear, there might have never been a Great Depression. However, as the Bush Institute's Amity Shlaes points out in a recent column for Bloomberg, the problem with the "Hoover austerity" explanation for the Great Depression is that Hoover did not actually practice austerity. Rather, under Hoover's watch, the size of government increased substantially. Federal spending grew to $4.8 billion in 1932 from $2.9 billion in 1929. Under Hoover there were severe policy errors — credit markets were too tight, wages were not flexible, and tariffs were downright disastrous. But austerity was not one of them, and that is a lesson today's policy leaders would be wise to remember.
Matthew Denhart is an expert on immigration policy and is the author of the Bush Institute’s America's Advantage: A Handbook of Vital Immigration and Economic Growth Statistics, now in its third edition. He currently serves as executive director of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation and is a founder of the Coolidge Scholars Program which provides full-ride merit scholarships to America's most promising college students. A summa cum laude graduate of Ohio University, Denhart has written and spoken widely on a variety of policy topics including the economics of higher education, labor, and taxes. He has contributed articles to numerous national publications including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes.com, CNN Opinion, and Bloomberg View.Full Bio
TARIFFIED: Trade Talk with Matthew Rooney
This week, trade relations between the U.S. and India are continuing to escalate. Earlier this month, the U.S. stopped granting India special trade privileges by taking away the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, and India has responded by enforcing more tariffs of its own. The George W. Bush-SMU Economic Growth Initiative Director Matthew Rooney breaks down the trade conflict: For more information on trade groups and the global economy, visit www.bushcenter.org/scorecard.
How Trade Spreads Holiday Cheer
It is projected that the average American household will spend more than $1,000 during the holidays this year.
Deporting Salvadorans May Lead to Economic Decline
We should think carefully about a policy whose major impacts are likely to be reductions in employment and economic activity here at home, and increased instability and lawlessness along our borders.
Bush Institute's Laura Collins Talks Immigration on Good Morning Texas
Last week, Deputy Director of Economic Growth at the George. W. Bush Institute Laura Collins spoke with Good Morning Texas about immigration myths. During the interview, Collins had the opportunity to set the record straight and address common misconceptions about legal immigrants living in America today. The segment was inspired from facts released earlier this fall by the Bush Institute in the third edition of America's Advantage: A Handbook on Immigration and Economic Growth. Watch the full Good Morning Texas interview here.