ACCUMULATING PERIPHERALS


The Germans aren’t so proud of the guy who ended their Depression by mattsteinglass
March 4, 2009, 1:14 am
Filed under: Economics, Europe

Explaining the European Central Bank’s unwillingness to lower interest rates in the face of economic free-fall, Megan McArdle points to the classic thesis that Germans are still leery of Weimar-style hyperinflation, when “workers hauled their paychecks around in wheelbarrows.” This is no doubt true, but it’s also worth noting that whereas the American president who ended our Depression through massive public works projects, deficit spending and an all-out war effort in the ’30s and ’40s is revered as one of the country’s greatest leaders, the German chancellor who did that is viewed considerably less positively. There can’t be any equivalent in German political culture to the American liberal celebration of the New Deal, because the German version of the Civilian Conservation Corps was the Reichsarbeitdienst, and the German finance minister who used Keynesian monetary expansion and deficit spending to restore full employment was Hjalmar Schacht.

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2 Comments so far
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AFAIK, Hjalmar Schacht actually has a pretty good reputation in German public discourse.

Comment by stefan

Yeah, I should be clearer. What I mean is just that while millions of Americans are saying “What we need is a massive national program of deficit spending and public works, like we had under FDR!”, it’s a lot harder for Germans to say “What we need is a massive national program of deficit spending and public works, like we had under Hitler!”

Comment by mattsteinglass




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