This blog describes some ideas that seem to be different from the current train of political thought. I will try to bring up somewhat unique and innovative ideas regarding political systems and policies in the US. I hope those who comment also bring in such ideas.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Great Depression and Bill W

I have recently finished reading two books which are directly related to the Great Depression. The first is The Forgotten Man by Amity Shales. It is a very insightful book which answers one of the big questions about the Great Depression: why did it last so long?

In the book, Shales goes into some of the fundamental economic laws that both the Hoover and Roosevelt administrations attempted to violate. By implementing measures such as price-fixing, increased taxation, and higher tariffs, the depression was altered from a standard 3-4 year letdown to something in which the dow didn't recover until after WWII ended.

The second book I finished also comes out of the great depression, and was mentioned in “The Forgotten Man.” It is Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as "The Big Book,” written by Bill W. The movement has been one of the greatest positive aspects arising out of the Great Depression, expanding to help not only alcoholics, but also their families, friends, and other suffers of compulsive behaviors. As Shales points out in her book, along with Dale Carnegie, self-help literature was among the best-sellers during the depression. I don't think any type of state planning or socialistic methodology could have come up with such an effective solution to such a real problem.

Currently, the world faces some similar problems - economic depression and addiction. I am hopeful we can learn from the past.

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