by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
Government intervention in the economy has failed time and again, yet the Left persists with its narrative. JLF Senior Fellow Garland Tucker takes apart the key fables, including the persistent idea that the 1920s were catastrophic.
As for the supposed “chaos” of the 1920s, America actually experienced widespread prosperity. Reduced taxes and limited government interference fostered unprecedented economic growth through this decade. Gross National Product grew at an astounding annual rate of 4.7 percent, while unemployment declined from 6.7 percent to 3.2 percent and consumer prices remained stable.
People across all tax brackets benefited. Between 1922 and 1928, the number of taxpayers earning more than $100,000 quadrupled, and the average income in this group rose 15 percent. Similarly, the number of taxpayers in the $10,000-to-$100,000 bracket increased 84 percent. In the lowest bracket, those earning below $10,000 actually declined. Historian Thomas Silver notes the tax reforms championed by President Calvin Coolidge alleviated 98 percent of Americans — the working class and the poor — from paying any income tax.
And what about the idea that FDR’s New Deal saved America? Read on for Garland’s take on that fable. Facts and data are powerful tools for assessing our past.