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The ‘Black Thursday’ stock market crash was the worst crash in U.S. history

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Pinpointing the first single day of the crash ends up giving an incomplete picture of the larger problem. By the end of October 1929 about 25 percent of the value of the market was gone. By 1933 about 80 percent of the peak 1929 market was gone.

Ironically, it was when Roosevelt (FDR) turned to some Marxist ideas from "socialism" that the economy began improving again after 1933. Even more ironically, the big secret of capitalism relies on the largest capitalists continually taking of more and more of other people's money until they finally run out of it, and they cannot drain any more money from the system (mostly from workers). As historian Schlesinger says:

According to historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. the most critical reasons for this economic collapse can be summarized as:

1) Management’s disposition to maintain prices and inflate profits while holding down wages and raw material prices meant that workers and farmers were denied the benefits of increases in their own productivity. The consequence was the relative decline of mass purchasing power. As goods flowed out of the expanding capital plant in ever greater quantities, there was proportionately less and less cash in the hands of buyers to carry the goods off the market. The pattern of income distribution, in short, was incapable of long maintaining prosperity.

2) Seven years of fixed capital investment at high rates had “overbuilt” productive capacity (in terms of existing capacity to consume) and had thus saturated the economy. The slackening of the automotive and building industries was symptomatic. The existing rate of capital formation could not be sustained without different governmental policies – policies aimed not at helping those who had money to accumulate more but at transferring money from those who were letting it stagnate in savings to those who would spend it.

3) The sucking off into profits and dividends of the gains of technology meant the tendency to use excess money for speculation, transforming the Stock Exchange from a securities market into a gaming-house.

. . .

Source: Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. The Crisis of the Old Order, The Age of Roosevelt 1919-1933: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1957, pp. 159-160.

 

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