Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I have no idea how it's playing in the US media, but in case it isn't coming through, check out Dave Lindorff's the Real Story of the German Elections. It's pretty much on the money.

Basically, Germany is struggling with a transition towards US-style capitalism. It is far from there yet and it may not stay on that path. One piece of evidence in the struggle is the 11% unemployment figure Lindorff, sadly, repeats without analysis.

Basically, around half of the unemployed in Germany are in what used to be the German Democratic Republic (i.e. East Germany). Most of the rest are concentrated in pockets like the Ruhr region (near me, basically). Most of the unemployed are in their 40s or older. Most of the unemployed, in other words, are folks who used to work for the steel, coal, and similar heavy industries. Their jobs are gone. Their jobs will never come back. There is next to nothing any government can do short of forcing these folks to go work for Taco Bell (I say that because of Michael Moore's AWESOME "Roger and Me"). Since Germany has no Taco Bells, we have a problem.

Only the Linkspartei, by the way, and the handful of other far left parties have really talked about this.

Merkel is done anyway, I reckon. I can't imagine how she will form a government. I still think Schröder will pull one out of his ass.


At 1:32 AM, Blogger wvbetty said...

There's a place called Germany?


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