Prosperity After WWII

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
Globalization41
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Prosperity After WWII

Post by Globalization41 » 02 Apr 2018 15:44

If Stalin had been more friendly toward the U.S. after WWII, Russia could now be rich like Japan, South Korea, China, Israel, and Germany.

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Re: Prosperity After WWII

Post by South » 02 Apr 2018 22:39

Good afternoon Globalization 41,

By definition - and the related arrangements: No.

One key matter was the Marshall Plan. A component was to limit Communism (the "containment" doctrine). Regardless of how nice Stalin and Co. presented themselves, everything else was antagonistic.

The Marshall Plan is a large field with its own debate as to whether it helped prosperity or not. Some argue it was good for the liquidity for already-experienced economies but not for economic development of the post war matters. Under Marshall, the US allies got more $$$ than Axis and neutral nations. Again, the Marshall Plan is an area of study by itself.

WEST Germany was a recipient of Marshall Plan disbursements. EAST Germany was not. Forgot how they handled Saarland and the WESTERN Berlin sectors.

Economic revival or to use your term "Prosperity After WWII", requires people who are...to use a non-economic term: smart. So the story goes re W. German currency reform when implemented by Ludwig Erhard (Finance Minister March 1948, Federal Chancellor 1965): The military commander of the American-occupied zone, General Lucius Clay, told Erhard that his American economic advisers thought Erhard's free-market reforms were a "terrible mistake". Erhard replied: "Herr General, pay no attention to them; my own advisers tell me the same thing".

Re the listed countries that are prosperous;

Japan was needed by the US for military and economic confrontations in Asia concurrent with US occupation.

S. Korea: ditto. As you know I'm omitting much. The US "always" sought a presence on the southern periphery of China.

China: a different matter.

Israel: a different matter

The reunified Germany was October 1990. Very recent to discuss in detail without delving into current politics other than to say Germany runs a trade surplus with China.

.......

My summary for this thread: Too few Ludwig Erhards (1897 -1977) and too many economic advisers.


~ Bob
eastern Virginia, USA

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Prosperity After WWII

Post by Globalization41 » 03 Apr 2018 01:46

Hi Bob. (Would a friendly Stalin have resulted in prosperity for Russia?)

[By definition - and the related arrangements: No.]

The related arrangements were due to Stalin's hostility. Stalin could do whatever he wanted. Chamberlain fell for Hitler's charm. America could easily have been charmed by Stalin. China, for example, eventually prospered with a large trade surplus just by being nice to the U.S.

[One key matter was the Marshall Plan. A component was to limit Communism (the "containment" doctrine). Regardless of how nice Stalin and Co. presented themselves, everything else was antagonistic.]

America hated Stalin in late 1939 when the U.S.S.R. invaded Finland, but it loved friendly Stalin when the Red Army was fighting Hitler in 1943. Stalin could have milked that respect in 1943 and beyond by appeasing the U.S. The Soviet Union could have had had its own "Marshall Plan" (like it had during the war with U.S.-made war supplies). Stock holders in the U.S. would have jumped at exploiting cheap Soviet labor. ... Hirohito became nice to the U.S. and now Japan is rich.

[The Marshall Plan is a large field with its own debate as to whether it helped prosperity or not. Some argue it was good for the liquidity for already-experienced economies but not for economic development of the post war matters. Under Marshall, the US allies got more $$$ than Axis and neutral nations. Again, the Marshall Plan is an area of study by itself. ... WEST Germany was a recipient of Marshall Plan disbursements. EAST Germany was not. Forgot how they handled Saarland and the WESTERN Berlin sectors.]

Maybe prosperity and the Marshall Plan were only coincident, but West Germany ended up getting rich. The W. Germans were nice to the U.S.; they feared Stalin too. ... Japan is an island, too difficult to infiltrate. The polite Japanese prospered under U.S. protection.

[Economic revival or to use your term "Prosperity After WWII", requires people who are...to use a non-economic term: smart. So the story goes re W. German currency reform when implemented by Ludwig Erhard (Finance Minister March 1948, Federal Chancellor 1965): The military commander of the American-occupied zone, General Lucius Clay, told Erhard that his American economic advisers thought Erhard's free-market reforms were a "terrible mistake". Erhard replied: "Herr General, pay no attention to them; my own advisers tell me the same thing". ... Re the listed countries that are prosperous; ... Japan was needed by the US for military and economic confrontations in Asia concurrent with US occupation. ... S. Korea: ditto. As you know I'm omitting much. The US "always" sought a presence on the southern periphery of China. ... China: a different matter.]

The U.S. occupation of Japan was more of a winding down after WWII. America just wanted a friendly Japan. Meanwhile, an unfriendly Stalin cheered on Mao's takeover in China, while the U.S. remained neutral. America did not want confrontation. There were only a few hundred U.S. troops in S. Korea when N. Korea invaded. The South was cornered on the Korean Peninsula. MacArthur eventually broke out into North Korea, but Red China's intervention resulted in stalemate. However, infiltration into South Korea was contained, paving the way for prosperity under U.S. protection. Chinese protection of a friendly N. Korea did not result in prosperity. ... South Vietnam was not as defendable as West Germany, Japan, and South Korea. But a Thailand friendly to America successfully defended its peaceful neutrality by allowing U.S. air bases in Thailand to support the war effort against aggression in Indo-China. Communist expansionism finally ran out of steam and friendly Thailand eventually prospered.

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Re: Prosperity After WWII

Post by South » 03 Apr 2018 11:41

Good morning Globalization ,

There's just too much specific material/subjects for this one thread. Will try to scribble / respond to some of the material.

Personalities / personas not involved, less for the journalists. ("My personality doesn't interest me." Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko). Geopolitics and international economics governs.

A small segment of commentators say the Dresden firebombings were also a message to Moscow. This same small segment dates the beginning of the Cold War to the Dresden firebombings.

The USSR did have an equivalent of the Marshall Plan. It was COMECON. We Americans know it more so as CMEA: Council of Mutual Economic Assistance.

"cheap Soviet labor" is abhorrent to America...if I may generalize. US labor unions (FDR's National Labor Relations Act of 1935, as amended) controlled much of US labor policy.

Actually, ...... the US occupation of Japan was to keep Tokyo within artillery range and to maintain a major presence in East Asia.

I don't know if it's "O.K." to say that during the Chinese civil war, the US was "neutral".

It depends on definitions and time-line spans to say South Korea is prosperous under US protection. South Korea is in worse shape than Japan re it's labor force. It's being propped up by the US. The clarifying events to explain this are also current events and thus too political for entry here.

Comparing the defense posture of South Vietnam and West Germany is the Book Publishers' Work Relief Act. South Vietnam was the periphery of China. West Germany is the Fulda Pass. Comparisons are like arguing over the correspondence between Erasmus and Martin Luther. Everyones' minds are already made up. (Eisenhower got bogged down in the South Vietnam quicksand because the French forced this as a requirement for French rearmament against the Warsaw Pact.) Again, no comparisons are realistic and the only requirements are large continuous military budgets.

Thailand was / is a buffer zone.

It's too recent to qualify as "history" but "ran out of steam" ?? Mainland Southeast Asia is a large Chinese restaurant less PR Vietnam. Plus, the Mekong delta water projects have engineers not speaking French...and these projects affect PR Vietnam.


~ Bob
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Re: Prosperity After WWII

Post by Globalization41 » 03 Apr 2018 15:38

Hi Bob. Please allow me add a few observations for consideration.

["cheap Soviet labor" is abhorrent to America...if I may generalize. US labor unions (FDR's National Labor Relations Act of 1935, as amended) controlled much of US labor policy.]

Labor unions overextended themselves by demanding seemingly everything. The idea came about that U.S. labor laws could be bypassed by redistributing revenue-generating factories away from American soil. Instead of paying ten bucks an hour with benefits, a company could increase its value by paying only a dollar an hour for cheap labor. Those U.S. workers previously paying income tax now needed government assistance. This added to federal budget deficits. All this started in the 1990s as the fad to exploit cheap foreign labor gained momentum. Cheaper prices bought about deflation, broke up many labor unions, and resulted in less U.S. tax revenue. China benefited from the transfer of wealth generation. It went from an illiterate peasant economy to a rich industrialized nation. Stalin could have accomplished the same prosperity formula by being friendly with America after WWII.

[A small segment of commentators say the Dresden firebombings were also a message to Moscow. This same small segment dates the beginning of the Cold War to the Dresden firebombings.]

By the time of the Dresden bombing, death and destruction were routine. The Red Army was steamrolling through eastern Europe. Where would the Soviets stop? The mindset was get the war over with as soon as possible. Hindsight says it would have been better to have left Dresden off the target list. The citizens of Dresden would have resented their Soviet occupiers sooner. ... Incidentally, Putin was stationed in Dresden when the Russians switched away from communism. ... The seeds for the Cold War were sown, too, when Stalin occupied the Baltic States while Hitler was busy in France. In 1939, the Soviet occupation of Poland and the invasion of Finland also set the stage for the Cold War. ... Poland was ground zero for WWII. It's a wonder that anyone from Poland even survived the Hitler-Stalin combo.

[I don't know if it's "O.K." to say that during the Chinese civil war, the US was "neutral".]

The U.S. support of the Chinese Nationalists wasn't much better than neutrality. ... The Chinese Reds eventually accepted the transfer of revenue-generating factories from America.

[Actually, ...... the US occupation of Japan was to keep Tokyo within artillery range and to maintain a major presence in East Asia.]

At the time of Japan's surrender, a gigantic expeditionary concentration of American Navy Ships carrying U.S. Army & Marine divisions was closing in. There were still millions of Japanese troops stationed in China. Japan was willing to fight to the death. Had Japan not surrendered, it would have been like Poland, total mass murder. ... The U.S. occupation troops in Japan were not training for Asian conquests. The occupation of Japan was a country-club assignment, except for those troops redirected to fight aggression in South Korea. ... U.S. imperialism is a propaganda myth. If it were true, the U.S. would own Cuba, Mexico, and the strategic Panama Canal Zone.

[It depends on definitions and time-line spans to say South Korea is prosperous under US protection. South Korea is in worse shape than Japan re it's labor force. It's being propped up by the US. The clarifying events to explain this are also current events and thus too political for entry here.]

Japan and South Korea compared to North Korea (essentially) were equally impoverished following WWII. The Soviet Union protected North Korea until Mao took over China. The U.S. protected Japan, but left South Korea unguarded. Those who prospered under whatever protection were yet to be determined. ... Stalin could have guaranteed prosperity for the Soviet Union by pretending to be like Churchill.

[Comparing the defense posture of South Vietnam and West Germany is the Book Publishers' Work Relief Act. South Vietnam was the periphery of China. West Germany is the Fulda Pass. Comparisons are like arguing over the correspondence between Erasmus and Martin Luther. Everyones' minds are already made up. (Eisenhower got bogged down in the South Vietnam quicksand because the French forced this as a requirement for French rearmament against the Warsaw Pact.) Again, no comparisons are realistic and the only requirements are large continuous military budgets.]

South Vietnam was not as easy to protect as was West Germany, South Korea, and Japan, due mainly to geography and politics. The U.S. policy of protection against aggression was the common denominator.

[Thailand was / is a buffer zone. ... It's too recent to qualify as "history" but "ran out of steam" ?? Mainland Southeast Asia is a large Chinese restaurant less PR Vietnam. Plus, the Mekong delta water projects have engineers not speaking French...and these projects affect PR Vietnam.]

Communist ideology became popular after WWI. Invading countries became a big fad of the late '30s and early '40s. Aggression was everywhere. ... Thailand's protected neutrality did act as a buffer against communist expansionism. Many years of heavy U.S. bombing from Thailand slowed and wore down the communists. Communist ideological expansion made its last stand in Cambodia, during the power vacuum left by the U.S. ... Communists were active only somewhat in Thailand, but the decades of communist ideological expansionism ran out of steam in S.E. Asia. Otherwise, Thailand was next.

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Re: Prosperity After WWII

Post by South » 03 Apr 2018 17:33

Good afternoon Globalization,

Just too much in too many specific fields for us to properly comment on and develop......Initiate new threads per topic and I will try to assist in developing material for thought and review.

Thus, for now, my afternoon rambling on above para 1: labor unions as they relate to thread;

After the European Coal and Steel Community and the follow-on Common Market and "affiliate" (Inner Six and Outer Seven), US companies had to get inside the tariff wall.

It started earlier than the 1990s.

Not sure about "cheaper prices brought about deflation, broke up many labor unions". There's the commodity market: eg petroleum, the grain trade (includes some non-grains), and related and there's the manufactured goods market: eg civil aircraft (What happened to Folker aircraft ?!), cars, electrical equipment, machinery, ......... a tangent - and I'm breaking my self-imposed rule just developed to only comment on para 1 - Look up "Bermuda Accords" and then review the "US imperialism" phrase. Note the "Five Freedoms". There were some "deals" and some "trade-offs" involving a couple of the Allies (that is: not all).

Since I broke my rule and also have a couple of extra minutes; Did not the US control (not "own") Cuba ? Review the Platt Amendment, the Roosevelt Corollary, the Kissinger Addendum. Mexico: it's current events and we're precluded to get into current stuff lingering around for ages since 1945. The Panama treaty keeps the US involved as a strategic partner.

~ Bob
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Prosperity After WWII

Post by Globalization41 » 04 Apr 2018 15:31

Hey Bob. You make some good points. ... The Philippines might be a good example of U.S. imperialism, given that the P.I. was granted its independence after WWII. U.S. imperialism wasn't like the great British Empire. ... Inflation or deflation: Deflation and a labor glut in America featured the Great Depression. ... WWII resulted in a labor shortage, inflation, and prosperity. ... A labor glut means many workers without jobs not paying taxes. Tax revenue helps pay for infrastructure. ... The U.S. posted its first trade deficit in 1971. ... America supplied the world in the '40s with surplus production resulting from WWII. For example there were C-47 cargo planes everywhere, even in the 1960s. ... America could afford WWII, the Berlin Airlift, the Marshall Plan, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and sending men to the moon because the U.S. had not yet begun the mass redistribution of its revenue-generating factories away from America. ... China smartly made itself rich beginning in the 1990s by accepting the relocation of wealth-creating factories from America into China. Stalin could have gotten on the prosperity bandwagon after WWII. ... The transfer of tax-paying jobs out of America resulted in a labor glut for U.S. workers. Labor gluts mean deflation unless more money is printed.

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Re: Prosperity After WWII

Post by South » 04 Apr 2018 16:55

Good afternoon Globalization,

Ref line 1; Appreciate comment. I can use your help over at WWI thread as to why UK didn't remain neutral. Still haven't learned.

When I write here, I use words, terms and phrases in a neutral meaning, unless it's obvious I'm using a literary technique, eg sarcasm. I use "imperialism" in its neutral meaning. The Hong Kong citizens loved their OBEs, the Dutch assembled the many islands of the East Indies allowing for development. The Russian Czars' entry into Chinese Manchuria was concurrent with railroads being built in Manchuria. Pasteurization wasn't present in Indo- China until the French arrival.

There is a large school of thought that America's Great Depression was extended for several years by the FDR "alphabet agencies" and their remolding of the US economy.

Yes, the C-47 was the most produced aircraft. It formed the fleets of many civil airlines.

The US could afford the Vietnam War until LBJ also introduced the "Great Society" program. The combination of this "guns and butter" was too much for the US national economy. LBJ had introduced permanent deficit financing. In March, 1968, US Secretary of the Treasury Henry Fowler, protested to LBJ that the US dollar would soon be under serious threat. Nixon had to close down the Breton Woods modified gold standard because of aforesaid.

The famous example of US revenue-generating factories leaving the US was Boeing's entry into China. Boeing China, Inc had 13 state-of-the-art logistics facilities with the best communications system to support it. The President of Boeing China, Inc was the de facto US Ambassador to China. He had better access to China's leadership than the official US Ambassador.

More money was indeed printed. A follow-on current tense statement is contemporary political events and thus not commenting.


~ Bob
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Prosperity After WWII

Post by Globalization41 » 04 Apr 2018 19:56

Hey Bob. I totally agree that the term "imperialism" is neutral. Strategically, the British Empire (and Christian missionaries) promoted prosperity, stability, and improvement of morality. On the minus side, the list of tactical negatives has already been well covered.

[There is a large school of thought that America's Great Depression was extended for several years by the FDR "alphabet agencies" and their remolding of the US economy.]

The grand total of persons employed at the start of the Great Depression was finally equaled 11 years later, in early 1941. Roosevelt's "alphabet soup" eased the Depression at a slow rate. F.D.R. encountered much political resistance. WWII stimulated the economy. A labor shortage developed. Management had to compete for labor. ... Expensive tanks & planes and millions of men in the Army seemingly would overload an economy. But everyone needed clothing, roads, transportation, food, water, electricity, medical care, schooling, recreation, etc. Instead of a crash, prosperity developed. Business created wealth, but Uncle Sam facilitated wealth creation.

[The US could afford the Vietnam War until LBJ also introduced the "Great Society" program. The combination of this "guns and butter" was too much for the US national economy. LBJ had introduced permanent deficit financing. In March, 1968, US Secretary of the Treasury Henry Fowler, protested to LBJ that the US dollar would soon be under serious threat.]

I think the "Great Society" program was set up to attenuate the unpopular Jim Crow caste system. (If I'm wrong, please correct me.) ... There were plenty of jobs available during the Vietnam War. Most people only heard about the bad economy on the news. Even the hippies lived good. ... The Soviet economy wasn't really booming during the Vietnam War. China was still mostly an illiterate peasant economy.

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Re: Prosperity After WWII

Post by South » 04 Apr 2018 21:40

Good afternoon Globalization 41,

Use sound discretion when mentioning the colonialists' missionaries and "improvement of morality". What constitutes morality is not universal. Think of the British "east of Suez" and polygamy. Although, for balance, contra: the new widow throwing herself on top of the funeral's cremation fire (British India [forgot the Governor's name who prohibited practice]).

Agree that the Great Society program addressed the Jim Crow economic deprivation. Yet, the BIG item was Medicare - and the actuaries and financiers in 1964 knew this darn well. The other planks of the Great Society program such as Medicaid (medical care for the poor), Public Broadcast Service - In the nicest of terms I can only say it's no BBC !, the urban mass transit systems, and the increase requirements for minimum wages.....no longer would young kids pump gasoline as stations nor collect grocery carts at stores, ........ The automatic teller machine ("ATM") arrived because low-value labor was priced out of the workplace.

The Soviet economy never really got developed. Nikita Khrushchev visited the Garst corn farm in west central Iowa.....Khrushchev had been a corn farmer and was impressed with this showcase American farm that developed hybrid corn. Yet, the Roswell Garst farm was so publicly subsidized.......

Concur; China was an illiterate peasant society - less cities - until 2 decades later.


~ Bob
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Prosperity After WWII

Post by Globalization41 » 05 Apr 2018 05:57

Hey Bob. Always nice to hear your observations. ... If Medicare were cut, health workers would lose jobs. They would purchase less autos, houses, refrigerators, lawn mowers, etc. The government would get less tax revenue with which to pay the increased number of citizens needing assistance. ... Before eliminating Medicare, a better way might be to create a labor shortage first. If there is still not enough revenue to pay for Medicare, there would be plenty of jobs available for those health workers losing their jobs.

[The Soviet economy never really got developed. Nikita Khrushchev visited the Garst corn farm in west central Iowa.....Khrushchev had been a corn farmer and was impressed with this showcase American farm that developed hybrid corn. Yet, the Roswell Garst farm was so publicly subsidized.......]

Khrushchev, I believe, had supervised large collective farms in his younger days. ... I like P.B.S. and N.P.R. They should be subsidized to the point that "pledge drives" are not needed. They provide quality competition for commercial stations.

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Re: Prosperity After WWII

Post by South » 05 Apr 2018 08:19

Good morning Globalization 41,

I'm using maximum prudence for us not to drift off-topic too far in re the theme "prosperity after WWII".

Both productive labor activity and non-productive labor activity produce jobs. One of these categories requires public subsidy. The subsidy is large - and much of it hidden from view. "Needing" assistance is a Rosetta Stone to the post WWII prosperity and the prosperity's deficiencies. Many in need are not reached. The recreational SCUBA diver bitten by the shark gets the care and the injured worker at Walmart or Trader Joe's is still waiting in line.

The US citizens with lawnmowers - and cars - and houses - were indirectly subsidized by the European allies and the defeated. Glance again at the Bermuda Accords.....only because I once referenced them here......there are many illustrations. Contemplate what happened to eg Folker and Sabina airlines. .........and it's not "just" nationalism; the consolidation also occurred in post war USA.

"Quality competition" does no - cannot - emanate from the public sector. The BIG, MAJOR "exception" to this......and it's not really an exception but rather the evolving development of civilization and it's economic activity......is the - State Trading Company -.

State trading companies cannot appropriately be discussed here, at least, for now.

In the meantime, mentally make comparisons of your area's public sector payrolls and private sector payrolls. Look at the number of employees on each, the ratio and the amounts of the salary check plus any benefits package.

It's as clear as white light passing through a prism.


~ Bob
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Re: Prosperity After WWII

Post by wm » 05 Apr 2018 09:04

Being "friendly toward the U.S." was incompatible with Soviet control over Eastern Bloc countries - which required liquidation of any independent political forces there.
So Stalin reasonably chose the Eastern Bloc over friendship with the US. As in the thirties, it was security and military power first, bread and butter later.

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Re: Prosperity After WWII

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 05 Apr 2018 16:03

Globalization41 wrote:If Stalin had been more friendly toward the U.S. after WWII, Russia could now be rich like Japan, South Korea, China, Israel, and Germany.

Globalization41.
Which country launched the first satellite into space ? the first man into space ? Looks like it's not Japan, South Korea, China, Israel, or Germany.
Was it Stalin who was not friendly towards the US or the US who were not friendly towards Stalin ? Looks like Stalin was good friend of Roosevelt, but not of Truman (far more conservative).

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Prosperity After WWII

Post by Globalization41 » 05 Apr 2018 18:46

[Which country launched the first satellite into space ? the first man into space ? Looks like it's not Japan, South Korea, China, Israel, or Germany.] The Soviet Union launched the first man into outer space, but it couldn't afford to put men on the moon. ... If Roosevelt had survived his last term, him and Stalin might have got along. V.P. Wallace was a big fan of Stalin too, but he was replace by Truman in 1944. Wallace would have been best friends with Stalin. Truman and Stalin did not like each other. ... The Germans did launch the first batch of rockets, but not into outer space. ... Unlike Stalin, China took advantage of America's good will and became prosperous. China did not get rich by running massive trade deficits. Balanced trade with the U.S. is now defined as a trade war. ... What if Stalin had died at the end of WWII? Suppose he had been partying with Beria and Molotov late at night and ended up with alcohol poisoning, for example. Both Beria and Molotov advised being friendly with the U.S., which would have translated into more prosperity for the U.S.S.R. ... Russia could have cut China off on the path to prosperity. ... Bob, the correction factor for benefits in 1991 was 1.41. A salary of $100 equaled $141 allocated by the company.

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