It has been popular to assume in some circles that what is perhaps one of the greatest ecological disasters in recorded history was brought about solely through greedy profiteers, farmer hubris, and little to no governmental aid when the situation worsened. However, upon closer inspection, it is found that poor governmental policies aided, and in some ways encouraged, the conditions upon which the disaster known as the Dust Bowl would eventually take place. The situation almost reminds me of a similar turn of events that took place closer to our modern times with the advance of the Community Reinvestment Act (expanded upon in subsequent presidential administrations), which set into motion the conditions upon which the eventual housing crisis would play a potentially significant role in the recent global financial crisis. Both initiatives encouraged individuals to take part in endeavors that they more than likely had no ability or experience to involve themselves in such affairs, and which encouraged profiteering methods which would ultimately doom themselves once the music stopped (higher rates, bad weather/climatic changes, etc.). A cautionary tale of the problems that can ensue when market forces are intervened with unwisely.

This article doesn’t go deeply into such concepts, but does raise points that question the conventional notion that it was simply farmer error or profit margin greed that drove the disaster – http://jaysonlusk.com/blog/2014/1/6/dealing-with-drought

Advertisements