Deutschland unter alles

Let’s add one more strand to our understanding of how the world is being shaped at the moment, this one on Merkel’s Germany. Here’s how it starts.

The best profile of Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel in the English language is this one.  This is no doubt she was very sympathetic to the Soviets growing up. Her parents moved from West Germany to East Germany in 1954, soon after she was born. She literally got her communism with her mother’s milk. At 1970 at the age of 16 she won the national prize in East Germany for her Russian-speaking ability. At Leipzig University she devoted a year to studying Marxist-Leninist thought. She attended a university in Leningrad for a year in 1977, away from Stasi and available to the KGB without the Stasi being aware. Coincidentally, Vladimir Putin was a KGB officer in Leningrad in 1977.

From there it gets only more incredible but remains plausible to the end, to put it mildly. Only the relatively optimistic tone in the conclusion seems misplaced. I suppose you have to hope.

They would sell them the uranium used to blow their cities to pieces

I’ve already discussed PDT’s approach to dealing with Obama’s Iranian sellout and now’s the time to look at Germany’s: Germany: Merkel Gov, Media Slam Trump on Iran Nuke Deal. If it’s anyone who understands the meaning of Munich, they are the ones. And in this are they looking for some means to defuse a dangerous international situation in which nuclear weapons end up in the hands of madmen? Don’t be silly.

Not just former US President Obama, Chancellor Merkel of Germany, too, regards the nuclear deal with Iran as her greatest diplomatic accomplishment. The prominent German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung summed up the central role played by the Merkel government, writing, “Among all the parties working to bring about a negotiated deal, Germans enjoyed [Iranian regime’s] special trust.”

Corporate Germany loved the deal too. The Bavaria Chamber of Commerce, the leading trade body in the country, told its clients ahead of the deal that the “German media landscape across the board agrees that lucrative deals worth billions are waiting to be made in Iran. As soon as the sanction are lifted, the run on the markets begins.”

The hopes were well-founded. German exports to Iran soared, raking in billions of euros in revenue for the fat cats supporting major political parties.

Watching President Trump chip away that political legacy and threaten those corporate profits by decertifying the Iran Nuclear Deal in his Friday speech provoked angry reactions from the German government and corporate media.

We have reached a new level of short-term idiocy with this one – better even than being the last capitalist who sells the rope used to hang him.

Maybe we should be frightened

refugee rape

This is the kind of story we are being spared by the media precisely so that we do not became terrified by what is going on in Europe. The basic premise of progressive internationalism is that every culture is basically the same and that civilised values are a universal. Maybe, but there are then stories like this one that make you ask what happens if that isn’t true. The title is Germany’s Migrant Rape Epidemic. Here’s part of what it says:

A growing number of women and young girls housed in refugee shelters in Germany are being raped, sexually assaulted and even forced into prostitution by male asylum seekers, according to German social work organizations with first-hand knowledge of the situation. . . .

Conditions for women and girls at some shelters are so perilous that females are being described as “wild game” fighting off Muslim male predators. But many victims, fearing reprisals, are keeping silent, social workers say.

At the same time, growing numbers of German women in towns and cities across the country are being raped by asylum seekers from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Many of the crimes are being downplayed by German authorities and the national media, apparently to avoid fueling anti-immigration sentiments.

The question is, if these are the kinds of people who are entering Europe, why wouldn’t you want to fuel anti-immigration sentiments. The answer to this question I do not know, but there is much evidence that the authorities are conniving with the media to keep these stories out of the news. Everyone knows, of course, it’s just not in the news so it is not officially true so no one officially needs to do a single thing. The reality is that the demographic shift in Europe may be the biggest story of our time yet is virtually never mentioned in the press.

Yet this is where some good could actually be done. By branding rapists as the barbarians they are, perhaps some kinds of social pressure could be brought to bear on such practices. By saying nothing in public we are, in effect, condoning behaviours that are disgusting to their very core. We must side up with the women being attacked, and do what we can to protect them from some of the most vile human scum who are found in their midst.

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.