West Germany: A Little Planning

As the postwar director of West Germany's shell-shocked economy, Ludwig Erhard rejected the remedy that a great many experts recommended for such a situation—a rigidly planned economy. With the rubble all around him, he began extolling the virtues of free enterprise and launched what has since come to be known as the Wirtschaftswunder (economic miracle). As recently as 1961, Erhard publicly deplored the fact that "there are still traces of the economic planner's mentality in our economy."

Now Erhard is Chancellor, and with some of the Wunder gone out of the Wirtschaft, he has turned toward the kind of planning that...

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