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Great Myths of the Great Depression by Lawrence W Reed Many volumes have been written about the Great Depression and its impact on the lives of millions of Americans Historians economists and politicians have all combed the wreckage searching for the black box that will reveal the cause of this legendary tragedy Sadly all too many of them decide to abandon their search finding it easier perhaps to circulate a host of false and harmful conclusions about the events of seven decades ago How bad was the Great Depression Over the four years from 1929 to 1933 production at the nations factories mines and utilities fell by more than half Peoples real disposable incomes dropped 28 percent Stock prices collapsed to one-tenth of their pre-crash height The number of unemployed Americans rose from 16 million in 1929 to 128 million in 1933 One of every four
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