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April 2, 2009

Robert Higgs

Senior Fellow in Political Economy, The Independent Institute

in a lively conversation

Replaying the New Deal

A Very Bad Idea

Robert Higgs says: As the recession has deepened and the financial debacle has lurched from one episode to another during the past year, any commentators have recommended that the U.S. government undertake a second New Deal.

These calls seem premised on a variety of myths about what the original New Deal involved and what it gave rise to.

The New Deal -- and to some extent the Hoover program that preceded it -- amounted to a massive, ongoing, unpredictable intervention in the market system.

Although a few of the programs might have had positive first-order effects on the economy's performance, the New Deal as a whole amounted to an enormous drag on the normal readjustments to and recovery from the economic downturn that began in 1929.

A second New Deal would be highly detrimental to recovery from the current recession.

Dr. Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy for The Independent Institute and Editor of the Institute's quarterly journal The Independent Review. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and he has taught at the University of Washington, Lafayette College, Seattle University, and the University of Economics, Prague. He has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University and Stanford University, and a fellow for the Hoover Institution and the National Science Foundation.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Gary Schlarbaum Award for Lifetime Defense of Liberty, Thomas Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties, Lysander Spooner Award for Advancing the Literature of Liberty, Friedrich von Wieser Memorial Prize for Excellence in Economic Education, and Templeton Honor Rolls Award on Education in a Free Society.

Dr. Higgs is the editor of The Independent Institute books Opposing the Crusader State: Alternatives to Global Interventionism, The Challenge of Liberty, Re-Thinking Green, Hazardous to Our Health? and Arms, Politics, and the Economy, plus the volume Emergence of the Modern Political Economy.

His authored books include Neither Liberty Nor Safety, Depression, War, and Cold War, Resurgence of the Warfare State, Against Leviathan, The Transformation of the American Economy 1865-1914, Competition and Coercion, and Crisis and Leviathan. A contributor to numerous scholarly volumes, he is the author of more than 100 articles and reviews in academic journals.

His popular articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Providence Journal, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Chronicle, Society, Reason, AlterNet, and many other publications and Web sites, and he has appeared on NPR, NBC, ABC, C-SPAN, CBN, CNBC, America’s Talking Television, Radio America Network, Radio Free Europe, Talk Radio Network, Voice of America, Newstalk TV, the Organization of American Historians’ public radio program, and scores of local radio and television stations. He has also been interviewed for articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, Terra Libera, Investor's Business Daily, UPI, Orlando Sentinel, Seattle Times, Chicago Tribune, National Journal, Reason, Washington Times, WorldNetDaily, Folha de Sao Paulo, Newsmax, Financial Times, Al-Ahram Weekly, Creators Syndicate, and elsewhere.

Dr. Higgs has spoken at more than 100 colleges and universities and at the meetings of such professional organizations as the Economic History Association, Western Economic Association, Population Association of America, Southern Economic Association, International Economic History Congress, Public Choice Society, International Studies Association, Cliometric Society, Allied Social Sciences Association, American Political Science Association, American Historical Association, and others.

Higgs last spoke at Junto in November 2007.

For more information on this Junto event, including time, location, and other features of the meeting see the April Junto page.

   

Celebrations of Ayn Rand's 100th, 101st, 102nd, 103rd, 104th and 105th birthdays

Memorial for John Perry, a NYC police officer & Junto attendee, lost on 9/11

Charles Adams

Dennis Ainsworth

Bruce Ames

June Arunga

George B.N. Ayittey

John Baden

Michael Balboa

Sallie Baliunas

Randy E. Barnett

Caroline Baum

Tom Bethell

Robert Bidinotto

Terry Blodgett

David Boaz

Donald J. Boudreaux

James Bovard

Bill Bradford

Barbara Branden

Harry Browne

David Ciocca

Tyler Cowen

Eugene R. Dattel

James DeLong

Francis X. Diebold

Tom DiLorenzo

Richard Ebeling

Marty Edelston

Ivan Eland

Marsha Familaro Enright

Richard Epstein

Harold Evans

Peter Ferrara

Thomas Fleming

Murray Franck

Judge Marvin Frankel

"Benjamin Franklin"

David Friedman

Jeffrey Friedman

Patri Friedman

Marshall Fritz

Michael Fumento

John Fund

Arthur E. Gandolfi

John Taylor Gatto

Scott Douglas Gerber

Henry Gifford

George Gilder

Mike Godwin

Bettina Bien Greaves

Gary Greenberg

Aubrey de Grey

Martin Gross

Dan Grossman

Thor Halvorssen

Milo Hamilton

Robin Hanson

Dean Hazel

Stephen Hicks

Robert Higgs

Jeremy Hildreth

Erica Holzer

Gary Hoover

Jacob G. Hornberger

Peter Huber

Edward L. Hudgins

Jeffrey Rogers Hummel

Jerome Huyler

Mitchell Jones

Stephen Kagann

Steve Keeley

David Kelley

Laurel Kenner

Saul Kent

Yasuhiko Genku Kimura

Thomas L. Knapp

Alan Charles Kors

Richard Kostelanetz

Lawrence Kudlow

Steven Landsburg

Sarah Lawrence

Pierre Lemieux

Jules Leopold

Peter Lewin

Marty Lewinter

Will Lewis

Carl Liedhom

Seth Lipsky

Felix Livingston

Herbert London

John R. Lott Jr.

Cathy Luchetti

Tibor Machan

Marisa Manley

Steve Mariotti

Stanley Mason

Megan McArdle

Bill McCarthy

John McCormack

John L. McCormack

Wendy McElroy

John McGinnis

Lawrence McQuillan

Gabriella Megyesi

Perry Metzger

Jeffrey Miron

Stephen Moore

Deroy Murdock

Robert Murphy

Charles Murray

Victor Niederhoffer

Walter Olson

Jane Orient

Roger Pilon

Virginia Postrel

Benjamin Powell

Jim Powell

Ronald Radosh

Douglas Rasmussen

Greg Rehmke

George Reisman

Kenneth Rendell

Adam Robinson

Arthur Robinson

Jim Rogers

Michael Rothschild

Candida Royalle

Linda Russell

Robert Schrade

Jack Schwartzman

Todd Seavey

Larry Sechrest

Hans F. Sennholz

Amity Shlaes

Tim Slagle

Susan Slyman

Fred L. Smith Jr.

David Ramsay Steele

Brett Steenbarger

Richard W. Stevens

Stephen Stigler

John Stossel

Michael Strong

Jacob Sullum

Alexander Tabarrok

Joan Kennedy Taylor

Peter Thiel

Frank Tipler

William Tucker

Jesse Walker

George Walsh

Peter Lamborn Wilson

Stephanie Winston

Jim Wynne