Education in the Twenty-first Century (Hoover Institution Press Publication)

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Abizaid , former commander of the U. Now more than five decades old, Herbert Hoover's statement to the Board of Trustees of Stanford University on the purpose and scope of the Hoover Institution continues to define its mission, according to the organization's website: [2]. As of April [3]. As of April [4]. The Hoover Institution produces multiple publications regarding public policy topics, including the quarterly publications Hoover Digest , Education Next , and China Leadership Monitor.

The Hoover Institution Press also publishes books and essays. As of April [8]. A full list of the members of each task force can be found online here. The Hoover Institution receives much of its funding from private charitable foundations , including many attached to large corporations. A partial list of its recent donors includes: [9]. Other grants to Hoover Institution previously listed by Media Matters Action and elsewhere include: [11]. Documents Contained at the Anti-Environmental Archives Documents written by or referencing this person or organization are contained in the Anti-Environmental Archive, launched by Greenpeace on Earth Day, The archive contains 3, documents, some 27, pages, covering organizations and individuals.

The current archive includes mainly documents collected in the late s through the early s by The Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research CLEAR , an organization that tracked the rise of the so called "Wise Use" movement in the s during the Clinton presidency. Access the index to the Anti-Environmental Archives here.

Richard V. Allen , former U. Atlas Dennis L. Bark Robert J. Ceasar John H.

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Cochrane, economist John F. Dorfman Sidney D. Drell John B. Dunlop Peter Duus Richard A. Epstein Niall Ferguson , historian Chester E. Finn, Jr. Morris P. Henriksen Caroline M. Judd , economist Daniel P. Kessler Stephen D. Krassner Melvyn B.

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Macurdy Harvey C. McClure, Jr. Thomas A. Metzger James C. Murphy Ramon H. Myers Norman M. Naimark Douglass C. North Lee Ohanian William J. Perry , former U. Secretary of Defense Paul E. Rowen Thomas J. In the late spring and early summer of , the Federal Reserve System finally undertook open market purchases, bringing some signs of relief and possible recovery to the beleaguered American economy. By the surplus had turned into a deficit that grew rapidly as the economy contracted.

By the end of Hoover had decided to recommend a large tax increase in an attempt to balance the budget; Congress approved the tax increase in Personal exemptions were reduced sharply to increase the number of taxpayers, and rates were sharply increased. The lowest marginal rate rose from 1.


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We now understand that such a huge tax increase does not promote recovery during a contraction. Bank runs and bank failures resumed with a vengeance, and American dollars began to be redeemed for gold as the gold outflow resumed. Between and , 10, of the 24, commercial banks in the United States failed. As the public increasingly held more currency and fewer deposits, and as banks built up their excess reserves, the money supply fell Though the Federal Reserve System did increase bank reserves, the increases were far too small to stop the fall in the money supply.

As businesses saw their lines of credit and money reserves fall with bank closings, and consumers saw their bank deposit wealth tied up in drawn-out bankruptcy proceedings, spending fell, worsening the collapse in the Great Depression. President Roosevelt came into office proposing a New Deal for Americans, but his advisers believed, mistakenly, that excessive competition had led to overproduction, causing the depression.

Reduced production, of course, is what happens in depressions, and it never made sense to try to get the country out of depression by reduc ing production further. In its zeal, the administration apparently did not consider the elementary impossibility of raising all real wage rates and all real prices.

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The AAA immediately set out to slaughter six million baby pigs and reduce breeding sows to reduce pork production and raise prices. Since cotton plantings were thought to be excessive, cotton farmers were paid to plow under one-quarter of the forty million acres of cotton to reduce marketed production to boost prices. Most of the payments went to the landowners, not the tenants, making conditions desperate for tenant farmers.

Though landowners were supposed to share the payments with their tenant farmers, they were not legally obligated to do so and most did not. As a result, tenant farmers, and especially black tenants, who were more easily discriminated against, received none of the payments and less or no income from cotton production after large portions of the crop were plowed under.

Where persuasion was ineffective in inducing the many independent farmers to reduce production, the federal government intended to mandate production cutbacks and purchase the product to take it off the market and raise prices. The NRA was a vast experiment in cartelizing American industry. Code authorities in each industry were set up to determine production and investment, as well as to standardize firm practices and costs.

The entire apparatus was aimed at raising prices and reducing, not increasing, production and investment.

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As the NRA codes began to take effect in the fall of , they had precisely that effect. The recovery that had seemed so promising in the summer largely stopped, and there was little increase in economic activity from the fall of through midsummer Enforcement of the codes was sporadic, disagreement over the codes increased, and, in smaller, more competitive industries, fewer firms adhered to the codes. Released from the shackles of the NRA, American industry began to expand production. By the fall of a vigorous recovery was under way.

In addition, many workers decided not to join independent labor unions. These factors helped the recovery. Unhappy with the lack of union power, however, Senator Robert Wagner, in the summer of , authored the National Labor Relations Act to ensure that union members could force other workers to join their unions with a simple majority vote, thus effectively monopolizing the labor force. Generally, the new contracts raised hourly wage rates and created overtime wage rates as real hourly labor costs surged. Several other factors also pushed up real labor costs. One factor was the new Social Security taxes instituted in and Also, Roosevelt had pushed through a new tax on undistributed corporate profits, expecting this to cause firms to pay out undistributed profits in dividends.

Though some firms did pay out part of the retained earnings in larger dividends, others, such as the firms in the steel industry, also paid bonuses and raised wage rates to avoid paying their retained earnings in new taxes. As these three policies came together, real hourly labor costs jumped without corresponding increases in demand or prices, and firms responded by reducing production and laying off employees.

The second major policy change was in monetary policy. Following the end of the contraction, banks, as a precaution against bank runs, had begun to hold large excess reserves. Officials at the Federal Reserve System knew that if banks used a large percentage of those excess reserves to increase lending, the money supply would quickly expand and price inflation would follow. Their studies suggested that the excess reserves were distributed widely across banks, and they assumed that these reserves were due to the low level of loan demand. Because banks were not borrowing at the discount window and the Fed had no bonds to sell on the open market, its only tool to reduce excess reserves was the new one of varying reserve requirements.

Between August 1, , and May 1, , in three steps, the Fed doubled reserve requirements for all classes of member banks, wiping out much of the excess reserves, especially at the larger banks. The banks, burned by their lack of excess reserves in the early s, responded by beginning to restore the excess reserves, which entailed reducing loans. Within eighteen months, excess reserves were almost as large as before the reserve requirement increases, and, necessarily, the stock of money was lower.

By June , the recovery—during which the unemployment rate had fallen to 12 percent—was over. Two policies, labor cost increases and a contractionary monetary policy, caused the economy to contract further. Although the contraction ended around June , the ensuing recovery was quite slow. The average rate of unemployment for all of was Even in , the unemployment rate still averaged Why was the recovery from the Great Depression so slow?

A number of economists now argue that the NRA and monetary policy were important factors.

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A now discredited explanation from Alvin Hansen argued that the United States had exhausted its investment opportunities. Cary Brown, Larry Peppers, and Thomas Renaghan emphasize federal fiscal policies that were a drag on the return to full employment. Michael Bernstein argues that investment problems retarded the recovery because the older established industries could not generate sufficient investment while newer, growing industries had trouble obtaining investment funds in the depressed environment. Alexander Field argues that the uncontrolled housing investment of the s severely reduced housing investment in the s.

They became less willing, therefore, to invest in assets with long lives. Roosevelt had first suspended the antitrust laws so that American businesses would cooperate in government-instigated cartels ; he then switched to using the antitrust laws to prosecute firms for cooperating. Public opinion surveys of business at the end of the s provided evidence of this regime uncertainty. Public opinion polls in March and May asked whether the attitude of the Roosevelt administration toward business was delaying recovery, and 54 and 53 percent, respectively, said yes while 26 and 31 percent said no.

Fifty-six percent believed that in ten years there would be more government control of business while only 22 percent thought there would be less. Sixty-five percent of executives surveyed thought that the Roosevelt administration policies had so affected business confidence that the recovery had been seriously held back. Initially many firms were reluctant to engage in war contracts. The number of unemployed workers declined by 7,, between and , but the number in military service rose by 8,, The reduction in unemployment can be explained by the draft, not by the economic recovery.

The rise in real GNP presents similar problems. Most estimates show declines in real consumption spending, which means that consumers were worse off during the war. Business investment fell during the war. Government spending on the war effort exceeded the expansion in real GNP.

These figures are suspect, however, because we know that government estimates of the value of munitions spending, to name one major area, were increasingly exaggerated as the war progressed. In fact, the extensive price controls , rationing, and government control of production render data on GNP, consumption, investment, and the price level less meaningful.

How can we establish a consistent price index when government mandates eliminated the production of most consumer durable goods?

source site What does the price of, say, gasoline mean when it is arbitrarily held at a low level and gasoline purchases are rationed to address the shortage created by the price controls? What does the price of new tires mean when no new tires are produced for consumers? Could the Great Depression happen again? It could, but such an event is unlikely because the Federal Reserve Board is unlikely to sit idly by while the money supply falls by one-third. The wisdom gained in the years since the s probably gives our policymakers enough insight to make decisions that will keep the economy out of such a major depression.


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    Eichengreen, Barry. New York: Oxford University Press, Field, Alexander J. Friedman, Milton, and Anna Jacobson Schwartz. A Monetary History of the United States, Princeton: Princeton University Press,

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