Tuesday, November 10, 2009

GDR memories

The Guardian publishes misty memories from someone with a bad case of Ostalgie.

Nearly all treatments have heterogeneous treatment effects, even the totalitarian dictatorship treatment. No doubt the Guardian could find, if it cared to, folks who miss the good old days under Ceaucescu in Romania or Pol Pot in Cambodia. But why share them when it is so obvious that the great mass of people are far better off? Note too that the brave new world of capitalism that the author complains about is West Germany, where you get a never-ending stream of generous social assistance checks just for having a pulse, along with health care and other goodies paid for by your neighbors.

I should note too that my sense from my German economist friends who are familiar with departments in the former GDR is that the problem was not too many dismissals of socialist deadwood economics professors, but rather too few.

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