Economic historian Amity Shlaes sees some scary parallels between 2013 and 1937. In 1937Franklin D. Roosevelt had just been reelected to another term and Americans soon after experienced the “depression within the Depression.”
Will 2013 be 1937? This is the question many analysts are posing as the stock market has dropped after the U.S. election. On Nov. 16, they noted that industrial production, a crucial figure, dropped as well.
In this case, “1937” means a market drop similar to the one after the re-election of another Democratic president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1936.
The drop wasn’t immediate in that case; it came in the first full year after the election. Industrial production plummeted by 34.5 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by half, from almost 200 in early 1937 to less than 100 at the end of March 1938.
It’s hard to imagine stock indexes dropping by half today, or unemployment rising past 15 percent, as they did in the “depression within the Depression.” But the parallels are visible enough to be worth tracing. They have to do with the danger of big government, and can be captured in a few categories.
Read the whole thing. We could be looking at a replay of 1937, only the national debt today is a whole lot higher.