Theory and History from the Classical Economists to the Progressives
Nov 10, 1989
Many people believe that the basic theories of Classical economics dominated the profession until the Great Depression.
The widespread misconception holds that professional economists and public officials clung to outdated free market principles
until real world abuses such as monopolies and economic disasters forced the politicians and academicians to reluctantly
move in the direction of government controls. This view is at odds with the actual history of the late 19th century
intellectuals. By the turn of the century, laissez-faire had already died out among most economists. The economic profession
swallowed large doses of German Philosophy, as did other disciplines and the professors began to push collectivism
long before regulation became a political trend.