I would like to know if in the Great Depression (1930s) the government of US and other Western governments increased the taxes for the poor or if they reduced the incomes and the rights of the poor.

I recently realized that, at least since the Irish Great Famine (1845-1852) until today, the governments' response to economic troubles was to reduce the taxes for the rich and/or to increase their privileges and to increase the taxes for the poor (or to reduce their incomes, which is basically the same thing) and/or to reduce the rights of the poor.

As for the rich, I have already found that the government's reaction was to increase their privileges: "The government did little to address the growing maldistribution of wealth. In fact, government action worsened the problem. Andrew Mellon (1855–1937), secretary of the treasury under Presidents Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover, was one of America's richest men. He saw to it that tax cuts for the wealthy passed through Congress in the 1920s, helping the rich retain even more of their wealth. When workers tried to organize and use unions and strikes to improve their wage and health benefits, the government was hostile to such activities." Link

So I would like to know more about this tactic of addressing poverty by increasing poverty and inequality and to what extent it was applied in the Great Depression

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Your statement was so broad and general that it could not possible be true. The Sherman Antitrust Act in the US, Bismarck's welfare state in Germany and the well known New Deal (again in the US) all happened during this period. Consider editing the overly general opening. Also: what exactly is question? Is it a reference request (for what kind of literature exactly?), or do you want to know if a theoretical rationalization of tricke-down economics exists? Or if it works in the majority of the cases? Please edit your question to clarify. $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Jan 3, 2016 at 6:45
  • $\begingroup$ I was talking about times of crisis in this period (1845-present), not about all this period. The exact question is about the Great Depression and if there were increased taxes for the poor in that time. But I re-written the question. $\endgroup$
    – Joe Jobs
    Jan 4, 2016 at 3:25


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