1939 Economy Revives
The economic recovery that began in 1938 continued robustly in 1939 with GDP increasing by 7 percent over the year. However unemployment continued in double-digits for the entire year, and stocks, influenced perhaps by the gathering storm in Europe hardly budged by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, after the Republican surge of 1938 it was time for payback, and Congress passed the Hatch Act which forbade federal employees from engaging in political activities. The bill was sponsored by Senator Carl Hatch (D-NM) after disclosures about employees of the Works Progress Administration using their positions to win Democratic votes.
With isolationism a political factor Congress passed a Neutrality Act requiring all belligerents in the World War to pay cash for munitions (i.e., "cash and carry"). In practice this policy favored Britain and France since they had control of the oceans.
1929-1939: A Decade that will live in stupidity.
Why Stuck on Stupid?
Seventy years ago the leaders of both US political parties turned away from the policies that had created
an economic powerhouse we call the Roaring Twenties. For ten long years Americans suffered
economic dislocations: deflation, inflation, a four-year economic contraction, endless unemployment, mindless political experiments, and
ruthless attacks on businessmen for political gain as their leaders stayed Stuck on Stupid.
Today, after a twenty-five year economic boom, Americans are once more faced with a political elite
that wants to monkey with success. It wants to raise tax rates. It wants to restrict trade.
It wants to increase government power.
Its time to look back and remind ourselves how it came to be, starting in 1929, that America
got itself Stuck on Stupid. Otherwise it could happen again.