For one thing, Poland has substantially bigger government than the US; in 2007, that is, pre-crisis, the Polish government spent 42 percent of GDP, compared with 37 in the United States. And despite what Romney claimed, there was no obvious trend toward smaller government; Polish spending as a share of GDP was about the same in 2007 as it had been in 2000.
Oh, and universal health care too.
Beyond that, there’s a good explanation of Poland’s relative resilience in the crisis compared with most of Europe: currency depreciation, or as Republicans put it, debasing the currency (note that a rise here is a fall in the zloty):
When capital was flowing into the European periphery, Poland responded with appreciation rather than inflation — and when the capital flows dried up, Poland quickly regained competitiveness with depreciation, rather than having to rely on slow, grinding “internal devaluation”.
So actually Poland’s success suggests that (a) big government isn’t so bad (b) sometimes its good to debase your currency.
Source: New York Times (click here)