Posted by: Ed Darrell | May 7, 2008

Great Depression sources

If you’ve got Quicktime, take a look at this video from Commanding Heights.  Pay particular attention to the effects of inflation in Germany just after World War I, and the other economic issues swirling before the stock market crash in 1929.

Here are some questions suggested by the film’s producers, questions you should ponder while you watch:

What happens when governments control or dominate a national economy?

Why have most countries in the world turned back toward free-market capitalism after 80 years of experimentation with socialism and communism?

Why did so many socialist economies fail?

What are the benefits and drawbacks of the capitalist economic system?

What happens when command economies transform into market economies? How is the transition best undertaken?

Is there a relationship between open markets and political freedom?

What happens when national governments restrict their domestic economies from open participation in (and dependence on) foreign trade?

What are the benefits and dangers of open flows of capital and trade in goods across all national borders?

What caused the collapse of the first age of the global free market (in 1914)?

What has a century taught us about the specific problems of market economies — speculative “bubbles,” crashes, underemployment, and unequal distribution of wealth?

What do you think about this little point of history?

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