Palau May Soon Be Up For An Economic Marshall Plan

By Hackson Henry —-

Former British PM Winston Churchill called it, “the most unselfish act by a great power in history”. He was referring to the altruistic program thatAmericadid in 1948, called Marshall Plan, which a $13 billion loan helped rebuild the economy of war torn Europe. 

Skeptics called itAmerica’s new form of economic imperialism that was bound to fail. However, history proved them wrong because by 1951,Europesaw a 35% increase in economic growth and then full recovery later on, thanks to the massive infusion of American cash.

This topic surfaced during a conversation with a local chief who visited my office yesterday unannounced. He said he is an avid reader of this weekly column.

He half jokingly asked me what I can do forPalauif I ever became a President. At his advanced age, he wants someone to crack the window toPalau’s future so be can envision it now before he departs this life. To play a Nostradamus role, I predicted thatPalauwill do something big in the future. I told the chief, “politics is not my cup of tea but if I had it, I will institute a Palauan version of Marshall Plan”. Amused, the chief asked, “ollek, tel ang ngerang ?”.

I went on to describe how a massive infusion of cash can jolt an economy to life as it did inEuropeafter WWII. This concept came up in June 5, 1947 after George Marshall’s speech atHarvardUniversityadvisingAmericato give a massive loan to resuscitateEuropeback to life. In 1948, US Congress approved theMarshall’s idea into law. I explained to the chief that I am a liberal thinker and I believe in taking calculated risks. I also told him that I despise the “metara mindset” that has gripped of our country. That was my justification forPalaueventually going to have its own economic Marshall Plan soon in order to bolster our economy.

The chief seemed convinced but looked perplexed. He went on to ask about the implementation of such a noble idea. I said, “very simple. I will obtain a $100 million development loan from the World Bank and inject it intoPalau’s Economic Development Authority (PEDA) to manage and allocate the funds into revenue generating tourism related projects”.Palaucould use a Golf Course, a cultural village, more 5 star hotels for the far flung states and gaming for tourists only on Angaur state. These projects’ compounding effect will easily spawn another $200 million intoPalau’s economy sufficient to pay off the loan and shootPalauinto a financial stratosphere.

“Wow”, exploded the chief in a massive laughter. “You should bePalau’s President someday”, he gasped nearly falling off his chair. He bought the idea.

After my good ruback friend left my office, I slowly digested my thoughts and concluded that if I am ever put in a position of authority, I will certainly initiate an economic Marshall Plan to get our economy moving fast forward. I believe Palauans are special people with special skills and with great passion to be winners. Certainly, nickels and dimes will not go anywhere and foreign aid only weakens us. If Marshall Plan proved successful in Europe than certainly, it may just work forPalau.

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