Can the government prevent an economic depression?

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Alice Irby (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Albert Keister

Abstract: "Depression is not a matter of incidental abuses, but of an economic system failing in its main task, of energizing production. It calls, not for piecemeal reforms, but for comprehensive treatment of an organic malady, ramifying throughout the economic system."1 From the time of Malthus and his concern over "general gluts" up to the present day, economists have been troubled over that phase of the business cycle known as depression. In order to understand this term, it is necessary first to comprehend the meaning of the term "business cycle," According to Wesley C, Mitchell, the business cycle is a "type of fluctuation characteristic of economic activities organized in the form of 'business economy’ or 'high capitalism.’”2 This fluctuation causes unbalance, either in an upward or downward direction, and these general ups and downs have a certain regularity, the periodicity of a major cycle being about ten years with approximately three minor cycles to a decade. Prior to the Great Depression (1929-1937), the shortest cycle lasted about two years and the longest about five years, with every third cycle being more severe than the others, thus giving evidence of a major cycle of about ten years in length.3

Additional Information

Honors Project
Language: English
Date: 1954

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