Friday, December 16, 2011

......And Widens

"The Smoot-Hawley Tariff was more a consequence of the onset of the Great Depression than an initial cause. But while the tariff might not have caused the Depression, it certainly did not make it any better. It provoked a storm of foreign retaliatory measures and came to stand as a symbol of the "beggar-thy-neighbor" policies (policies designed to improve one's own lot at the expense of that of others) of the 1930s. Such policies contributed to a drastic decline in international trade. For example, U.S. imports from Europe declined from a 1929 high of $1,334 million to just $390 million in 1932, while U.S. exports to Europe fell from $2,341 million in 1929 to $784 million in 1932. Overall, world trade declined by some 66% between 1929 and 1934. More generally, Smoot-Hawley did nothing to foster trust and cooperation among nations in either the political or economic realm during a perilous era in international relations.............U.S Department of State...............http://future.state.gov/when/timeline/1921_timeline/smoot_tariff.html...............So, yet another perspective; it didn't cause the Great Depression but it may in fact have exacerbated it.

11 comments:

w-dervish said...

Trade decreased because of a lack of demand. Smoot Hawley had NOTHING to do with it. Read my blog post.

Will: It provoked a storm of foreign retaliatory measures...

No it did not. Cambridge Economics professor Ha-Joon Chang says, "the threat that protectionism could spark a trade war is simply nonsense ... it DIDN'T HAPPEN in the 1930s... [People who say it did are relating something that] COULD NOT BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH".

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Again, you don't understand basic epistemology. You cannot absolutely discern causality between complex social and economic phenomena. These are correlations and you cannot with certitude say that one particular event causes another. Like with the Depression of 1921, Harding did the exact opposite of Hoover and FDR and the results were significantly different (different, as in better). Does this mean that what Harding did was metaphysically superior? Being intellectually consistent, I would probably have to say, no (just that it's interesting). You really need to be a little more skeptical about everything, wd. Trust me, your life will be far more illuminating if you are.

Rational Nation USA said...

left wingnuts just simply lack the ability to consider anything that doesn't reek of progressive propaganda.

Truth 101 said...

What a despicably partisan thing to say RN. How dare you besmerch this fine independent blo with such hate filled bile against the left.


WD is correct Will. I dig your use of cool words like epistemology and causality but your attempt to blame the Depression on tariffs is a ridiculous stretch.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Truth, let me be clear here. I'm not saying that Smoot-Hawley was the only or even the major cause of the Depression. I'm just saying that it isn't strictly a right-wing viewpoint and that it's at least curious that the unemployment rate was actually going DOWN until Mr. Hoover signed it.............And isn't it at least a little ironic that it was the Republicans who were the protectionist party back then and it was guys like Al Smith and FDR who were critical of them?............As for what Les just said, I'm afraid that, except for guys like you and John Myste, his experience has also been my experience.

Rational Nation USA said...

Thank you Will. Both you (especially you) have tried to find the middle ground. But with the strident left there is no middle ground, there is only a all or nothing attitude and mentality.

So by their own design they perpetuate he gridlock, the lies, and the statist agenda.

Even guys like truth cannot help themselves and continue to spew vile, disrespectful, and inaccurate rhetoric, even against those that might actually agree with them 1/2 of the time.

So, for me it is back to calling em as I see em. Screw the nice guy shit. Now its going to be both barrels. Ya know, SCORCHED EARTH, hate filled divisive rhetorical bull crap... EXACTLY as the nut Alinski guided nut job left EXCELS at.

Jerry Critter said...

I think the question of tariffs comes down to who you want to help -- the American worker and the American manufacturing base, or the multinational corporations and their investor base.

dmarks said...

Tariffs sure don't help American workers. They are the ones who end up paying this tax, and they are the ones who lose jobs as the result of trade wars cutting off export markets.

Just say no to tariffs and help the average American.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I apologize, Jerry. I should have included you in the list of affable progressives out there. Your civility and open-mindedness are appreciated.............Les, feel free to stop by and denigrate Nancy Pelosi and Michael Moore as often as you want. a) It's humorous and b) wd doesn't like it. Win-win....I still enjoy the Truthster's irreverence, btw.............Jerry, dmarks, what can I say, trade is a brutal issue. My preference would be to open up markets and maybe compensate by cutting taxes on the middle class and vastly improving job-training. It just doesn't make sense to me that we provide humanitarian aid to these developing countries and then punish them on top of that with tariffs. There's got to be a better way.

dmarks said...

Will: I agree 100% with that.

dmarks said...
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