Facts are stubborn things, aren't they. Let's hope D.C. pays attention to history in their rush to be seen "doing something."
The New Deal is widely perceived to have ended the Great Depression, and this has led many to support a "new" New Deal to address the current crisis. But the facts do not support the perception that FDR's policies shortened the Depression, or that similar policies will pull our nation out of its current economic downturn.
Some New Deal policies...violated the most basic economic principles by suppressing competition, and setting prices and wages in many sectors well above their normal levels. All told, these antimarket policies choked off powerful recovery forces that would have plausibly returned the economy back to trend by the mid-1930s.
The main lesson we have learned from the New Deal is that wholesale government intervention can -- and does -- deliver the most unintended of consequences.