Entries Tagged as 'Joe Stiglitz'

Government Jobs Won’t Pay the Bills

David Frum January 2nd, 2012 at 4:54 pm 36 Comments

What is wrong (and right) with Joe Stiglitz’s analysis of the Great Depression? Click here for Part 1. Click here for Part 2. Click here for Part 3.

Back in the 1960s, Daniel Patrick Moynihan once offered this solution to the economic problems of black America: restore Sunday mail delivery.

The line was sort of a joke, but sort of not. The Post Office of those days really did provide secure employment to large numbers of black Americans, and a seventh delivery day would require the employment of still more.

Government can always create direct employment. It’s often said that the three biggest employers on earth are the Chinese Red Army, the Indian state railways, and the UK’s National Health System, government enterprises all. Click here to read more

The Problems With Stiglitz’s Depression

David Frum January 2nd, 2012 at 10:59 am 7 Comments

What is wrong with Joe Stiglitz’s analysis of the Great Depression? Click here for Part 1.

Problem 1: Repeat after me – The Great Depression was a global event. That’s a fact American economic historians always have great trouble keeping in mind, and Stiglitz here succumbs to the national myopia.

How did the troubles of the American farmer wreck every economy from Germany to China? If your theory of the Depression does not start with the huge debts bequeathed by the First World War – and the failure of the postwar settlement to re-establish a stable economic and financial order – then it’s not a very good theory.

Click here to read more

Stiglitz Rewrites the Great Depression

David Frum January 2nd, 2012 at 8:21 am 7 Comments

Joe Stiglitz’s offers in the current Vanity Fair an arresting theory of both the Great Depression and the current economic malaise.

Contra the (now) orthodox view propounded by Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz, Stiglitz argues that the Depression was not fundamentally a monetary event. Instead, Stiglitz counters, we should think of the Depression as driven by a deeper crisis in the real economy: Between 1890 and 1930, technological advance had rendered most farm labor obsolete. Click here to read more