Sowell Blasts Smoot-Hawley Tariff

Thomas Sowell’s point about Republican Herbert Hoover’s Smoot-Hawley Tariff is worth reviewing. Citing Out of Work by Richard Vedder and Lowell Gallaway, Sowell points out:

The Vedder and Gallaway statistics allow us to follow unemployment month by month. They put the unemployment rate at 5 percent in November 1929, a month after the stock market crash. It hit 9 percent in December– but then began a generally downward trend, subsiding to 6.3 percent in June 1930.

That was when the Smoot-Hawley tariffs were passed, against the advice of economists across the country, who warned of dire consequences.

Five months after the Smoot-Hawley tariffs, the unemployment rate hit double digits for the first time in the 1930s.

This was more than a year after the stock market crash.

Both Hoover and FDR worsened the economy in a variety of other ways, but Hoover’s tariff was a horrible blunder.

Sowll ends on this ominous note: “Barack Obama already has his Herbert Hoover to blame for any and all disasters that his policies create: George W. Bush.”