Letter: Sowell spreads misinformation



In his Dec. 20 column, “A stalled Congress benefits Obama,” Thomas Sowell, referring to our Great Recession and President Obama, spoke of “the financial crisis that his own runaway spending created.” Can Sowell actually believe this when we now know that, according to the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research, the recession started in 2007, and the stock market lost $1.2 trillion in September 2008?

Obama took office in January 2009, and our economy was still contracting at this time. Officially, the recession ended in June or July 2009.

Sowell, a fellow at the conservative think tank Hoover Institute, then goes on to give us his version of government actions in the Great Depression. He claims that government intervention slowed the recovery. He gives no evidence to support his beliefs. (wikipedia has a balanced article on the Great Depression, relating the analysis of all the major economic schools of thought at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late-2000s_recession.)

I have no problem with someone expressing an opinion, but I do have a big problem when people with enough influence to be published in a major newspaper make statements like Sowell made, which are obviously not true.

There is a great divide in our country at this time between conservatives and progressives. This divide is being widened by people like Sowell making statements that are overwhelmingly countered by the evidence.

Bob Battey