Starvation and Military Keynesianism: Lessons from Nazi Germany

6611Julian Adorney writes in today’s Mises Daily:

The myth endures that after Hitler inherited a country ravaged by the Great Depression in 1933, his aggressive policies turned the nation around and created an economic powerhouse. But the truth, as Professor Evans of the University of Cambridge argues in his seminal history The Third Reich Trilogy, is something far different.

Evans, a Marxist sympathetic to Keynes and state intervention, nonetheless tells a story of rationing, shortages, and misery in the Third Reich. The Reich Food Estate, the state-controlled corporation responsible for agricultural production, regularly failed to feed its people. Agricultural output rarely surpassed 1913 levels, in spite of 20 years of technological advancement. Demand outstripped supply by 30 percent in basic foodstuffs like pork, fruit, and fats. That meant that for every ten German workers who stood in line to buy meat from the state-owned supply depots, three went home hungry.

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