Few Americans, Asians, or Europeans realize how advanced the Polish economy has become over the past three decades. As President Donald Trump makes his second overseas trip, it is no mistake that he chose to come to Warsaw. Poland has been in Afghanistan and Iraq the U.S. most faithful trusted ally providing support with troops. Of the International Monetary Fund wealthy or advanced countries, Poland is most likely to join the club of 40 who have a per-capita income of at least around $15,000 US. Since the advent of Solidarity Poland’s grown annually at a rate of 4% with the per capita earnings going from $2,300 to near $13,000. Poland adopted financial discipline and institutional reforms beginning in the late 1980’s stretching to the present day. The pro-American streak began with Brigadier General Taddeusz Kosciusko who fought in the Revolutionary War in 1776 mustering out at the Tavern in New York City where George Washington gave him his Cincinnati Club ring. It was sustained when Chicago Poles funded a brigade to fight in France during World War I obtaining permission to join Pilsudski in freeing Poland from Russia. In World War II, Poles fought at the side of Americans in Italy, France and Africa. With nearly 40,000,000 Poles and a half trillion dollar economy Poland is now twenty-fourth in the world putting others on notice that it is now a global economic powerhouse. Poland is doing so in manufacturing power. With a floating cheap currency, the zloty, and relatively low wages (1/3 German salaries), Poland is more competitive than Asia. Polish exports from manufacturing account for 1/3 its gross domestic product. Polish exporting manufacturing prowess has stabilized it’s economy by generating reliable foreign revenue allowing it to invest heavily without running into huge debts. Despite many media accounts, the current Polish government has wisely chosen not to take in Muslim migrants thus being the only E.U. nation without terrorist fatal incidents. Poland’s deficit and public debt remain manageable. The currency is stable. Exports continue to boom. Its trade balance is in surplus. And President Trump will encourage Poland to have energy independence from Russia by purchasing American liquefied gas. Poland is a vital NATO ally but a leader in the most vibrant economic bloc of successful nations.
Robert John Zagar PhD MPH and Agata Karolina Zagar MBA.