Not everybody is well informed about economics, or history, or economic history. That's life. We build narratives, though.
I was intrigued by this comment by Bob Murphy about what we could call the "Hoover narrative": "the average NYT reader would certainly think that the Hoover years were
characterized by sharp cuts in government spending, in response to the
I disagree with Bob. At least coming from my own sample of one before even studying economics, I never thought or learned about "sharp cuts in government spending".
In fact, there's a funny little adjective our national narrative has attached to the Hoover administration - he is known as "the do-nothing president". Not "the spending slasher president", but "the do-nothing president".
And - for the reasons I laid out in the last post - I think that narrative is 100% fair. Hoover at the time probably didn't think that's what he was. And I think the guy meant well. And I'm not sure what we, in 2012, could really have expected. Government was just different back then. But I think this is the stigma that has attached to Hoover - that he just kinda sat there, not that he was some kind of spending slasher.