The German election

The German election is another milestone of governments moving to the right with the re-election of Obama the standout exception. But my interest is the economic policies that led to such a stunning outcome. Where is the textbook that will explain any of this to you?

During the campaign, Merkel said that insisting on reforms in euro countries that received aid was the only way to raise Europe’s competitiveness, citing the fall in German joblessness from a post-World War II high of 12.1 percent in 2005 following a labor-market overhaul. The German unemployment rate is now 6.8 percent compared to 12.1 in the 17-nation euro region. German 10-year bond yields are 1.94 percent, while comparable U.K. gilts yield 2.92 percent and U.S. debt 2.73 percent. . . .

For now, with wages rising and the budget deficit virtually eliminated, voters backed her handling of the domestic economy, and her push for austerity in the euro zone in exchange for aid.

Right now I have arrived at the macro section of my course and am teaching the standard aggregate demand-aggregate supply mantra of the 99%. It just strikes me as utterly incredible that this is still what we make every student of economics learn. Evidence based policy is not much in evidence it seems to me.

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