Martialling my thoughts
Posted by aogWednesday, 25 September 2002 at 17:17 TrackBack Ping URL

My muse has posted the claim that the Marshall plan was a major contributor to the current European decrepitude. I disagree.

In particular, the German economic recovery was driven by Adenauer’s policies (or those of his Finance Minister, Ludwig Erhard) which were far more free market than any policies before or after in Germany. It was only after prosperity was restored and the Marshall Plan finished that Germany started drifting back into socialism. Britain and France were basically unaffected – the sclerosis that plagues them today had its origin before the end of WWII (Note that The Road To Serfdom was published in 1944). In addition, the Marshall plan was more loans than gifts and unlike welfare programs it was planned to be of limited duration from the start and in fact was terminated. Let’s not fall into trap of believing that everything other nations do is because of the actions of the US. Sometimes our policies are simply irrelevant.