Related BLS programs | Related articles
June 2005, Vol. 128, No. 6
BLS and the Marshall Plan: the forgotten story
Solidelle F. Wasser and Michael L. Dolfman
The European Recovery Program (Marshall Plan) has been recognized as the most successful foreign-aid program ever undertaken by the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) role in the accomplishments of the Marshall Plan’s Technical Assistance Program has largely been ignored. This article highlights the BLS achievements in the Marshall Plan.
The Marshall Plan was named for then Secretary of State George C. Marshall, who, on June 5, 1947, proposed his solution to war-devastated Europe. The proposal was enacted into law in April 1948 as the European Recovery Program, which created an Economic Cooperation Administration Agency to organize and administer the program. The Marshall Plan recognized that the economies of Western European countries had continued to deteriorate in the immediate post-World War II period and that provisions of massive loans to individual countries had proven to be a failure.1 Marshall’s recovery plan proposal was revolutionary in that it required mutual cooperation among those 16 countries (a 17th, the German Federal Republic, joined in 1949) that responded to the invitation to participate. Recipients of American assistance under the Marshall Plan joined together to produce multilateral solutions to common economic problems. The result was a massive effort to improve the economic condition of 270 million people in Western Europe through increasing their domestic production by collaborative effort. The participants proposed to do this by strengthening the economic superstructure of Western Europe.
This excerpt is from an article published in the June 2005 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
Read abstract Download full article in PDF (55K)
1 See http://www.marshallfoundation.org (visited May 24, 2004). Summary of the Marshall Plan: "The idea of massive U.S. loans to individual countries had already been tried (nearly $20 billion – mainly long-term, low interest loans –since the war’s end) and had failed to make any headway against Europe’s social and economic problems."
Related BLS programs
Foreign Labor Statistics
Helping Poland cope
A century of wage statistics: the BLS contribution.—Nov. 1984.
Within Monthly Labor Review Online:
Welcome | Current Issue | Index | Subscribe | Archives
Exit Monthly Labor Review Online:
BLS Home | Publications & Research Papers