Here's the original quote, I'm not quite fully understand the first sentence.

  • What does "One reads with dismay" mean?
  • "On the basis of such sketchy data as stock price indices...". Does this mean the presidents were using incomplete data?
  • Are the "stock price indices", "freight car loadings" just for emphasizing the word "sketchy data" or are they actual reality at that time?

One reads with dismay of Presidents Hoover and then Roosevelt designing policies to combat the Great Depression of the 1930's on the basis of such sketchy data as stock price indices, freight car loadings, and incomplete indices of industrial production. The fact was that comprehensive measures of national income and output did not exist at the time. The Depression, and with it the growing role of government in the economy, emphasized the need for such measures and led to the development of a comprehensive set of national income accounts

Richard T. Froyen

Thank you guys.

  • 1
    [I don't fully understand]. It means you read with dismay (disappointment) about those presidents making policy decision based on very little data, according to the author.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 11, 2022 at 16:15
  • Thank you guys. It is clear to me now! Thanks for the edit "I don't fully understand"
    – dongnhan
    Commented Jun 11, 2022 at 16:37
  • This was downvoted for no apparent reason. It is not very encouraging for those quite new to the site to downvote and to give no reason.
    – Anton
    Commented Jun 12, 2022 at 7:38

1 Answer 1


This sense of one is "Used to refer to the speaker, or any person, as representing people in general. - one must admire him for his willingness" (Oxford Languages).

So, anyone who reads about this period of American history must be dismayed to learn how the presidents designed policies using incomplete data. The three types of data mentioned are examples of the sort of information that was available at the time.

  • Thank you so much, it is clear to me now!!
    – dongnhan
    Commented Jun 11, 2022 at 16:36

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