Democrats Need To Learn From Poland

The American economy is sluggish. Growth has been so low that the economy is creeping along. In the US unemployment remains high, the middle class is shrinking, record numbers of people in poverty and millions who have given up looking for work.

Poland’s economy can serve as a model for US recovery. Two years ago I visited Poland and was impressed with its growth and vitality. One thing was made clear to me was the universal hatred by Poles of socialism and everything about it. Their socialism, of course, was communism which also had the theme of redistribution of wealth. Ask any Pole and he/she will tell you the only ones who benefitted from the redistribution were the government bureaucrats. So they embraced capitalism and love it.

Between 2008 and 2011, Poland’s economy grew by 15.8% while the European Union’s cumulative economy shrank by half a percent. It was the only country in Europe whose economy did not contract in 2009. How did they do it?

One of the major factors is that they have been careful NOT to accumulate major debt. They have a very low debt level because they don’t have unsustainable entitlement programs draining their economy. Analysts credit Poland with smart monetary and fiscal policies. For example, they don’t invest in risky ventures like Solyndra but in proven products that can be exported. In addition, productivity levels are high. Poles work 500 more hours than their German neighbors for a fifth of their salaries. One reason they can work for less is that their cost of living is less. Again, no high taxes for entitlement programs or foolish investments puts more money in the pockets of the Poles. Finally, you cannot spend Euros in Poland. By not joining the European Economic Union, they have avoided paying for the economic woes of Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. All of the latter nations went down the socialist path and ended up with debts they could not pay off.

So why is Obama leading us down the debt soaked path of socialism? Poland had been down that path and rejected it. Capitalism is flourishing in Poland. Liberals never learn!

(Just a personal note: Poland was the cleanist nation I ever visited.  I never saw a piece of paper or trash on the streets.)


About camden41

Retired public school administrator Retired history professor: Taught Western Civilization, American Civil War, United States History, Economic History, Ancient & Medieval Foundations, American History Since 1945
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