Bad Faith Economic History - NYTimes.com: "Via Mark Thoma, Uneasy Money catches Cole and Ohanian — whose blame-FDR interpretation of the Great Depression has become dogma among conservatives — arguing in spectacularly bad faith.
Though not wrong in every detail, the version of events offered by Cole and Ohanian is still a shocking distortion of what happened before FDR took office in March 1933. In particular, although Cole and Ohanian are correct that the trough of the Great Depression was reached in July 1932, when the Industrial Production Index stood at 3.67, rising to 4.15 in October, an increase of about 13%, they conveniently leave out the fact that there was a double dip; industrial production was flat in November and started falling in December, the Industrial Production Index dropping to 3.78 in March 1933, barely above its level the previous July. And their assertion that deflation continued during the recovery is even farther from the truth than their description of what happened to industrial production. Putting the facts in one graph:
You might think that this looks pretty straightforward: output shrank when prices were falling, grew when they were rising, which is what a demand-side story would predict. But Cole and Ohanian focus on the month-to-month wiggles in 1932-33 — conveniently omitting wiggles that went in an inconvenient direction — to claim that demand had nothing to do with it.
This goes beyond holding views I disagree with (as does much of what happens in this debate). This is a deliberate attempt to fool readers, demonstrating that there is no good faith here.