Sunday, November 02, 2003

It Can Happen

Reynolds has a long post up containing an article from a 1946 Saturday Evening Post entitled "How We Botched the German Occupation." Reynolds seems to think this is proof that the media just always gets these things wrong. But, as Big Media Matt notes, Reynolds has gotten it upside down. In 1946, the German occupation was a miserable failure. Germany and much of the rest of Europe were on the brink of total economic and political collapse. It was such a miserable failure that people were criticizing it in major publications. It was such a miserable failure that we changed our policies in response to these criticisms and to the reality we faced. In fact, it wasn't until June of 1947 that the Marshall Plan had its public debut, and until April of 1948 that congress enacted the relevant legislation.

So, message of the day - keep on criticizing policies which aren't working and the people who are responsible for them. Maybe they'll eventually try something that works. Glad you're on our side, now, Glenn.

For further reading about the Plan, I suggest this paper byBrad DeLong and Barry Eichengreen (large pdf).