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    Former Guinness World Record Holder for largest book signing ever, Orrin Woodward is a NY Times bestselling author of And Justice For All along with RESOLVED & coauthor of LeaderShift and Launching a Leadership Revolution. His books have sold over one million copies in the financial, leadership and liberty fields. RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions For LIFE made the Top 100 All-Time Best Leadership Books and the 13 Resolutions are the framework for the top selling Mental Fitness Challenge personal development program.

    Orrin made the Top 20 Inc. Magazine Leadership list & has co-founded two multi-million dollar leadership companies. Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the Board of the LIFE. He has a B.S. degree from GMI-EMI (now Kettering University) in manufacturing systems engineering. He holds four U.S. patents, and won an exclusive National Technical Benchmarking Award.

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Milton Friedman: The Great Depression

Posted by Orrin Woodward on April 15, 2013

Milton Friedman is one of the great monetarist economist of all-time. Mr. Friedman clearly identifies the culprit for the Great Depression. It isn’t the free enterprise business system as commonly believed, but rather government manipulation of the money supply. In fact, the total money supply from 1929 to 1933 declined by 1/3, forcing a contraction and subsequent depression of the American economy. The Federal Reserve failed in the very task it was assigned to prevent.

Sadly, the monetary history of the Great Depression was not analyzed until after the economic field had practically given-up on free-enterprise system. In other words, the government failure was quickly  blamed on free enterprise business which allowed Keynesian economist and politicians to demand further Statist interventions into our free society. Milton Friedman’s book on the monetary history of America is irrefutable and reveals quantitatively the reduction in money supply that caused the Great Depression. Indeed, few events, in the history of mankind, have caused as much damage as the Keynesian revolution suggesting a Statist solutions to a Statist failure.

Statism and liberty are polar opposites with society. On one hand, free enterprise allows free people to make free choices. It works, according to Adam Smith on the concept of the “invisible hand” within society. The State, on the other hand, uses coercion to force people to do what it says. Consequently, it should be used only for defense – internal and external – within society. When it’s role expands beyond this limited objective, society no longer applies the “invisible hand” of free enterprise, but rather the “visible fist” of the State. Which does the reader think ensures the long-term freedom of society’s members? In short, this summarizes the reason why Oliver DeMille and I wrote LeaderShift! Here is a video of Mr. Friedman’s explaining the Great Depression.


Orrin Woodward

40 Responses to “Milton Friedman: The Great Depression”

  1. Justin Stevens said

    We need more concord. The Tribe in Cincinnati are hungry! We went to Mansfield Ohio for the live seminar and we did a rebroadcast last night to hear from you Mr Woodward, I have to get everyone to Columbus Friday so they can hear you and Tim. We’re running like crazy to get as many non Team/Life members there so they can see its not one of those “things”! FIRED UP!!! Thank you for everything and God bless.

  2. Michael L Dunavant said

    Thank you Orrin for expanding our minds with facts and the truth. What a blessing you are.

  3. Paul said

    Thanks again Orrin for stating the truth.

  4. J.J. said

    Doesn’t million argue that the state ( the fedral reserve) didn’t do enuf to avoid the Great Depression ie (print enuf money) to avoide the contraction? wile the Austrian school stance is that they did too much intervention and extended the depression and instead of a run of the mill dip like we had in 1921, we had a world wide Great Depresion. Though they point to the same culprit the reasons are different, because how is his answer different from what the fed is doing now? Hopefully I am not being too critical, I am just a little confused thank you for all that you are doing and have done already
    Thanks J.J.

    • Orrin Woodward said

      J.J., Great questions. Milton main argument is the contraction launched it. I am re-reading Murray Rothbard’s book along with Milton’s and will get back with a full answer. Personally, I believe the contraction launched it and Hoover/FDR through various interventions made it a much longer correction than it should have been because they attempt to coerce the market versus let market forces operate with stable money. In sum, I think the Great Depression was monetarily induced and intervention maintained. 🙂 thanks, Orrin

  5. Steve Duba said

    Thanks Orrin. The question remains the same,why we were not told the truths in the conveyor belt system of education? We have a long ardguous journey ahead of us.We will be free.We will overcome.The LIFE organization is geared up with you on this venture All of us are ready to begin the self directed education process and reach and teach our neighbors.Put me in coach.God Bless you

  6. CC Achilefu said


    Thanks to the highly informative yet easy to digest information produced by our community, your brief but effective history lesson at the April seminar, and posts like this one, my eyes are finally starting to open as to what state our nation is really in and why. Thank you for choosing to take a stand and being the forerunner of this LeaderShift. May God continue to strengthen and sustain you and your family through this next phase of leadership.

    1 Million and beyond!!!

  7. Eiron said

    Thanks Orrin!

  8. Randy Donais said

    If only the entire country could see how you and Oliver have identified it, Orrin. Leadershift will open a lot of eyes.

  9. bill lewis said

    The scary part is it is about to happen again. You cant triple the amount of money in the system (paying for all of government programs ) and not have inflation. Maybe the even scary part is how they have kept massive inflation from happening already! Thanks for finding a very interesting video.

  10. Alex marken said

    Here in Australia i am often faced with a daunting task when i speak the truth . It is only through your inspirational leadership and example that i will succeed. their is a growing team wanting to change our future.

  11. Scott Staley said

    The truth shall set you free.

    Looking forward to receiving Leadershift, and seeing you Thursday in London, Ontario!

  12. Chad Waters said

    Hi Orrin

    Looking forward to the effect of Leadershift! See you thursday.

  13. Heidi said

    Thanks, Orrin! Great video by Milton. We are looking forward to Leadershift making a huge impact.

  14. Maura Galliani, Sons of Liberty said

    Great info, Orrin, and perfectly timed as I continue my “self-directed [economics] education” … I just watched the Larry Van BusKirk economics dvd from my April LLR subscription. Thanks to you and the policy council for continuing the mission to educate this country! Fired up!! 🙂

  15. Wow, this really puts in another piece of the puzzle! Thank you for leading the charge on getting the right information out there so we can stand together and make a difference.

  16. Adriano T said

    Great article and thanks so much for taking the time to find these simple to understand and digest videos. I look forward to the day I am able to devote more studies to the economy.

    Have a great day all

    Adriano Troli


  17. Richard Kroll Jr. said

    Thank you Orrin for continually sharing TRUTH… and taking the complex and making it simple! It is time for a LeaderShift!!!

  18. MARIO VEGA said


  19. Jason Dames said

    I can’t wait to watch the video tonight when I have some time!!! Thx Orrin!! your the Man!! God bless all that you do!!

  20. John Lewis said

    He makes a great point about inflation being a tax that we don’t vote for but pay for, nonetheless. Thanks for highlighting this interesting video. Time for a Leadershift!


  21. Another great blog Orrin. There are many who refuse to believe the solid evidence that the tampering of the money supply led to and prolonged the great depression. In the same way, it us usually those same people who refuse to believe the similar tampering that led to to many issues in our country’s history such as the “housing bubble”. When salutory neglect is happening or rather when restrictions are removed, we grow and prosper. As soon as our govt desides to get more involved, our growth is stifled and more people suffer.

    I’m so excited for LeaderShift tomorrow! I have scheduled my day to be home so I don’t miss the delivery. I’m wishing I would have ordered more than 20 copies now. They are going to move so fast!

  22. olivier Jean-Baptiste said

    Hi Orrin…

    This is Olivier Jean-Baptist.

    Thanks for speaking and defending economic truths.
    Indeed cyclical boom and bust are often viewed as a natural working of the free market economy. This erroneous perspective, when permeated in society at large, provides legitimacy for increase state intervention in the form of regulation, control and coercion upon society’s economic engine.
    Nonetheless I disagree with Milton Friedman because he seems to indirectly advocating for the expansion of the money supply by the Federal Reserve as solution that would have avoided a long and harsh depression. If I understood him correctly from the video, than his position is contrary to the Austrian Business/Trade cycle theory. Ludwig von Mises in 1928 who saw the coming of the crisis stated that:
    “The only way to do away with or even alleviate the periodic return of the trade cycle with its dénouement –the crisis- is to reject the fallacy that prosperity can be produced by using bank procedure to make credit cheap.”

  23. WOW. The truth will truly set you free. Thanks for sharing. It sorta makes me sick to my stomach. But there is hope! And LeaderShift is big part of that! Thank you Orrin Woodward! May God Bless your book tour!

  24. Rob Robson said

    It is so simple to understand! If I as an individual, don’t have the right to counterfit money, it is immoral for me to empower my employee (govt.) to counterfit. No matter how thick the text book or how practical the reasoning may seem, any time we empower governement to do something that we as individuals don’t have the right to do, the creature becomes the creator and becomes our master.

  25. Kody Ellis said

    Awesome blog post Orrin!


  26. Matt Ruhlman said

    I am a bit skeptical of the monaterist position. I certainly think anytime somebody implies something for nothing is the solution there is something fishy and if i am understanding properly that is what he thought they should have done, more currency feed into the system to maintain the supply. How would Friedmans position differ from the current position of the fed, is it just because he is suggesting maintaining the money supply instead of expanding it? Help me with this please. Thank you for provoking thought Orrrin

    • Orrin Woodward said

      Matt, agreed, printing money not backed by gold is SFN. Milton’s point here is they restricted the supply by 33% even though gold was not flowing out of country. In other words massive manipulated deflation that killed entrepreneurs attempting to predict successful business ventures. Who, without inside information could predict the Fed’s actions. By having the Fed in control they can manipulate (inflate and deflate) on demand, which given the Five Laws of Decline, is not viable for a country longterm. I will do an entire write up on Monetarism – the good and the bad – later, but wanted to show manipulation in money hampers free enterprise. This must stop! Freedom requires rule of law and stable money supply that is predictable, not manipulated. thanks, Orrin

  27. Kevin Hamm said

    Notice too, the decrease in the value of precious metals in the face of the increased money supply we currently have. It seems a hard row to hoe to change the current system when it is essentially providing predictable wealth to those running it. But the exponential potential of a rapidly growing community educating itself could prove to be a very sharp hoe. Thanks for the value of your posts.

  28. David Nelson said

    Hello Orrin,
    It amazes that my name and email is not filled in automatically on my phone. What a waste of time to have to type it in every time.
    It amazes me how gov mint people do exactly the opposite of what’s required to improve a situation. What would the odds be that the solution picked would be the worst choice?

  29. Scott Elliott said

    I’m curious what your thoughts about the Austrian Business Cycle Theory, whether it’s true in theory and whether it played a role in the Great Depression. Thanks very much!

    • Orrin Woodward said

      Scott, I have Theory of Money and Credit and plan to read so I will reserve my full opinion until then. However, Mises and Hayek’s Business Cycle and Austrian school economics is the best overall methodology of economics that I have researched. Therefore, I don’t think you can go wrong studying the business cycle and its effects within the economy. thanks, Orrin

  30. Denny Suggitt said

    Great information and video !
    Thanks Orrin !

  31. matt mielke said

    Already left comment on GoodReads about your new book, LeaderShift….excited that the book is here! Timely with the Boston Marathon bombings yesterday….our country is in desperate need of leadership information and I believe your book will make a big footprint in that area. Michelle

  32. These principles of government and central bank manipulation are such a great point. A simple “Austrian” book that I love that goes over these topics and compares it with “monetarism” is called, “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal”, by Robert Murphy. Also, a great link about the “Austrian Business Cycle” is here: http://youtu.be/NBwJm68FkMc?t=5m33s , and here: http://youtu.be/HAzExlEsIKk
    Great stuff! Thanks!

  33. Another fantastic book on the subject of the Fed and the Great Depression is, “Meltdown”, by Thomas E. Woods Jr.

  34. Marty Becker said


    The Founder’s knew about the danger of central banks and would not allow them. Anyone who has researched the Fed knows that it was created subversively to slip it past the American people and the Representatives that had already went home for the Christmas holiday in 1913. Thanks for the constant warnings that you put on your blog about the economic dangers that face us in this country.

    In the words of Thomas Jefferson-“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered…I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies… The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

    Marty Becker
    Alpha Omega J1

  35. Derek Crawford said

    Good stuff! I get my info from those who have fruit on their tree on the branch they are talking about. You certainly fit that bill. I can’t wait until millions of people care about the source of the “facts” that form their worldviews. This world is going to be a very much better place for our children to live. Thank you! Keep it up!

  36. WOW! Great post and video Orrin, thanks!

  37. AR said

    Self interest, to an extreme, within the contest of free enterprise makes people ( business owners ) act in very interesting ways … Free enterprise requires a base of strong morals and ethics … Free enterprise needs direction … Free enterprise needs to leverage the PDCA process …

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