Harvard's Economics Department includes some of the most brilliant, sound, and thorough economists in the country. Yet while their field is being disgraced in the public eye by the ungrounded, unsubstantial, pseudo-economics which characterizes the Roosevelt administration, the Harvard professors are content to remain sheltered in their scholastic asylum, and assume a completely detached air.
Of course, it may not seem to be the duty of the university scholar to actively fight the fallacies in thinking of Huey Longs and Father Coughlins. Nor is it at all certain that in the beginning the intelligent public could choose between good and bad economics. But a beginning could he made in stressing fundamental economics truths which are over-looked in the present day. Gradually the truth might dawn.
Moreover, it is not necessary to convince oven the great mass of fairly intelligent people. In 1932, it was only necessary to convince one man. Unfortunately, that man was convinced by light-headed economists and America is the worse for it.
It a plague broke out in this country, would the professors at the Harvard Medical School have let quack doctors carry through their plans for the cure? No,--they would have fought tooth and nail for the real cure. They would have attempted to influence those in power, and would have publicized their ideas vociferously until they had been heard. A depression is in many ways worse than a plague. It means crime, degeneration, degradation, poverty, misery, unhappiness, for millions of people.
With the name and fame of Harvard University behind them, any positive program put forward by our Economics professor could not fail to command attention. On fundamentals they agree. On trends of policy they agree. Let them step forward with some constructive criticism and command the attention that is worthy of their ideas.