Whatever one thinks about history repeating itself generally, the case for repetition is pretty strong in economics because economic activity is by its nature cyclical. Yes, times change, and no two business cycles are ever exactly alike, but there are certainly recurring patterns and it makes great sense to try to understand what worked and what didn’t in past cycles.
Ever since late September, it has been difficult to discuss the economy in much depth without encountering simmering controversies about what did an did not work during the Great Depression. But there is a problem. Read the rest of this entry »