Is there any validity to claims that the New Deal prolonged the Great Depression?

I've recently read several free market economists who claim that FDR, in implementing New Deal policies, actually hurt the economically vulnerable and prolonged the depression by several years. A typical report making this claim, like one from the Cato Institute, references "mounting evidence" that enterprising free market scholars have uncovered, with the assumption seeming to be that they've finally rid the subject of ideology and come out with an objective analysis. I'm wary of economists making these kinds of assertions. I'm a young and budding scholar of music history and not of economics, so I'd like some guidance on how to navigate this complex topic. Information and suggested reading on this would be very helpful. Thanks!

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  • Connor Buckley
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2017-04-24 16:13:00 -0400