[文摘] 克魯曼眼中的新政是歷史真相嗎?[or] Bad deal: how FDR made life worse for African Americans

Paul Krugman, Laureate of the Sveriges Riksban...
Paul Krugman

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  1. 克魯曼眼中的新政是歷史真相嗎? (文/余創豪)
  2.  Bad deal: how FDR made life worse for African Americans

諾貝爾經濟學獎得主克魯曼(Paul Krugman)贊揚凱因斯主義(Keynesianism),以及發揮了凱因斯精神的羅斯福(F.D. Roosevelt)新政(The New Deal),同時謹慎指出強調政府干預的左派經濟並不等同蘇維埃社會主義。
但歷史上對羅斯福新政的評價,不是只有克魯曼那樣一面倒的讚揚聲音。如紐約州立大學政治學教授麥克馬洪(Kevin McMahon)、歷史學家鮑威爾(Jim Powell)的底下兩本著作:

後世津津樂道于羅斯福怎樣扶貧,但這兩本書的作者-一位持一般自由主義(liberalism),另一位持自由放任經濟觀點(libertarianism)-,根據歷史和統計翻案,硬是將羅斯福扯下神壇。他們的觀點包括:

財經雜誌 Forbes 的總編輯甚至認為︰雖然新政與經濟復甦之間的時序關系(correlation according to chronological sequence)是不爭的事實,這卻不必然伴隨因果關系(causation)。真相是第二次世界大戰刺激了工業,令美國走出衰退。新政只是藉機邀功罷了。

以下是來自Reason magazine 和 Reason.com編輯 Damon W. Root 的書評分析:

FRANKLIN DELANO Roosevelt ranks near or at the very top of almost every standard list of America’s greatest presidents. But there is a substantial part of the American public for whom the legendary four-termer did little: African Americans. Despite the determined efforts of his do-gooder wife Eleanor, for example, he failed to support federal anti-lynching legislation and refused to integrate the armed forces. (Successor Harry Truman finally did the latter in 1948.) Although supposedly sympathetic to the plight of black America, FDR was not about to risk losing either his New Deal or World War II by alienating Southern supporters or moving too far ahead of public opinion.

Two recent books, one generally liberal and the other libertarian, offer interesting and divergent viewpoints on what Roosevelt and his New Deal did, and did not do, to improve life for American blacks. In Reconsidering Roosevelt on Race: How the Presidency Paved the Road to Brown, Kevin J. McMahon credits the New Deal with establishing a judiciary « eager to defer » to the executive branch’s authority and expertise, allowing the Justice Department to « instruct » the courts on civil rights cases, in FDR’S Folly: How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Depression, Jim Powell argues that New Deal economic and regulatory policies were bad for many Americans, especially poor blacks.

Both books offer original and persuasive arguments and engage each other in a number of challenging ways. Ultimately, Powell’s case is both more convincing and damning. His evidence reveals that… (read more)

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