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deepflows  ·  1748 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Don’t Be So Sure the Economy Will Return to Normal

    Early in the previous decade, Germany realized its economic model wasn’t working, and it accepted lower real wages for many workers.

    Even though growth in living standards has been slow, the German economy has been flexible and has appeared to be on a sustainable track. Maybe that was the best Germany could do.

Who is this "Germany" who realized the economic model wasn't working and accepted lower real wages? It sure wasn't the employees.

Of course the economic model isn't and wasn't working. However, the "fix" as implemented has been quite destructive. It really brought the concept of "working poor" to Germany. This in effect exported some unemployment to other European nations (who are still dealing with the results) but also requires constant and significant state subsidies to even raise millions of people's wages to a (barely) sustainable level. Those same people (along with the entirely unemployed, of which there are many more than the intentionally distorted statistics suggest) experience constant harassment (and monetary sanctions in case of noncompliance with state demands). The unemployed also suddenly found themselves being portrayed as lazy and antisocial by extensive media campaigns. This was not the way unemployment was regarded before, but general acceptance of neo-liberal "fixes" required a comprehensive change of public perceptions regarding the (unavoidable and inherent) losers of the new system.

Not-so-surprisingly, wage share is at a record low and the wealth gap is playing catch-up with US proportions. Of course, GDP is doing okay and the DAX is doing okay and therefore Germany should be the model praised in international press. Because an unholy mix of US-style wealth disparity, hire&fire mentality and devaluation of human work with a strong state actively punishing people for losing their jobs certainly is a great environment for the people who actually live here.