April 2, 2009 – Robert Higgs

April 2, 2009

  • Social interaction
  • Discussion of current issues and events

And a lively conversation with our featured speaker

Robert Higgs
Senior Fellow in Political Economy, The Independent Institute

Replaying the New Deal:
A Very Bad Idea

Robert Higgs says: As the recession has deepened and the financial debacle has lurched from one episode to another during the past year, any commentators have recommended that the U.S. government undertake a second New Deal.

These calls seem premised on a variety of myths about what the original New Deal involved and what it gave rise to.

The New Deal — and to some extent the Hoover program that preceded it — amounted to a massive, ongoing, unpredictable intervention in the market system.

Although a few of the programs might have had positive first-order effects on the economy’s performance, the New Deal as a whole amounted to an enormous drag on the normal readjustments to and recovery from the economic downturn that began in 1929.

A second New Deal would be highly detrimental to recovery from the current recession.

Dr. Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy for The Independent Institute and Editor of the Institute’s quarterly journal The Independent Review. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and he has taught at the University of Washington, Lafayette College, Seattle University, and the University of Economics, Prague. He has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University and Stanford University, and a fellow for the Hoover Institution and the National Science Foundation.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Gary Schlarbaum Award for Lifetime Defense of Liberty, Thomas Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties, Lysander Spooner Award for Advancing the Literature of Liberty, Friedrich von Wieser Memorial Prize for Excellence in Economic Education, and Templeton Honor Rolls Award on Education in a Free Society.

Dr. Higgs is the editor of The Independent Institute booksOpposing the Crusader State: Alternatives to Global InterventionismThe Challenge of LibertyRe-Thinking Green,Hazardous to Our Health? and Arms, Politics, and the Economy, plus the volume Emergence of the Modern Political Economy.

His authored books include Neither Liberty Nor Safety,Depression, War, and Cold WarResurgence of the Warfare State, Against LeviathanThe Transformation of the American Economy 1865-1914Competition and Coercion, and Crisis and Leviathan. A contributor to numerous scholarly volumes, he is the author of more than 100 articles and reviews in academic journals.

His popular articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Providence Journal, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Chronicle, Society, Reason, AlterNet, and many other publications and Web sites, and he has appeared on NPR, NBC, ABC, C-SPAN, CBN, CNBC, America’s Talking Television, Radio America Network, Radio Free Europe, Talk Radio Network, Voice of America, Newstalk TV, the Organization of American Historians’ public radio program, and scores of local radio and television stations. He has also been interviewed for articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, Terra Libera, Investor’s Business Daily, UPI,Orlando Sentinel, Seattle Times, Chicago Tribune, National Journal, ReasonWashington Times, WorldNetDaily, Folha de Sao Paulo, Newsmax, Financial TimesAl-Ahram Weekly, Creators Syndicate, and elsewhere.

Dr. Higgs has spoken at more than 100 colleges and universities and at the meetings of such professional organizations as the Economic History Association, Western Economic Association, Population Association of America, Southern Economic Association, International Economic History Congress, Public Choice Society, International Studies Association, Cliometric Society, Allied Social Sciences Association, American Political Science Association, American Historical Association, and others.

Higgs last spoke at Junto in November 2007.

  • We gather at 7pm on the first Thursday of each month and begin our organized meeting around 7:30.
  • The featured speaker is normally introduced at about 8. The meeting continues until about 10.
  • Please note: Junto is not the usual sort of meeting with a long speech followed by Q & A. Invited speakers give a short presentation, and then are challenged to defend their assertions. Discussions are intense, but polite.

General Society Library
20 West 44th St.
Between 5th & 6th avenues, near Grand Central Terminal

Subway: 4, 5, 6, 7 to Grand Central – 42nd St.,
B, D, F, V to 42nd St. – Sixth Ave., or
1, 2, 3, 9, N, Q, R, S, or W to Times Square – 42nd St.

Admission is free, and no reservation is necessary.

Junto focuses on libertarianism, Objectivism — the philosophy of Ayn Rand — and investing.

Our founder and host is Victor Niederhoffer, publisher (with Laurel Kenner) of Daily Speculations.

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