Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Some georgists say that the original reason for the great depression was in fact The Car, that created huge speculation on urban land.

Those Georgists are poorly informed. The primary mode of overland personal transportation during the Florida land bubble was rail. Further, the Florida land bubble had already burst years prior to the crash of 1929, with no appreciable effect on the American macroeconomy outside the principally affected states. The crash of 1929 is a story of the stock market - land speculation has no appreciable claim to credit for the 1926-29 business cycle. (Incidentally, we may here have another metric for when we're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel rather than an oncoming train: When the next panic comes within less than a handful of years from the prior panic, the powers that be are losing their ability to prop up the Masters of the Universe - the 2007 panic came six years after the 2001 panic, so there's some way to go yet before we reach 1920's frequency...)

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 06:13:52 AM EST
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George died before the panics and depressions that informed Wall St. panics around WWI. George may be said to be intimate with macro-factors culminating in the "Long Depression" of '74 which didn't end in '79, really, but paused until, like, '93 according to the NBER retrospective. The peak of his political career, shortly before his DEATH, coincided therefore with the first wave of R&R IPOs, ore mining and processing (Rockefellers totally bogarted oil spec: QED), and federal west'ho homestead financing pf the '80s ostensibly to relieve abject poverty of the NE corridor industrial economy and which had, like, nothing to do with much post-WWI, post-1921 Panic Florida resort RE speculation.

Other very important fin de siècle commodities bubbles (besides R&R right of way) were electricity and telecom utilites corps --unbelievable boom in true and fraudulent bond and equity sales. Total break out in marketing "investment=savings" to widows and orphans -- implicating the business acumen of such giants of innovation as Edison, Tesla, Ponzi, and Insull.

Tell you what: If I gave a damn, I'd investigate the preposterous wiki article List of recessions in the United Kingdom instead of picking US gristle. Keynes after all is a revered personnage of socialist philosophy and economic theory and I would bet a wooden US nickle there are lurkers who'd like to know, How the hell did Keynes and his antecedents prevent industrial catastrophe in the UK until 1933, when he had to move to the U.S.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 04:22:50 PM EST
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... began before the Great Crash ... the Great Crash was when the onset of economic decline burst into the national consciousness, not when it began.

The importance of the car is not so much land speculation but rather the Good Roads movement. Paving roads on general obligation bonds is a stimulus when it occurs, but has contractionary impacts when the paving has been completed and the bonds are being paid back. With total government spending on goods and services dropping from at least 1927 on, part of the 1920's growth engine was reversed.

And residential construction was another part, but it too was playing out by the late 1920's.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Jul 19th, 2010 at 04:18:15 PM EST
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The importance of the car is not so much land speculation..

Perhaps you are right, but new means of transportation have usually created land speculation. The canals in britain 17th century, railroads in the USA 19th century. And wasn't the Missisippi Bubble of 18th century something to do with river transport? It would be quite strange if car would not have similar conseqences.

by kjr63 on Tue Jul 20th, 2010 at 12:01:52 PM EST
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The primary mode of overland personal transportation during the Florida land bubble was rail.

But still, the T-Ford production ended 1927, one year after housing bubble burst, after 15 million produced cars. The population of USA was then, i believe, 150 million. There was a lot of cars in the US already then. And a huge increase since only 1908 when the T-Ford production started.

by kjr63 on Tue Jul 20th, 2010 at 12:15:56 PM EST
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