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by Gabor Steinhart in Washington
Sunday, Feb. 08, 2009 at 6:35 PM
The United States is experiencing its worst crisis in decades. Obama is trying to fight it by preparing one gigantic economic stimulus program after the other. But the hangover is inevitable, and if the desired economic miracle doesn't materialize, it will be a massive one.
"FDR, as the Depression- and World War II-era president is commonly known, remains popular in the United States today. Obama describes him as his role model.
The idea works like this: You take money that you don't have, you let it rain down on the people and public construction projects start to spring up all across the country. Under FDR, the country built 900,000 kilometers of new roads, 77,000 new bridges and 285 additional airports. Under Obama, the country will see millions of new high-speed Internet connections, health insurance companies will obtain modern computer systems and the parks on Capitol Hill will be freshly landscaped.
It's a shame, though, that Obama hasn't shopped around a bit more. He could have looked to Germany for ideas -- its competing plan for rescuing the economy is certainly worth a look. It's cheaper and has a longer shelf life than a lot of the other products currently available on the intellectual market. It originated in the 1950s and is referred to as a "culture of stability."
It was the handiwork of former German Economics Minister Ludwig Erhard, better known as the father of the country's post-war Wirtschaftswunder ("economic miracle"). Erhard's model not only functions differently from FDR's, it also smells different -- namely of sweat.
His plan shuns excessive debt.."
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