Although the planned economies of Eastern Europe and elsewhere are not successful in all respects, their performance must nevertheless be judged very favourably if the same criteria that we often apply to Western economies are applied to them, for in the last two decades the planned economies have consistently maintained full employment, and quite rapid growth rates, while avoiding for the most part the problems of inflation and severe overseas deficits which would have been their concomitant in the West. It is true that the economic achievements of Eastern Europe have not always matched their ambitious plans, but the achievements themselves have been impressive enough. Even the much less comprehensive and ambitious forms of planning which have been adopted in France have gone along with rather better economic performance than in much of the rest of Western Europe, though the direction of causality remains unclear.
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