Populist movements don't build themselves ...

... It doesn't matter what the "horse race" outcome of the campaign is, if we fight the campaign. Fighting it, we learn how to fight. Learning how to fight political battles, we become citizens again. Becoming citizens again, we reclaim the Republic that lies dormant beneath the bread and circuses of modern American society.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How Long Will the Recession Be? The Dither Principle

Burning the Midnight Oil for Progressive Populism

How long was the Great Depression? Roughly ten years, 1929 to the outbreak of WWII, which launched US into arms-building well before we actually entered the war.

How long did we dither about fixing it? Well, there was three years of Hoover. And then Roosevelt was elected, and then were all those fights with the Supreme Court knocking down New Deal legislation, and the threat to pack the court, and the big mid-term election wins by the Democrats giving them the political ability to pack the court if they wished, and the Supreme Court backed down, and the New Deal got underway in earnest.

We dithered for five years, and the Great Depression lasted for roughly ten.

Japan dithered quite a bit in its "Lost Decade", where the bursting of a real estate bubble was followed by an extended period of economic stagnation. It was not until 1995 that a "Stimulus" budget was adopted. And it was not until after the turn of the century that private business investment started to pick up again.

It may be that the longer you dither, the longer the downturn lasts.

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