Having been born in 1927 and having some memories of the Great Depression, I question her hypothesis that the government programs at the time were responsible for bringing us out of the great depression. A review of the unemployment statistics from 1930 to 1944, I believe, supports m."/>


Having been born in 1927 and having some memories of the Great Depression, I question her hypothesis that the government programs at the time were responsible for bringing us out of the great depression. A review of the unemployment statistics from 1930 to 1944, I believe, supports m."/> Re: ‘Let’s make a new, new deal’ | News, Sports, Jobs - SANIBEL-CAPTIVA - Island Reporter, Islander and Current
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Re: ‘Let’s make a new, new deal’

By Staff | Jul 8, 2009

To the editor,

I read with interest the July 1 guest commentary by Susan Feiner titled “Let’s make a new, new deal.”

Having been born in 1927 and having some memories of the Great Depression, I question her hypothesis that the government programs at the time were responsible for bringing us out of the great depression. A review of the unemployment statistics from 1930 to 1944, I believe, supports my position. Unemployment rate for this period is shown below:

Year Rate

1930 8.7

1932 23.6

1934 21.7

1936 16.9

1938 19.0

1940 14.6

1942 4.7

1944 1.2

The U.S. awakened in 1940 and the WWII draft bill was passed. Thus what happened was many unemployed went into the Armed Forces. In December of 1941, we were attacked at Pearl Harbor, and the gigantic armament of the U.S. began. It wasn’t any public works project dreamed up in Washington, D.C. that brought us out of the Depression – it was the required spending for WWII.

After practically completing my research on the subject, I came across the writings of Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman, economic writer for The N.Y. Times (a source that I thought I’d never use). Quoting the substance of his writing: “it was not the Depression era New Deals policies that saved the economy, but the enormous public work project known as WWII, which provided the fiscal stimulus necessary.”

Case closed.

Dale Armstrong

Sanibel and Columbus, Ohio