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« Phelps on capitalism | Main | 2006 Trotter Lecture --- NZBR »


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Niall Ferguson seems to have airbrushed out of the picture the importance of of Ludwig Erhard's relaxation of German price controls. Germany should be grateful that the United States enabled and encouraged her to flourish after the war. But it was surely the relaxation of the price controls, inspired by the thinking of a small group of German pro-market economists, that set Germany on her path toward strong economic recovery.

The United States can therefore hardly take all the credit for Europe's recovery, as Ferguson implies it can. And the low US approval ratings he mentions at the end of the article are completely irrelevant and designed to appeal to the worst instincts of American readers who - considering the nature of the magazine in which the article is published - should surely know better.

Don't miss Tyler Cowen's piece. He gave credit to the German bonfire of regulations but it was the Belgians who were the star performers (then). It is likely that the misperceived success of the Plan encouraged the ruinous policies of Third World assistance that came later.

This is a summary of Tyler Cowen's piece for busy people. http://catallaxyfiles.com/?p=1511

Interesting to note that so much of the aid was to buy US goods, so the Europeans got stuff but US people got the money. Amusing to read about some of the stuff they got as well, like the substandard sphagetti that was sent to Italy and the peanuts shipped to Germany when the controller of food supplies asked for lard (there was a glut of peanuts). Milo Minderbinder, the mad wheeler and dealer of Catch 22 would have been in his element administering the scheme.

There is a review of Cowen's recent book on arts funding here. http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/ACL845LEHNC7/102-1207996-6764962?ie=UTF8&display=public&sort%5Fby=MostRecentReview&page=1

I am really looking forward to writing a review of his latest book. In fact I will be pleased to write reviews of any good recent books that people like to send to Unit 2/23 Ben Boyd Road, Neutral Bay, NSW, Australia 2089.

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