TCS Daily

Dictatorships and Growth Standards

By Alvaro Vargas Llosa - July 2, 2007 12:00 AM

A group of European readers of this column recently wrote to me, arguing that from an economic point of view, dictatorships have been outperforming democracies for many years and that if the trend continues, there will be very little incentive to replace autocrats with the rule of law. This is an old discussion that resurfaces from time to time. The success enjoyed nowadays by autocracies awash in natural resources has reignited it.

A recent article in the online magazine measures economic performance against the degree of political and civil freedom existing in various nations. The conclusion is that in the last 15 years, the economies of nations ruled by despots have grown at an annual rate of 6.8 percent on average -- two and a half times faster than politically free countries. Those autocracies that have opened their markets in recent decades but continued to restrict or prevent democracy -- China, Russia, Malaysia and Singapore, for example -- have done better than most of the developed or underdeveloped countries that enjoy a considerable measure of political and civil freedom.

It would be silly to deny that a dictatorship can boast sound economic results. Any political system, free or unfree, that removes some obstacles to entrepreneurship, investment and trade, and makes a credible commitment to safeguard property rights to a certain extent will trigger a virtuous economic cycle. Spain's Francisco Franco and Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew discovered that in the 1960s, as did China's Deng Xiaoping at the end of the 1970s, Chile's Augusto Pinochet in the 1980s and many others at various times.

But this is not the end of the story. Of the 15 richest countries in the world, 13 are liberal democracies. The other two are Hong Kong, a Chinese territory that enjoys far greater civil liberties than mainland China, and Qatar, where the abundance of oil and natural gas, and the tiny population, translate into a large per capita income average.
What this picture really tells us is that stability and reliability are most important when it comes to economic prosperity over the long term.

Spain, a modern success story, has seen its wealth double since 1985 and yet at no point in the last quarter-century did the Spaniards achieve annual growth figures comparable to those of China. Similarly, the U.S. economy has grown by a factor of 13 since 1940, but never experienced ``Asian'' growth figures.

When the environment in which the economy breathes depends on institutions rather than on the commitment of an autocrat or a party, stability and reliability generate the sort of long-term results that we call ``development.'' That is probably why Chile's economic performance after Pinochet compares favorably to the years when the general was in power. Not to mention the fact that dictatorships that enjoy economic success are heavily dependent on technology invented in countries where exercising a creative imagination does not land one in jail.

Another reason dictatorships are outperforming liberal democracies has to do with the fact that many of the latter countries are fully developed. Once a country starts to move forward, spare capacity and unrealized potential tend to allow it to grow faster than developed nations.

Furthermore, if we consider that China is a disproportionately big component of the group of unfree nations outperforming liberal democracies, the growth rate gap is not surprising.

In fact, liberal democracies can compete favorably with dictatorships even in the short term. India, one of the world's fastest growing economies, is a liberal democracy. So is Peru, whose economy is experiencing 7 percent annual growth. These are imperfect democracies, for sure, and in the case of Peru there has been little poverty reduction. But the recent success indicates that elections, freedom of the press and freedom of association can coexist with high economic growth.

From a moral point of view, the relative prosperity that a dictatorship can trigger is a double-edged sword -- it brings relief to people who are otherwise oppressed but also serves as an argument for the indefinite postponement of political and civil liberty.
Two things are certain, however. First, history indicates that the combination of political, civil and economic freedom is a better guarantee of ever-increasing prosperity than a capitalist dictatorship. Second, there are sufficient examples -- Portugal or the Baltic countries -- of underdeveloped countries that have generated stable and reliable environments through political freedom to invalidate the notion that a country should be kept in political and civil infancy until it reaches economic maturity.



capitalist dictatorship??
Definition please.

I'm sure some dictatorships outperform democracies. I'm equally sure (Zimbabwe) that some dictatorships can outperform a plummeting anvil in its race to the ground. A democracy, for good or ill, is a kind of average; and since on the average people are neither brilliant nor stupid, good nor evil, they tend to blandness. A dictatorship is the dictator - and being one person, the dictator and the dictatorship can be anywhere between brillant and catastrophic.

Even when you have a benevolent dictatorship - a philosopher-king of the best sort - eventually he'll die. Who knows what his successor will be like?

Democracy, or more properly a government that has democratic institutions as a part of its makeup, is a mechanism which can help preserve the rights which promote the increasing financial well-being of the citizens. It is a mechanism ONLY. Democracy is neither necessary nor sufficient for those rights.

Letting the good times roll
There's not much of a link that I can see between having a dictatorship and fantastic growth rates. Centrally controlled economies can do just as well as chaotic, uncontrolled ones. In fact if they are intelligently controlled they should do a lot better.

Look at Hitler. Centrally controlled, and did just fine. In fact fascist economies all seem to have done very well. Under fascism economies are run by the industrialists, so they should perform okay.

Okay, now look at China. This country used to be communist. But they have to do everything they can just to keep growth below ten percent, so the engine doesn't overheat. Of course, they have a valuable resource... labor that's so cheap they can get it essentially for free.

Speaking of dictatorships, that's what we're aspiring to currently right here in the US. The imperial presidency and vice presidency both are trying to officially hold themselves above the law. And an unaccountable executive branch is pretty much the definition of a dictatorship.

And while our stats may not look very impressive seen as plain numbers, I would certainly offer that our economy is holding its own in terms of flinging megatons of money around. Of course, we're doing it all on borrowed cash, so next year might not look so good. Everything depends on how our creditors feel about us.

"Look at Hitler. Centrally controlled, and did just fine"
What do you mean by "just fine"?

How about letting some rational thought roll?
>"Speaking of dictatorships, that's what we're aspiring to currently right here in the US. The imperial presidency and vice presidency both are trying to officially hold themselves above the law. And an unaccountable executive branch is pretty much the definition of a dictatorship."

Actually what is occuring is a Congress overstepping its bounds in a partisan attack on a President during times of war.

>"And while our stats may not look very impressive seen as plain numbers,"

What the hell are you talking about? Our economy is very impressive in "plain numbers". Just because it isn't reported in the MSM or on PBS doesn't make it unimpressive.

>"I would certainly offer that our economy is holding its own in terms of flinging megatons of money around. Of course, we're doing it all on borrowed cash, so next year might not look so good. Everything depends on how our creditors feel about us."

Gee. I really can see our "creditors" destroying their own economies by destroying the economy of the country they are so heavily invested in.

I thought your comment about the "imperial presidency" was ignorant but your comment about our "creditors" wins the prize.

"What do you mean by "just fine"?"
Let's see... Hitler inherited a state that had been bankrupted and rendered prostrate by the term of Versailles, and one that had then experienced truly ruinous rates of inflation. I still remember collecting those billion and trillion mark postage stamps as a kid.

So, allying himself with industrial giants like Krupp and IG Farben he turns the economy around to the point where Germany is able to reconstitute a mighty war machine in less than a single decade. I'd say that was pretty impressive.

Also centrally controlled. Care to dispute that?

Poppycock and balderdash
I see your thinking is not marred by the hobgoblin of foolish consistency.

One hallmark of the Right has been a very rigid and dogmatic insistence on the words and thoughts of our Founding Fathers, and most especially those they agreed to put in our Constitution. They were quite explicit on the balance of powers, and the limits we imposed on our executives. You know as well as I that they did not envision an untrammeled and imperial executive branch, above the reach of all law.

What sort of autocratic state did you think they were devising for us? The one we're enduring now?

It's positively jaw-dropping to see you attempting to defend this takeover of our democracy. Or, in your terms, just some republic.

Tiptoing toward the exits
"Our economy is very impressive in "plain numbers"."

3.1 percent (2006 est.) and 2.9 percent (2007 est.) seem pretty anemic to me, compared to most nations on earth. And that's the prediction from the White House!

2. "Gee. I really can see our "creditors" destroying their own economies by destroying the economy of the country they are so heavily invested in."

I guess you've missed all the early warnings about our major creditors seeking to "diversify" their holdings away from the dollar? Surely that can't mean anything, can it?

Not surprised you are impressed by socialism
"On 2nd May, 1933, Adolf Hitler ordered the Sturm Abteilung (SA) to arrest Germany's trade union leaders. Robert Ley formed the Labour Front (DAF), the only union organization allowed in the Third Reich.

A pay freeze was introduced in 1933 and this was enforced by the Labour Front. Wages were now decided by the Labour Front and compulsory deductions made for income tax, and for its Strength through Joy programme. The Labour Front issued work-books that recorded the worker's employment record and no one could be employed without one.

The government banned the introduction of some labour-saving machinery.

Employers had to get government permission before reducing their labour force.

The Nazi government gave work contracts to those companies that relied on manual labour rather than machines. This was especially true of the government's massive autobahn (motorway) programme.

The ***** concentrated on rearming. Thousands of Germans worked in factories producing weapons.

Conscription into the German armed forces helped to reduce the numbers of unemployed.

Hitler also encouraged the mass production of radios. In this case he was not only concerned with reducing unemployment, but saw them as a means of supplying a steady stream of Nazi propaganda to the German people.

Youth unemployment was dealt with by the forming of the Voluntary Labour Service (VLS) and the Voluntary Youth Service (VYS), these planted forests, repaired river banks and helped reclaim wasteland.

Women in certain professions such as doctors and civil servants were dismissed, while other married women were paid a lump sum of 1000 marks to stay at home.

In the summer of 1935 Adolf Hitler announced the introduction of Labour Service (RAD). Under this measure all men aged between the ages of nineteen and twenty-five had work for the government for six months. Later women were also included in the scheme and they did work such as teaching and domestic service.

Did the ***** produce an economic miracle for Germany?

How successful were the ***** in tackling unemployment, inflation and creating self-sufficiency?

Unemployment had fallen from 6 million in 1933 to 300,000 by 1939

Industrial production in 1939 was above the figure for Weimar Germany before the 1929 Wall Street Crash.


By 1939, Germany still imported 33% of its required raw materials

Government income had been 10 billion Reichsmarks in 1928. In 1939, it was 15 billion. However, government spending had increased from 12 billion Reichsmarks in 1928 to over 30 billion in 1939.

From 1933 to 1939, the Nazi government always spent more than it earned so that by 1939, government debt stood at over 40 billion Resichsmarks.

Annual food consumption in 1937 had fallen for wheat bread, meat, bacon, milk, eggs, fish vegetables, sugar, tropical fruit and beer compared to the 1927 figures. The only increase was in rye bread, cheese and potatoes.

Real earnings in 1938 were all but the same as the 1928 figure. (Real earnings are wages adjusted to allow for inflation)."

And don't forget, Hitler led the country to near total destruction.

Some miracle!

The real German economic miracle occured after the war.

"What caused the so-called miracle? The two main factors were a currency reform and the elimination of price controls, both of which happened over a period of weeks in 1948. A further factor was the reduction of marginal tax rates later in 1948 and in 1949."

Today some cry out for price controls on gasoline and higher marginal tax rates.

People never learn.

dictatorships and economics
In discussions on this topic we often see mix ups. For example, if one says it's a dictatorship, then they assume the economy is not free, but the growth comes from the command economics of the dictators. That's not so, a country can be a dictaorship, but actually allow economic activities of the people to be quite free. So in the Hitler time neither politics nor economics were free, there was growth, as compared to Weimar times, but not as compared to when it was freed up after the war, as Marjon above said. So it would have been possible for the Hitler regime to have had even better growth, but his goals were politicals ends, not just economic. Then other places like Chile under pinochet, were quite free economically, thus the predictable high growth rates; same for Hong Kong, Singapore. So the most important thing is not the political freedom, but the economic freedom; they're quite distinct and often confused. So the politically commie red China, is getting freer economically, that's why the huge growth rate. I only lament that the US is going backwards on their economic freedom, and shooting themselves in the foot, like the stupid Sorbeyns oxley which results already in companies IPOing overseas, and other moving. This in one reason I waited till Halliburton(HAL)moved to Dubai(a much freer economy)before I bought their shares. It's also why I'm continue divesting from the US, other countries freer, better growth. US getting unreliable.

The reason dictatorships look so good economically is that the dictators are in charge of the statistics. Take a look at, e.g., economic statistics from the USSR and the PRC, or more recent ones from Zimbabwe. Historically speaking, the Communist ones were/are greeted with rapturous hosannas by Western media and political elites. Also historically, Nazi and Italian Fascist statistics were not drooled over, but were taken at face value or were just ignored.

that's only true if your man in charge has infinite information
look up the benefits of distributed processing

don't bother roy with facts, he knows what ought to be true, and that's enough for him

The postwar miracle
The true measure of success, of course, is to compare a system with what went before it... not what came after. Hitler constructed a command economy that solved the manifold and gravely serious problems of democratic Weimar Germany-- and did so very admirably. Mussolini, similarly, got the trains to run on time.

Did postwar West Germany have a system that was superior to Hitler's, when measured solely by the ability of the economy to advance? Possibly. But you'll have to recognize that the Postwar Miracle was made possible by two things:

1. A devastated economy. With everything wrecked, there were infinite possibilities for employment. All they needed was some cash, to prime the pump by issuing wages that did not originate in tired, hyperinflated currencies so they could pay their unemployed to rebuild the continent. And

2. A source of fresh cash. Here come the Yanks, with their Marshal Plan.

Dow 36,000,000
I find nothing to disagree with in your post. Actually, I have kind of conflated your arguments with those of Dietmar, below. So if you want my specific response, it's in the comment titled "The postwar miracle".

But I'd like to continue in the spirit of finding information we might agree on. So let me recommend the following article, for your edification:

Don't Bother Marjoe Or MarkTheLessThanGreat They Don't Understand Humanity Or Economics
So Marjoe the Preacher Boy and Mark-the-much-less-than-great - long for the "quiet times" and economic growth of the 3rd Reich.

No surprise there, with the level of self-hatred they both display constantly.

Are you two dating or married? Or just a robotic script ran by the nutcase fake war-mongering Libertarians that run this site? How about a 3some with Corporal Arnold Klinger, the 3rd Reich's greatest worshipper on TCS? I'm sure you're all cut from the same branch of the same diseased tree.

Your answer's show no understanding of economics or humanity.

A benevolent monarchy
It has been taught in political science classes for a very long time that a benevolent monarcy is the most effective government. A monarch or dictator can get things done while the democracy wastes years of ineffective debate. Whatever power a democracy has to promote economic growy, low taxe, opportunity for business, etc., a dictator can do right now. The trouble with monarchies and dictators is that over time they tend to become less and less benevolent for the people and more and more corrupt for the government. So do democracies.


For more of The World According to Bob see

The US is going backwards because of
Bush's failing economic policies, the debt due to our illegal war, and legislation that favors big business profits over individual stature.

All of this can be attributed to the current administration.

Vote better next time.

don't you just love the way the far left argues
or should I say, doesn't bother arguing.

Let's see

1) reference to Hitler
2) attempt to declare that those you disagree with are deranged
3) attempt to discredit two voices by declaring that they are secretly connected
4) more Hitler references
5) top it off with a declaration that only those who agree with the lunatic left (is that redundant) are able to know the real truth

bugboy never misses a trick, he hits all of the far left debating techniques every time.

the best economy in decades is redefined to moving backwards
as usual stephen you see what you want to see, not what is there

and there is nothing illegal about the war
unless you take the position (which you usually do) that any taxation that's less than 100% for the evil rich, and anything less than total control of business by govt constitutes govt by the rich and for the corporation, then your final characterization fails the laugh test. As do you.

"capitalist dictatorship?" Phooey!
> --

The examples chosen as dictatorships are so, no doubt and, Herr Lee, Herr Mahatir et al, are so by any other name. --

But, definitively, Capitalism IS freedom and none of the universally corrupt petty dictatorships and various other kleptocracies listed enjoys either freedom or Capitalism. --

After factoring in lies, misreporting, graft, corruption and fraud, China's net "growth" is maybe around that of the United States. --

And, as just one other example, accounting-opaque-and-cloudy and ineptly nepotism-riddled Singapore owes much and probably most of its reported but not necessarily actual recent growth to such "enterprises" as its vast Indonesian, South-East Asia drug-underwriting and "communist" China-oligarchy money laundering "industries" and to the Billions of stolen American-aid Dollars that corruptly "flowed in" to its financial institutions from the Boxing Day Tsunami as to any recognizable and/or honest endeavor. And is rushing the building of casinos to scoop up even more of Peking's putrid plunderers' ill gotten gains!

Generally accepted accounting principles
It's not quite so easy as you'd think, just to cook up numbers out of the thin air. They would not do the job intended if they had no validity.

Take the Venezuelan stock exchange, for instance. Outside investors sink a lot of money into those stocks. They wouldn't, if there were no accountability.

Believe me, people whose business it is to figure out whether the numbers are good know all too well. Places like Zimbabwe or Myanmar or Belarus have bad numbers and investors stay away. But the PRC? Lots of people do business with them. And those people are not the sorts to accept imaginary numbers.

The US Treasury, for instance, accepts deposits from the PRC and funds our expenditures with them. How could they do that, if there were no accounting?

If you want to find the most accurate sets of numbers for any country on earth, take a look at the CIA's World Factbook. All accounting is a crapshoot, and even the numbers in your favorite stock's prospectus are a little muddy. But the CIA can make as good a guess as anyone.

Drawing from the future account
I think what Stephen is referring to is the fact that since 2001 the United States has gone back to spending imaginary money. The entire expense of our GWOT, for instance, has been put on the cuff.

You can't run a nation like this indefinitely. Our figures look good, but they're deceptive. They're all based on an infinite line of credit.

If I had an infinite line of credit and never thought I'd have to pay it back, all my friends and relatives would have fine houses, and fleets of vintage automobiles in their six car garages. That's what the president's friends are getting now.

Who do you think will have to pay it all back?

Wealth creates democracy not the other way round
Because most modern developed nations are democracies there is a tendency to presume that democracy created the wealth.
Historically, it has been the other way round. Nations such as England began to encourage innovation for a number of reasons during the Elizabethan period and had already begun to restrict the arbitrary use of power. As the ideas of distributed power, the rule of law and Adam Smith's understanding made the Anglo American nations growt their wealth an emerging middle class demanded more and more powers and rights. Once modern nations get the important institutions right then they can enjoy huge growth by using existing technologies and by selling into existing wealthy markets - advantages not available to the pioneers of capitalism.
So as China and these other states grow wealthy and more and more citizens join the middle class they will also develop democratic institutions although the Confucian states will always temper the rule of law as between the citizens - which may not be a bad thing.

Innumeracy leads to confusion..once again
The inability of may to discern the difference between absolute and relative numbers leads to confusion and bad conclusions.
As it applies to this article, the confusion arises among many when talking about growth rates because the economies of free countries are so much larger. This makes it increasingly difficult to post the huge gains in productivity required to maintaion high rate growth.

In the smaller, non-free economies any growth achieved will more easily be reflected in higher percentage figures. In other words in an economy of 100 units it must increase absolute output by only 6.8 units in order to show a 6.8% growth rate; by contrast an economy of 100,000 units must post an increase of 6800 units. And to maintain this as the base continues to grow becomes more and more difficult.

Swiss have done pretty well with inefficient democracy.

What's failing?
The war is legal.

Deficits are falling because lower capital gains tax rates are generating more revenue than higher rates.

And the democrats are just as guilty, if not more so, of favoring coporate interests.

Soros and Buffet support democrats.

Enron donated much money to Clinton/Gore and was pushing for the Kyoto treating.

All dictatorships are providing fake figure.
This is hundred time proved that Dictator is always make fool to world, till people are runnig behind them.

THAT is why the "liberal" "democracies" are not fairing as well. And THAT is why we are trying to import millions and millions of third-world immigrant youths. The West has LITERALLY killed itself with abortion and a non-replaceable birthrate less than 2.1.

Liberty creates wealth
It is people who add value to natural resources creating wealth.
When those people have the liberty and private property protections to add such value, they begin to accumulate wealth. Examples of this are the settlers of Jamestown and Plymouth abandoning common property. The USSR began to allow farmers to raise food on their own plots to sell in the local market.
Pure democracy has the potential of forcing those who are most productive to 'share' with those who are less productive. Returning to the concept of common property destroys liberty and destroys wealth.
A government that protects and respects liberty and private property creates an environment which has the greatest potential to create wealth.
To acheive that potential people people must challenge their childish selfishness (forcing others to share) and embrace mature self-interest.
So far, one of the few governments to recognize and address such human nature is the US Consitution. It creates a republic with limited federal powers. Unfortunately, too many imature, shelfish people have forced others to 'share', weakening the system.
Countries like China and India can have siginficant intitial growth because they started from rock bottom. I suspect the growth rates will follow a "power of e" curve similar to the charging of a capcitor. After 5 time contants, the growth rates will level to modest growth, IFF the government protects liberty and private property.

Which is why they need to control the 'debate'. They don't have an arguement.
How can anyone create a rational arguement to use force to take people's liberty and property?

That's what the left tries to do and probably why they are irrational.

Time constants
"In an RC circuit, the value of the time constant (in seconds) is equal to the product of the circuit resistance (in ohms) and the circuit capacitance (in farads), i.e. t = R × C. It is the time required to charge the capacitor, through the resistor, to 63.2 (~ 63) percent of full charge; or to discharge it to 36.8 (~ 37) percent of its initial voltage. These values are derived from the mathematical constant e, specifically 1 - e - 1 and e - 1 respectively."

One RC time constant achieves 63% of full charge, for a capictor. Five time contants are considered sufficient to acheive 100%. Note this is not a linear process.

I suspect economies follow a similar curve if allowed to 'charge'.

Inconveniet truths
All you've cut 'n' pasted from some schoolkids' site is that the state was used to physically liquidate the German labour movement and replace it with the N*zi-sponsored Labour Front so as make it to 100% compliant to the wishes of German capital. That much should be evident.

Precisely because capitalism was so weak and unstable in Germany did bankers and industrialists support Hitler's accession to power.

And what did these 'socialists' do as soon as they were in power? Politically, they arrested, imprisoned, tortured and murdered the leadership and militants of the SPD, KPD, the rest of the Left and the trade union movement. Economically, they forced through a pay freeze, militarised labour via 'voluntary' labour schemes, restricted freedom of labour, enforced speed-ups and longer hours.
So who benefited from this? The answer should be obvious.
(If that's your idea of socialism then you stand in direct opposition to German workers whether they followed the reformism of the SPD, the Stalinism of the KPD or the revolutionary Left of the KPO, SAPD or IKD. Then again, if you take your definition of socialism from Mises, everything is socialism - the Churches, monarchists, landed gentry, reformists, Marxists ...)

German capital was in a uniquely fragile position. Having been bled dry by Versailles, it had faced occupation in the Ruhr, massive reparations payments and the loss of its colonies. Due to these barriers to economic development, and the instability caused by the war, it faced the most militant working class in Europe.

With the onset of the slump, the Dawes Plan became redundant. Having used up all the options at their disposal in the era of Weimar democracy, they turned to the one organisation that had sufficient hatred of the working-class and, as importantly, the mass membership, to deal a decisive blow against organised labour.

In the eyes of the bankers and industrialists who were the prime movers behind Hitler's rise to the Chancellorship, extraordinary times called for extraordinary measures. With Hitler's popularity declining at the beginning of 1933, they believed they had to strike then and without delay in a very fluid situation. Far from being led by the nose by Hitler, it was capitalists and the military who gave him a leg-up.

In short, the elite believed dictatorship was essential to overcome their woes. Destroying the domestic opposition, asserting a more nationalistic foreign policy to abandon or, at the very least, renegotiate Versailles terms. Much of the economic expansion was based on credit so the tendency towards imperial expansion was never far off the agenda.

In dealing with their lack of access to raw materials, the policy of lebensraum began to dominate foreign policy. What was good enough for other European powers - plundering the colonies - was deemed good enough for the Third Reich.

As for the post-war situation, Roy correctly points out, that the devastation caused by the war destroyed capital values. Starting from scratch, and with currency reform and the Marshall Plan, Germany had more potential to create a period of prolonged expansion than its other main European rivals.

Roy must be shaking in his boots at that pearl of wisdom, Mark
How's the publishing deal going for your book of one-liners, by the way?

There has to be a market for subtance-free rhetoric. Mao managed to sell a few of those handy-sized pieces of s*** in his time so there's no reason why you couldn't.

Mises socialism
Everything is NOT socialism.

The key point private property.

How are Churches socialistic?

North Korea was destroyed during its war and it has 'started' from scratch. Why has South Korea rebounded and DPRK has not?

More projecting from MarkTheGullible
"attempt to declare that those you disagree with are deranged"

See most of your comments posted regarding Roy, Lemuel or anyone to your left.

"attempt to discredit two voices by declaring that they are secretly connected"

See your constant references to 'eric' (whoever the hell he is) when making noise at those you disagree with, .

" top it off with a declaration that only those who agree with the lunatic left (is that redundant) are able to know the real truth"

Amend 'agree' to 'disagree' and that's pretty much what you do every day.

US post war miracle
"But you'll have to recognize that the Postwar Miracle was made possible by two things:"

1. The US economy was not devastated during the war and rebounded significantly from before the war.

2. The US economy was strong enough to rebuild half the world after they had destroyed it.

No Subject
"How are Churches socialistic?"

Ask your guru that.

From Mises: "It is the Socialism supported by the churches of all denominations."

And: "This is not altered by the fact that the most recent development of Christian social theory has led the Church[24] to recognize the fundamental rightfulness of private property in the means of production, whereas the early church teaching, in view of the command of the gospels condemning all economic activity, had avoided unconditionally accepting even the name of private property. For we must understand what the Church has done in recognizing the rightfulness of private property, only as opposition to the efforts of the socialists to overthrow the existing order forcibly. In reality the Church desires nothing but State Socialism of a particular colour."

Read Mises again on 'socialism'. He doesn't even comprhend the difference between Junkerism, nationalisation and socialisation. Either that, or he doesn't want to.

More numberrs
Okay, but investors were clamoring to throw money at Moscow when every sane observer knew that their economic statistics were invented -- not just exaggerated, but made up out of thin air. As to the CIA's statistical howlers, see Steve Rosefielde's "False Science." These same losers are saying the same things about the PRC, for the same purposes, with the same tools, with the same biases, sometimes by the same people. So I am cautious about the PRC economy and about the highly questionable judgments of investors and analysts.

"command of the gospels condemning all economic activity"
I don't know where this is from.

I have read the Gospels and I didn't see any condemnation of all economic activity.

The Roman Catholic Church and many other churches have supported socialism. I don't believe there is any basis in Christ for the use of force to take my property for anyone's benefit. As a matter of fact, Jesus sent is disciples out with NO money requireing his disciples to depend upon the charity of others, depending upon FAITH.

Churches and religious groups of all stripes have or are tyring to force faith. It cannot be done.

I won't dispute a point that many churches are socialistic, but I don't agree their socialism has any basis in the Bible.

From any perspective, socialism is evil.

Such sycophancy is unbecoming
Speaking of substance-free rhetoric, I note your comment doesn't address my actual point-- that Hitler's government managed to turn around a rather grave economic picture he inherited from the Weimar Republic, And that he did so in the context of a highly controlled system.

Since you think yourself qualified to comment, why not lay out the reasons why either of my contentions are not true? Did Hitler not correct a bankrupt government, with runaway hyperinflation, ruinous unemployment and backbreaking reparations due under the terms of Versailles? Or was his government not in firm central control of the German economy?

I will await your informed comment, or consider your toadying up to a flatulent fraud like Mark to be an embarrassment any man should be above. Please feel free to refute me on the issue.

Please excuse intemperate comment
I will withdraw my earlier response. I've looked up your other comments here and find you do in fact have an excellent grasp of the economics of the period.

This has caused me to recast your "Roy must be shaking in his boots at that pearl of wisdom, Mark" and "How's the publishing deal going for your book of one-liners, by the way?" as irony, not adulation.

Pardon me while I heap ashes on my head. I should have known better.

Small corrections
Actually nearly all the abortions being performed happen in the post-Communist bloc. And economic conditions there are still so grave, one can hardly blame them for not wanting to bring children into their world. Abortions are not all that plentiful in the Western nations.

As for our own third world immigrants, we need those workers. We have always filled our quotas for cheap labor from abroad, it's the way our economic engine works. Without the Mexicans, who would we have to pay our Social Security benefits when we retire, twenty years from now?

"Birth rate: 14.16 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

"Death rate: 8.26 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

"Net migration rate: 3.05 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)"

...U.S. stats from the CIA World Factbook

to Roy re postwar
If you're referring to my comments, then I did say the Hitler's 'Gleichschaltung' economic policies satbilised, made grow etc. like Cassius' good comment above said. But any half-asssed system would have also been better than the devastation of Weimar. So your point 1. always happens in countries that get serious re getting on their feet again. Like german, after the currency reform with the new mark, maybe 1948, I think it was, no more inflation; also that added to the no price controls etc. RE point 2. Marshall plan. It's good to have a rich uncle help you out, but not necessary or sufficient. It's more importan the attitude of the country what they do with it.
But we see countries that had huge cash infusion but still remain crappy. But some countris that have no rich uncle still can get ahead by having free economic policies. You could make an analogy with the US too. Often we hear people make the false assumption that it took the WW11, to get the US out of the depression. But it's phoney too because even if no war they still would have got out. Then after the war when they got rid of the stupid wartime controls, it bumped up even better. So like your example of the nazzzi regime compared to before, same way the US looked better.

to Stephen re backwards
Not just Bush, but for decades on the macro level the US has been shooting its own wiener off. Fiat money started way back. The crappy FED about 1913, I think it was. All the massive subsidizing, budget deficits etc. both parties doing it. The military budget is actually rather low, only about 4%. Many of the smart money people are divesting from the States, even warren Buffett who used to only buy US companies, has been lately buying up foreign stuff in huge amounts and is short the US dollar. I am too im my more modest way. Other countries are getting freer economic policies lately, but the US getting less free, therefore it goes more backward. But here's a specific question for you re your contention that legistation favours big business profits. If that were true, why did we sometimes see Bill Gates sweating in front of some stupid senate committee? If he, the richest guy and big company had so much influence, why would he allow himself to be so humiliated? Why didn't he buy them off? Also in euroland, they make big moves against microsoft, how could that happen?

to Cassius re 'Eric'
I know who eric is. Some of the guys who been around here maybe longer than you remember a guy eric who was a real nucase idiot, like Lemuel, and wrote just like him. Even I thought it was the same clown and i'm not even a native speaker. Anyway, people were mocking and humiliating that eric so much, that we think he just changed his name to Lemuel. but this guy incarnation is also very humiliated and mocked by me and everybody, we wish he would just go away to some other board where they advocate for statism, collectivism etc.

Eric, stay
I don't read liberal blogs because they all sound like eric.

Let's hope he stays to keep remindning me why we need to keep up the fight to educate all in the ways of liberty.

to Roy re accounting
Where did you get the idea that it's foreigners 'outside investors' there in venez? Apparently the smart money has left years ago already. I thin you're going to have to eat some crow in a few years.

is that the best you can do
why don't you give some actual examples.

or is just making naked assertions the best you can do.

I forgot, you're a liberal, of course it's the best that you can do.

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