The New Deal Jobs Myth

Amity Shlaes in the Wall Street Journal looks at how the New Deal era programs didn’t “create jobs”, but rather stifled growth. This is an important lesson for those (presidential candidates, Governor Rendell) who have ideas for more ways to tax and borrow more money to “invest” in “economic development”.

The story of the mid-1930s is the story of a heroic economy struggling to recuperate but failing to do so because lawmakers’ preoccupation with public works rather got in the way of allowing productive businesses to expand and pull the rest forward.