A Wall Street Journal Op-Ed by Mackinac Center scholar Burton Folsom Jr. and his wife Anita was the most e-mailed commentary on the paper's Web site Monday.

Titled "Did FDR End the Depression?" the piece takes from Folsom's recent book, "New Deal or Raw Deal: How FDR's Economic Legacy Has Damaged America," and corrects the commonly held myth that President Roosevelt's policies brought an end to the Great Depression.

Higher taxes and more regulation under FDR's "alphabet soup agencies" did not revive America's economy and in fact unemployment was above 20 percent as late as May of 1939, the Folsoms point out. It was a wholesale rejection of the New Deal in post-World War II America, including lower taxes and the end of price controls that led to the recovery, they explain, including the fact that unemployment in 1946 was under 4 percent even with millions of soldiers returning to the private sector.

Burton Folsom is the Center's senior fellow in economic education and a history professor at Hillsdale College. Anita Folsom is director of the annual "Free Market Forum" at Hillsdale College.


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