Links for January 31, 2011: This is the War on Drugs. Any Questions?; Thoughts on the Depression of 1920.

  • “He was not a dealer,” Arlean Blair insists. “I know that he used … but he was not a drug dealer. A drug dealer has lots of money and nice things. If you looked in his house, he had nothing. He gave everything away to people who were having trouble. … It isn’t clear from evidence logs whether investigators found the drugs they were looking for. There was paraphernalia and ‘a small, pink plastic bag with a white crystal substance.’”

    The Weber County Attorney’s Office found the shooting to be legally justified under Utah Law. This is drugs. This is the War on Drugs. Any questions?

  • The Austrian School’s “Great Depression of 1920” line of reasoning goes like this: Following the First World War, America fell into a depression the first year of which was worse than that of the Great Depression. The government then did very little in the way of stimulus then, and the economy recovered basically on its own within a couple of years. By the 1929, America saw the onset of the Great Depression. Over a decade of New Deal government intervention did not get us out of that depression. To the contrary, New Deal meddling prolonged the Great Depression. Over a year and a half has passed since I first heard this account, and I have not come across so much as a peep in response from the interventionists….until now. The Austrian Review of Economics first published this article online in late October, 2010. I have not yet read this article because it costs $34 to download, but the author, Daniel Kuehn, responds to a critique of the article here.

  • Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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    4 Responses to Links for January 31, 2011: This is the War on Drugs. Any Questions?; Thoughts on the Depression of 1920.

    1. Daniel Kuehn says:

      Thanks for noting the article. Sorry it’s gated. There’s an older version on SSRN for free. It’s not completely updated but most of the argument is there.

      Part of the reason why nobody has responded is the relative insularity of the Austrian community, I think. But to be fair – they don’t really respond to mainstream work on 1920-21 too. There’s been a lot of work done counter to the traditional Austrian interpretation in the 80s and 90s. Powell, Murphy, Woods, etc. didn’t cite any of it. Lately I’ve been seeing more references to the work of Romer and Vernon in blog posts – maybe my rebuttal (which I’ve also elaborated on on my blog) helped contribute to that, I don’t know.

      • autofyrsto says:

        Nice! I will be checking out the SSRN version and some of those other names in the near future. I do want to hear other voices on this issue. The Austrian version of history sounds really nice the way they tell it, but you can’t go around believing stuff just because it sounds nice. I’m no economist, so I need the help of other published economists to help me figure this all out.

        • Daniel Kuehn says:

          send me an email at dan.p.kuehn@gmail.com and I’ll get you a pdf of the real one.

          I don’t think there’s anything glaringly wrong with the Austrian approach – I simply think they’re wrong to consider this a case against Keynesianism, and they usually don’t offer much evidence on their own behalf. As you say – it’s a good story. There’s no good reason to believe it’s a major driver of the business cycle.

    2. […] my January 31st edition of Links, I linked to Daniel Kuehn’s article in the Journal of Austrian Economics about the Depression […]

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