Brent Smith wrote in his Dec. 4 WorldNetDaily column:
First, you may be thinking, what do I mean a third depression? So let me rephrase it. We have had only one depression that we all know of, the Great Depression, which lasted from 1929 through the late 1930s. I'll discuss the other one later.
I fear that if all goes the way it could, with Biden as president and the Democrats taking the Senate, we will likely experience a third. And this one may be our worst.
I'm sure we've heard how the great President Franklin Roosevelt (he was a bad dude) ushered us out of the Great Depression by developing all those wonderful programs and spending all that money (we call it stimulus today).
But everything most have heard of FDR was a load of crap. It was Roosevelt's policies that pushed us from a depression into a Great Depression, not the other way around, but I digress.
Well, that's incredibly counterfactual. The Great Depression was at its worst at the time Roosevelt took office; while there was a recession in 1937-38, it was not as severe as conditions were in 1933, and it waslargely the result of FDR giving in to Republicans and shutting down economy-boosting federal aid before the economy could adequately sustain itself.
But Smith wasn't done misinforming on economic history:
Surprise! There was another, but because progressives write the history books, you may know little, if anything about it. It was the depression of 1920.
In 1920, thanks to the policies of the other progressive president, Woodrow Wilson, America's unemployment rate skyrocketed to 20%. Gross National Product had declined by 17%. It was a disaster.
What America did in 1920 was to elect fiscally responsible adults, who took the reins in March of 1921 and made the hard decisions that most politicians would never have the courage to do.
The newly elected Warren G. Harding-Calvin Coolidge administration cut the federal government’s budget almost in half within two years.
Taxes were cut for everyone. Even the Federal Reserve was remarkably restrained as it sat on its hands and, thankfully, did almost nothing.
And things were truly awful, but for only about a year.
But rather than whine and cry as many do today, Americans did what Americans do, or at least used to do. They took their medicine, endured the economic hardship, and just six months later, by August 1921, the unemployment rate had dropped from 20% to 6.7%.
Harding died suddenly in 1923, and his vice president, the Great Calvin Coolidge, continued the programs. By the end of that year, the unemployment rate was down to 2.4%, an 88% drop.
Actually, that depression was mainly driven by the end of World War I and the Spanish flu pandemic, as well as bad Federal Reserve monetary policy. Further, as that Wikipedia article on the depression from whcih Smith apparently cribbed his claims noted, there are two sets of unemployment figures for those years -- numbers for the 1920s were not collected the same way they are today -- and Smith close the more dramatic of the two, the Lebergott numbers; one researcher argued that "Lebergott's labor force numbers are too high in recessions and too low in booms." A second set, the Romer numbers, stated that unemployment peaked at 8.7 percent in 1921 and decreased to 4.8 percent in 1923 -- which don't illustrate Smith's column quite as dramatically. That federal budget cut was almost entirely driven by the end of World War I; outside that, the federal budget continued to grow under Harding and Coolidge.
Of course, Smith wouldn't be a WND columnist in good standing if he didn't fail basic research.