Had the political masters of Poland been satisfied with a more modest trade ratio, they might have warded off the resentment of many frustrated citizens. The ratios of real economies fluctuate between these two extremes. How does a society, led by bold politicians who are advised by erudite economists, arrive at the pertinent ratio that effectively optimises its national welfare? Tim Congdon is one such contemporary disciple. He reiterates that 'exports have no unique or special attributes as an economy's adrenalin-pump. In the post-war world the trade equilibrium of few countries has been determined decisively by the 'natural' flow of imports and exports. There has been a general trend for the national ratios to climb – or rather to be pushed up – to higher levels. A prestigious German journal, pontificating on the negative spin-offs from rising exports, concluded that 'what is good for Volkswagen, Bayer or Thyssen, is not necessarily also good for the whole of the German economy'.