The unemployed will always be with us. Or so we seem to be
reminded by the current recession, as the unemployment rate
surpasses 7 percent, its highest level in more than five years.
But why should this be the case? After all, government at least
since the New Deal has assumed responsibility for combating
unemployment. Yet the American economy appears no more free of the
sharp unemployment peaks that accompany recessions and depressions
than before the 1930s.
- Abolish the Department of Labor
Could it be that government, far from being the solution, is
actually the problem?
This is the sober conclusion of The Independent Institute’s
Out of Work: Unemployment and Government in 20th Century America.
The authors are Richard Vedder and Lowell Gallaway,
both Professors of Economics at Ohio University who have served on
the Joint Economic Committee of Congress. With a foreword by Martin
Bronfenbrenner (late Professor of Economics, Duke University),
this volume amasses relentless and devastating empirical evidence
that the major cause of high unemployment during the twentieth
century in the United States, both cyclical and secular, is
next Labor issue: Labor
Next Cabinet Office: State