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Happy Anniversary to The Marshall Plan

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by rimrocker, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. rimrocker

    rimrocker Contributing Member

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    On this day in 1947, Secretary of State George C. Marshall delivered a speech at Harvard that laid out the concept of the Marshall Plan. Here are some excerpts:

    Winston Churchill was much more resigned. Describing Europe after the war, he said: “It is a rubble heap, a charnel house, a breeding ground of pestilence and hate.”

    Into that stepped Marshall. And even though Kennan and others contributed to the idea, it is called The Marshall Plan for a reason: Marshall described it, set it in context for both average Americans and politicians, and implemented it without "political passion and prejudice." Truman said of the Marshall Plan: “In all the history of the world we are the first great nation to feed and support the conquered.”

    The genius of the plan was that it both addressed the humanitarian needs while encouraging the democratic governments that would check the spread of the Soviet Union. It is not a given that the history of Europe and the Soviet Union would have played out like it did.

    George C. Marshall is, I think, the most underrated great American in our history. We are not the country we are without him and the world is not the world it is without him.
     
  2. MoonDogg

    MoonDogg Member

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  3. Haymitch

    Haymitch Custom Title
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    Also see Henry Hazlitt's book on the subject.

    Link: http://mises.org/books/dollarssave.pdf
     
    #3 Haymitch, Jun 5, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  4. da_juice

    da_juice Member

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    i read somewhere that the reason the Axis powers fared better was because their countries were completely destroyed, and were able to rebuild more efficiently and modernly.
     
  5. Cohete Rojo

    Cohete Rojo Contributing Member

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    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/zcrppevM46Q?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
  6. geeimsobored

    geeimsobored Contributing Member

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    That is such a silly argument.

    You can't view these countries in a vaccuum. Countries like the UK and France had huge colonial possesions that went from being an economic boost for the host countries to being an anchor that dragged them down. The war wrecked the ability of countries like the UK and France to finance colonial administrations and diverted money that was needed for infrastructure at home.

    On top of that, both countries actually gained colonial possesions after the war which were also weakened from the war. The onus then went on those countries to rebuild those new colonies as well.

    On top of all of this, Bretton Woods pretty much killed the entire reason to own colonies. Before Bretton Woods you had economic incentives in the form of mercantilism to maintain colonies. Countries like the UK limited currency conversion to the Pound and restricted foreign currencies in colonies that effectively walled off places like India and Africa from competition. America flat out couldn't sell goods in much of the world.

    Bretton Woods dismantled much of this currency protectionism and opened much of the world up to competition. Suddenly, a colony like India wasn't off limits and Britain was too bankrupt to finance maintenance of the country. And now, British industries were subject to actual competition (although some outright protectionist policies still limited foreign competition).

    And at the same time, Germany and Austria didn't have deadweight colonies that were also crippled during the war. So its no surprise they had an easier time recovering.
     
  7. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    what're your thoughts about nation building today? assuming you think there are instances when it's necessary/desirable, what conditions, on the home front and in the defeated country, are required for it to succeed?

    IOW, when should we stay and help rebuild, and when should we just leave?

    and lastly, do we need to know the answers to those two questions before entering into a conflict? is it even possible to know in advance?
     
  8. Haymitch

    Haymitch Custom Title
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    Yeah I probably quoted the wrong part of the article, especially since I'm not familiar with the work he is referring to (Cowen's), so I can't really defend it. The main point is the intention of the Marshall Plan and Marshall himself.
     
  9. rimrocker

    rimrocker Contributing Member

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    First, your questions are premature and assume an occupation or invasion. The first questions one should ask given where you are coming from include "Is the invasion necessary for the national interest of the United States?" And, "What does victory look like?" You have to answer those kinds of questions before you start thinking about what to do afterwards or even if there should be an afterwards.

    Second, I'll remind you Great Britain was not defeated in WWII yet the Marshall Plan directed aid to that country and several other non-Axis countries. Why? Because it was in the best interest of the United States to help establish stable societies, governments, and economies after the war (which also happened to be in the national interest).
     
  10. rimrocker

    rimrocker Contributing Member

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    By the way, today is the anniversary of D-Day. Who planned it? George C. Marshall. Who really wanted to lead the invasion but did not campaign for the assignment and told FDR to make the decision based on what was best for the country? George C. Marshall. After selecting Eisenhower, FDR told Marshall: "I didn't feel I could sleep at ease if you were out of Washington."
     

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