Monday, May 14, 2007

Marshall plan: 60 years later

In summer 1947, George Marshall, Condi Rice's predecessor, has initiated a gigantic plan to aid Europe.



In 1953, he was awarded the Nobel peace prize. Around 1946, Czechoslovakia and Greece were the only two non-communist countries in Eastern Europe. However, the degree of servility towards Stalin was breathtaking. The Czechoslovak minister of foreign affairs, Jan Masaryk - the son of the founder of the country later thrown away from the window by the communists - was chastised by Stalin personally in Moscow. It became clear that due to the growing communist influence, Czechoslovakia couldn't join.




The Marshall plan has however become a huge project. About USD 13 old billion - or USD 130 current billions - has been sent to Europe. The policy was viewed as a gigantic subsidy for American exporters. In the 1950s and 1960s, America was a gigantic export powerhouse: can you imagine that? I think it's partly because the responsible people cared about these issues. The Marshall plan was a natural method to help the world, increase the role and prestige of America, and increase its trade surplus. Wouldn't it be a good idea to create a few packages of this kind today? If you don't want to call it another Marshall plan, call it the Motl plan. USD 130 billion in aid in goods for various troubled regions of the world today: it might be more useful than some of the less lucky wars.

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