How Keynes Almost Prevented The Keynesian Revolution | ‘ Ace History News ‘

Originally posted on ‘Ace History News ‘.

On October 30, 1929. A brisk autumn’s day in Manhattan. The Savoy-Plaza Hotel’s thirty-three stories cast a long shadow over Central Park. At the base of the hotel a financier lies freshly fallen, motionless, while his last breath, wrenched from the lungs by force of impact, is now a red mist of gore in the air.

Sirens and uniforms. The suicide spot quickly becomes crowded by spectators, who form a vision-impairing ring-fence of backs, much to the annoyance of elbow-throwers at the periphery. Winston Churchill stands at his hotel window looking down on the mess. To nobody’s surprise, the police will find an empty wallet and five margin calls in the dead man’s pockets.1

Churchill’s curtains flutter shut, and we are left to wonder whether anyone — Churchill included — can yet see his clumsy, cigar-wielding hand in it all; whether anyone realizes that, had Churchill as Chancellor of the Exchequer only restored the gold standard at a lower exchange rate, as Keynes had recommended, the Wall Street Crash of 1929 could have been averted (or at least ameliorated).

Alas, by ignoring Keynes in 1925, Churchill triggered a calamity so severe that it not only inspired one man to kill himself beneath the British statesman’s very window but, more insidiously, also provided the impetus for…

via How Keynes Almost Prevented The Keynesian Revolution | ‘Ace History News ‘.

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In the tough Depression years, a newly hired 16-year-old working at Dare’s Kitchener factory was paid 17 cents an hour. Ontario’s minimum wage for adults was 22 cents an hour!

Photo of a food line in Toronto during the Great Depression Food line at the Yonge Street Mission, 381 Yonge Street, Toronto, Canada, during the Great Depression in the 1930s.

The worldwide Great Depression that started in the United States in late 1929 quickly reached Canada, and was hit hard. Between 1929 and 1939, the gross national product dropped 40% (compared to 37% in the US). Unemployment reached 27% at the depth of the Depression in 1933. Many businesses closed, as corporate profits of $398 million in 1929 turned into losses of $98 million as prices fell. Farmers in the Prairies were especially hard hit by the collapse of wheat prices.  The Depression ended in 1939 as World War II began.

Denyse Baillargeon, historian and author, uses oral histories from 30…

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