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New Deal boondoggles

Posted: July 31, 2009 6:52 p.m.
Updated: August 1, 2009 4:55 a.m.
I see that Mary Mello (Opinion, July 20, "New deal for college graduates") fondly remembers the many make-work boondoggles of the New Deal because of the jobs that were created.

What she doesn't remember - because it can never be seen with the same immediacy and nostalgia - were the jobs that were lost as a result of the New Deal's spending and taxation.

Economists calculate that two to three jobs were lost for every one that was "created," which is why the Great Depression lasted for a decade, with unemployment in the 20- to 25-percent range (instead of just a few years and with half as many unemployed, as with every depression before and since).

So, Ms. Mello, I understand your fond personal memories, but from an economic basis those New Deal recollections are more like collective hallucinations.


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