image: University of Chicago Magazine - logo

link to: featureslink to: class news, books, deathslink to: chicago journal, college reportlink to: investigationslink to: editor's notes, letters, chicagophile, course work
link to: back issueslink to: contact forms, address updateslink to: staff info, ad rates, subscriptions


  DEPARTMENTS
  > > Editor's Note
  > > From the President
  > >
Letters
  > >
Chicagophile


LETTERS
Beyond the free market


I was interested to read Pejman Yousefzadeh's response to Studs Terkel's analysis of the New Deal's impact on the Depression and the U.S. economy ("Letters," August/01). The writer criticizes Mr. Terkel's crediting of these programs and then credits World War II as the engine that drove the economy back to health. What is curious is his conclusion that it was the free market that remedied the economic ills. Isn't war a government policy and wartime spending on the military simply a different form of government spending? Wasn't it government contracts with the military industrial complex that drove production and created those jobs?

The point he seems to miss is not that the New Deal created long-term jobs, but that the creation of the Social Security System, the Federal Deposit Insurance system, and many other programs restored citizens' confidence in critical U.S. institutions, including the economy (Alan Greenspan has mentioned consumer confidence as an important indicator of economic strength), and did support those less able to support themselves (the research on the impact of Social Security on reducing poverty among senior citizens is pretty clear). As a fairly recent graduate, and probably a relatively young person, Pejman should be forgiven for historic nearsightedness.

Paul Tainsh, AM'77
Brooklyn, New York


I'm not an economist, and I don't usually spend my time pedantically picking out misstatements in letters to the editor of the University of Chicago Magazine, but the arrogant tone of Pejman Yousefzadeh's rejoinder to Studs Terkel was irksome enough to rouse me to action. Yousefzadeh cites World War II as the cause of American economic recovery in the mid-20th century and concludes that "free-market forces are more powerful than government intervention in remedying economic ills." Insofar as worldwide depression caused by the untrammeled free market caused social unrest that fueled the rise of dictatorships in the 1930s, perhaps World War II was the product of the free market.

But I'm having a hard time getting my head around the concept that war is not government intervention-that it is not, in fact, one of the most massive and costly government programs there is.

Rebecca Zorach, AM'94, PhD'99
Philadelphia




  OCTOBER 2001

  > > Volume 94, Number 1


  FEATURES
  > >
Collective efforts
  > >
News you can abuse
  > >
The collecting mania


  CLASS NOTES
  > > Class News

  > > Books
  > > Deaths

  CAMPUS NEWS
  > > Chicago Journal

  > > Chicago Report

  RESEARCH
  > > Investigations


  ARCHIVES
  CONTACT
  ABOUT THE MAGAZINE
  SEARCH/SITE MAP

  ALUMNI GATEWAY
  ALUMNI DIRECTORY
  THE UNIVERSITY

uchicagoо ©2001 The University of Chicagoо Magazine 1313 E. 60th St., Chicago, IL 60637
phone: 773/702-2163 fax: 773/702-2166 uchicago-magazine@uchicago.edu