Full text: From Stagnation in the 30s to Slow Growth in the 70s.

15 
Thus, a certain stability of the share of labour in the income 
being to some extent assured, the chances of finding markets 
for the new goods, the television sets ( the washing machines 
and the cars were good. The philosophy of consumption 
and high wages worked. ( A less desirable consequence 
was the great differentiation of wage levels in different 
sectors of the economy ). 
The other element which kept profit margins within limits 
was international compettition. Here again the conditions 
were completely different from those of pre-war, due to 
liberalisation and Gatt agreements, the multinationals 
and the intense technological competition. 
A further important condition for the continuation of 
growth was the relative absence of the foreign balance 
constraint ( if we except Britain where this constraint 
played a major role ). The scarcity of dollars in the first 
post-«war period had been taken care of by the Mrshall plan 
and the loans of the U.S., a direct and indirect supply of 
dollarsj while within Europe the European payments union helped. 
No doubt there was still plenty of disturbance but 
not as much as could reverse the trend of growth. 
Cooperation in the international field prevailed, because 
Western democracy felt the obligation of making a good show 
in comparison with the East. This motivation was very 
clear in the competitive efforts in the field of education 
and research.
	        

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