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Someplace Like AmericaTales from the New Great Depression$
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Dale Maharidge

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520262478

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520262478.001.0001

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Waiting for an Explosion

Waiting for an Explosion

7 Waiting for an Explosion
Someplace Like America

Dale Maharidge

University of California Press

For many, the shock of the 1982 recession had now become a permanent state of being. Millions lived in the shadows. The working homeless had become common: the authors found them everywhere. The Chicago school of economic theory dominated political and economic discourse. This libertarian ideology, which rejects many of the lessons learned from dealing with the fiscal crisis that followed the 1929 crash, was shaped by Professor Milton Friedman at the University of Chicago. Friedman attacked John Maynard Keynes, the preeminent economic theorist of the 1930s, who maintained that government had to intervene to help the economy. Friedman and his libertarian disciples—the “freshwater” economists, as opposed to the liberal “saltwater” economists on the coasts—believed that the markets were best left to take care of themselves. President Ronald Reagan embraced these free market ideas, and Friedman's influence continued into Bill Clinton's terms in office.

Keywords:   recession, Chicago, fiscal crisis, Milton Friedman, John Maynard Keynes, economy, Ronald Reagan, free market

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