The Corner

Affirmative Action for Presidents

Today on Uncommon Knowledge, Hoover fellow and author Thomas Sowell explains how this election is a democratic experiment in determining whether we can actually govern ourselves.

“Now anyone who studied history knows that for the first 150 years of this country the federal government did not intervene when the economy turned down. And all that time the downturns all corrected themselves; one of the most classic examples was under Warren G. Harding when, during his first year in office. he found the unemployment rate at 11.7 percent. He did absolutely nothing; he did not spend more government money, he cut back on spending. The Federal Reserve had the interest rates up at 6 or 7 percent, not down at 1 percent, where they are now. The next year unemployment was at 6.7 percent; the year after that it was 2.4 percent. So the economy has recuperative powers. I mean employers have an incentive to hire people. Workers have an incentive to get jobs. Lenders have incentives to lend.”

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Peter Robinson — Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

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