Obama’s Marshall Plan

Obama speaks today on development:

We will have to provide meaningful resources to meet critical priorities. I know development assistance is not the most popular program, but as President, I will make the case to the American people that it can be our best investment in increasing the common security of the entire world. That was true with the Marshall Plan, and that must be true today.

That’s why I’ll double our foreign assistance to $50 billion by 2012, and use it to support a stable future in failing states, and sustainable growth in Africa; to halve global poverty and to roll back disease. To send once more a message to those yearning faces beyond our shores that says, “You matter to us. Your future is our future. And our moment is now.

Does this speech imply that Obama is after a Sachs-like solution? Anyone know the little details?

By the way, my favorite paper of Brad Delong’s (with Barry Eichengreen) is The Marshall Plan:
History’s Most Successful Structural Adjustment Program
. The basic argument: the Marshall Plan worked, but not why you think.

So what is the better development strategy: Marshall Plan in ideal, or Marshall Plan in reality? Read Obama’s entire speech. He seems to favor the ideal.

Thanks to CGD’s Dave Terpeny for the heads up.

2 thoughts on “Obama’s Marshall Plan

  1. “anyone know the details”
    Obama? Details?
    Isn’t that a contradiction? I’m not American so I’m not following that closely, but isn’t his thing speeches rather then details?
    Anyway this is an election. He said ‘double’ & he put down a number. That’s pretty detailed, considering.

  2. Well, Mr. Blattman, it certainly looks like a Sachs-like approach. Which is rather foolish of MR. Obama. In a way, China has been doing exactly what Sachs has been theorizing about without the predicted results. Throwing more money at Africa won’t solve any problems. But, in all fairness, I’m a Easterly follower myself so I’m rather biased about this whole business. By the way did you have a chance to look at the latest book by Easterly – Reinventing Foreign Aid?