Many Americans are convinced that the Great Depression reflected the breakdown of an old economic order built on unhampered markets, unbridled competition, speculation, property rights, and the profit motive. According to them, the Great Depression proved the inevitability of a new order built on government intervention, political and bureaucratic control, human rights, and government welfare. Such persons, under the influence of Keynes, blame businessmen for precipitating depressions by their selfish refusal to spend enough money to maintain or improve the people's purchasing power. This is why they advocate vast governmental expenditures and deficit spending — resulting in an age of money inflation and credit expansion. Classical economists learned a different lesson. In their view, the Great Depression consisted of four consecutive depressions rolled into one. The causes of each phase differed, but the consequences were all the same: business stagnation and unemployment.