Op-Ed What Americans abroad know about Bernie Sanders and you should know too
Susan Neiman is the director of the Einstein Forum in Germany, where she has lived since 2000, and the author, most recently, of “Why Grow Up?"
The following statement from the LA Times article is 180 degrees off base. Totally wrong compared to other articles being written today. What we have with this Bernie Sanders article is how people view socialism and benefits differently and it ends up mostly talking about Germany’s benefits.
“But Germany is a model worth emulating: Its economy remains one of the strongest to emerge from the 2008 financial crisis. It has managed to preserve much of its manufacturing base in the process of becoming a dominant player in a globalized world. It is a major industrial exporter. Its success has gone hand in hand with laws and practices that American workers, blue collar or white, would be grateful for."
Germany has always been the industrial giant and leader in Europe. Germany has controlled the banking and therefore controls a lot of the EU’s political power.
The way labor in Europe works is there is always a few countries in financial trouble. The workers from those countries would just go work in Germany when money got tight in their country. But that has changed now with the EU.
What I see is happening is that when Russia broke up, Germany got the windfall of very skilled labor for its manufacturing. Much of that labor is now Germanized or went back to their new country that they came from.
Labor has created a major problem for Germany. A new term started popping up relating to this problem. It is “deindustrialization". Use it with the search term “Germany" and you will see what I am talking about.
Germans are no dummies. They figure if the Russian’s go home or want the higher wages all they had to do was bring in new workers from outside Europe. Germany would get to keep the cream of the crop because it had the best jobs and the rest of the immigrants Germany would pawn off to the other countries.
The economist and political power of Germany blew it big time on this logic. They somehow missed the skilled labor part of the equation. Germany has not been able to lower it labor costs. Other countries in the Euro are now taking manufacturing production away from Germany because of Germany’s high labor costs.
What Germany is trying to do now, without much success is to get the other EU countries to give the workers more benefits so their labor costs will go up. In other words if you can’t lower your labor costs, make the other countries raise theirs.
Point being, as Americans, we should run like hell from this type of socialism. It is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme run by a political party. Like all Ponzi scheme they are wonderful for the first people in, but disastrous for the generations down the road.
Once again, Mike Yohe has taken something with a grain of truth and distorted it beyond recognition. I did as he suggested and searched on “deindustrialization” and “germany.” I found nothing that backs Yohe’s assertions, but did find plenty of articles discussing how Germany is partnering with formerly Communist East European countries, including this one:
“Until very recently few Polish leaders would have dared express a desire for a powerful Germany. Yet given their nation’s growing commercial interdependence with Germany, opinions are changing: economic stability in Europe and economic partnership with Germany is now a critical concern. Prime Minister Donald Tusk, along with many in the Polish business community, see Poland’s economic future as so intimately intertwined with Western Europe’s that they want to join the euro, despite the current mess. Others have gone further in expressing their appreciation of Poland’s growing interdependence with Germany. As Radoslaw Sikorski, Poland’s Foreign Minister, remarked in 2011: “I will probably be the first Polish Foreign Minister in history to say so, but here it is: I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear German inactivity.”
Rather than a failing economy Germany is very healthy, despite Volkswagen’s current crisis.