Sunday, July 20, 2008

Marshall Plan Creep

More and more often, the Marshall Plan is used rhetorically-- by politicians, pundits, and the like-- as a paragon for what this country needs. Just in the past month, the Plan has been used as a model for what we need on foreign aid, Iraq, literacy, Pakistan, economic security, climate change, and Czech missile defense. And that's just the beginning of the list.

I'm as much enamored with the success of the Marshall Plan as anybody else (I even went to a panel discussion of the Plan's legacy at the German Marshall Fund last summer), but let's get serious here. The investment required for the Plan is not the kind of thing we can pop off for every issue that rolls around. What's more, it's not a great analogy for things that don't entail sending piles of money overseas to help rebuild allies. The most apt analogy in that list is foreign aid-- kudos to Barack for that--but I, William Easterly, and other aid skeptics aren't sold on Obama's idea that doubling foreign aid to Africa will solve many problems.

As for the other problems on that list, I might invoke other successes of 20th century American history as more apt analogies for what's needed. Let's not forget the Manhattan Project, the Interstate Highway System, the Apollo program, the GI Bill, and others. I'm a fan of massive, concerted investment by the government-- these are some of the greatest successes of the past 80 years, and they yielded new technology, new infrastructure, and renewed faith in America. Of course it costs, but investment is sacrifice, and our country has gotten too fat and comfortable, too used to getting what we want without giving anything up. Note that the most recent of those successes, the Apollo program, reached fruition nearly forty years ago. So, while I'm cynical about the overuse of the Marshall Plan as a rhetorical device, I'm generally inclined to agree with the sentiment.

And that's what I hope to see from Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention in August. I want him to ask me to do something, ask me to make a sacrifice, tell me that even though the economy isn't in great shape, now more than ever we need to come together and put our energy toward solving the daunting challenges we face. In the vein of JFK's "ask what you can do for your country," I want to hear Obama make a call for everyone to make small sacrifices for a larger cause, something bigger than themselves. People want to believe in America, and they need to hear this. My generation, particularly, wants it, and, I think, would respond.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I
have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.
In any case I'll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!
Here is my webpage ; coffee bean extract with svetol

18/12/12 1:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, always i used to check website posts here in the early hours in the daylight, as i like to gain knowledge of more and more.
My web-site electronic cigarette wholesale

18/12/12 7:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Admiring the commitment you put into your blog and
in depth information you offer. It's nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same
unwanted rehashed material. Excellent read!
I've bookmarked your site and I'm including your RSS feeds to my Google account.
Also see my website > Buy Facebook Likes Cheap

18/12/12 3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I'm impressed! Very helpful information particularly the last part :) I care for such info a lot. I was seeking this certain information for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.
Also see my web page :: Yachting ecommerce specialist

25/1/13 10:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this kind of house . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this web site. Reading this info So i'm satisfied
to express that I have an incredibly just right uncanny feeling I found out
exactly what I needed. I so much undoubtedly will make sure to don?
t fail to remember this web site and provides it a glance regularly.

my web-site gaba
Also see my website - online shopping in india

3/3/13 2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tend not to write a lot of responses, however i did a few searching and wound up here "Marshall Plan Creep".
And I actually do have 2 questions for you if it's allright. Could it be just me or does it give the impression like some of these comments appear like they are left by brain dead visitors? :-P And, if you are writing on additional sites, I would like to keep up with anything fresh you have to post. Could you list of all of your community sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

Feel free to visit my webpage - careers
my site > jobs in uk

3/3/13 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find nearly all of your post's to be precisely what I'm looking for.
Would you offer guest writers to write content to suit your needs?
I wouldn't mind producing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you write about here. Again, awesome web log!

Feel free to surf to my web site: locksmith sandy utah

6/3/13 3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice respond in return of this query with
genuine arguments and telling all on the topic
of that.

Here is my page; fitness

11/3/13 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Superb, what a website it is! This webpage
presents useful information to us, keep it up.

Feel free to visit my web blog

28/5/13 2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello my friend! I want to say that this post is
amazing, great written and come with approximately all significant infos.
I would like to look extra posts like this .

My homepage - pissing pussy

1/6/13 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's actually a great and useful piece of information. I'm satisfied
that you just shared this useful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this.
Thank you for sharing.

Review my blog - asian hot porn star (

11/6/13 5:22 PM  
Anonymous douche said...

Howdy! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to look it over. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Terrific blog and wonderful design and style.

28/11/13 1:02 AM  
Blogger mytapworld said...

We are Professional manufacturer of high quality taps. We offer a collection of more than 10,000 Taps in our

16/12/13 8:10 PM  
Blogger finestglasses said...

You don need do anything but click here to get free prescription glasses. I believe you never have such a great chance to get free glasses. Hurry up.

7/3/14 8:18 PM  
Blogger robinet sale said...

Ensuite, vous pouvez robinets vente sur Internet pour voir si elles ont le même, ou un projet similaire avec moins de prix. Seulement une chose que vous robinets cascade, toutefois, la possibilité de perdre tous vos dép?ts dans l'expédition et de manutention. Ne robinetterie baignoire sélectionnez mitigeur douche est vraiment à l'aise dans ce domaine semble bon nécessité. Il contribue non robinet LED à la décoration de salle de bains, il peut s'assurer qu'il est à bien des égards. Bain et douche robinet peut vous co?ter un peu plus que vous voulez mitigeur douche, mais une fois que vous l'avez, il semble vraiment bon dans la chambre.

28/7/14 9:10 PM  
Blogger dc Z said...

Achat en ligne pour Bricolage un vaste choix de Robinets de bain, Robinets de douche, Systèmes baignoire & douche de plus à prix bas tous les jours.

14/8/15 2:45 AM  
Blogger Amy Carry said... are one of the necessary things needed in a home. All bathrooms must have Waterfall faucet; there is no bath space without them. These Faucet parts help to control the free out flow of water, and even do much more these days

13/10/16 10:57 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home