Here’s the full infomercial for my class on the Great Depression that starts this Friday. We’ve got Depression-era pricing of only $59 for a 5-week course. I’m excited to teach this so bust out your credit card. An excerpt:
The weekly lectures will run from November 16 through December 14. The first week will provide a background overview of the classical gold standard, as well as Calvin Coolidge’s fiscal policies. We will see that the modern habit of blaming the gold standard for the Great Depression — common among Keynesians but also Friedmanite monetarists — makes little sense.
In week two we will tackle the crucial question of the Federal Reserve’s culpability. The assigned readings will (of course) include large selections from Murray Rothbard’s book America’s Great Depression, which blames the Fed for an unsustainable credit boom in the 1920s. Yet we will also cover the Friedman/Schwartz hypothesis, that it was the Fed’s inaction (or tight money) in the late 1920s and early 1930s that was ultimately responsible for the Depression.
In the third and fourth weeks we will explore the policies of the Hoover and Roosevelt administrations, noting their similarities. In addition to the treatment given by Rothbard, we will review the modern work by UCLA economists who analyze the New Deal as a cartel.
Finally, in the fifth week we will consider the Keynesian theories that the “double dip” depression in 1937–38 can be attributed to premature fiscal austerity, and that the ultimate solution to the Great Depression came in the form of military spending on World War II. Here we will rely on the revisionist work of Bob Higgs, but also the anecdotal descriptions of civilian life published more recently by Steve Horwitz and Michael McPhillips.