Topic Actions

Topic Search

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

Problems of the Federal Republic of Germany

The Management is not responsible for the contents of this forum. Enter at your own risk.
Re: Problems of the Federal Republic of Germany
Post by biochem   » Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:20 pm

biochem
Rear Admiral

Posts: 1281
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:06 pm
Location: USA

Bruno Behrends wrote:First thank you for your replies!

I set up the thread very broadly and I find it interesting that immigration is the first topic to pop up. Not that I want to complain in any way: it is one of the things that is on my mind too quite a bit these days.

Please don't be shy to add any other policy issues though. I am interested.

About immigration I think we all agree that it is a difficult issue. And that integration is extremely important. Integration is hard work (from both sides) and yeah - I think it should be improved or in a generation we will very much wish we had performed better there.

What concerns me at least as much though is the link between immigration and the rise of the far right. In my perception the influx of refugees has been quite a shock for many people and thus significantly strengthened far right movements. The theory of adhering to international and german law concerning the protection of refugees is well and good but we also have to keep the peace among our own population. And I am not talking about unrest among the immigrants here: Civil unrest among the right-wing and rising neo-nazism would be a high price to pay. That's not to say we can or should stop taking immigrants of course but it does mean the whole thing is an incredibly sensitive issue with the potential to blow up spectacularly. And if I think it's bad in Germany I only have to look east to see that it can actually be worse.


In the USA the coverage has been way overblown. When people actually try to quantitate it, it winds up that there is somewhere ariund 10-100 stories on neonazis/alt right/KKK per individual. The media seems obsessed with these types. It may be similar in Germany as well. Where I see problems is not the far right types now (there are so few of them) but in trends for the future. The elites alternate between ignoring the problems caused by immigration and insulting anyone who complains. This produces soft support for the far right i.e. people who don't agree with their extreme mindset but find that mindset more tolerable than the sneering of the elites. That soft support emboldens the far right demagogues.

Re stopping immigration, there is nothing wrong with stopping immigration for a couple of years to give yourselves time to get the current batch situated before opening the borders again. There is a huge difference between an immigration pause and immigration forbidden permanently (Imperial Japan for example).
Top
Re: Problems of the Federal Republic of Germany
Post by Bruno Behrends   » Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:35 am

Bruno Behrends
Captain of the List

Posts: 527
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:33 am
Location: Berlin

Another issue I am thinking about now that elections are ahead is what do you guys think of Ms. Merkel?

She has been at the helm for a long time now. Is it time for a change?

How is the perception abroad: is she a problem? Or is she a positive force?
Top
Re: Problems of the Federal Republic of Germany
Post by CRC   » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:31 am

CRC
Lieutenant Commander

Posts: 131
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:45 am

Bruno Behrends wrote:Another issue I am thinking about now that elections are ahead is what do you guys think of Ms. Merkel?

She has been at the helm for a long time now. Is it time for a change?

How is the perception abroad: is she a problem? Or is she a positive force?


I appreciate the opportunity to comment on this. Unfortunately I have to plead almost complete ignorance. Before the age of Trump I thought I had a pretty good view of world politics. Merkel was ok in my view. Middle of the roadish. (French and British politics were far more interesting.)

However now I have to question every piece of information received - and quite frankly its hard enough keeping track of US politics - having to research and multi-source these stupid headlines - without having to do it for every foreign leader and foreign political situation.

Journalism today, where most of us get our information from, has now shifted to advocacy, rather than reporting facts. You have to dig one or two layers deeper into the reporting to expose the 'spin', if not outright fabrication.

During the Cold War, late 70's early 80's, a running gag about the Soviet press used to be that if there was a race between Carter/Reagan and Brezhnev/Andropov/Chernenko/Gorbachev and Carter/Reagan won, the headline in Moscow would read:

In a race of presidents the Soviet president came in 2nd and the US president came in next to last.

Just for an example - there was a recent op-ed that caught my attention in our local paper about the American Lung Association ratings of 'air pollution' in cities and how our city had received a 'failing grade'. After hours of tracking down the actual data and doing the math I found that our city, and its bad grade, was based on a handful (less than 5) of days of exceeding some standard, but passing that standard for hundreds of days over the past several years.

Quite frankly I don't have enough hours in the day to do the same with really important issues, so I have to 'rack and stack'. Right now, internationally, North Korea, Iran, Russia and Ukraine, Syria and the middle east are taking up most of my back channel research time.

So Merkel and the FRG, while important, just doesn't make it into the bandwidth allocation.

But I do appreciate your attempt to have a civil and reasonable discussion about the issue.
Top
Re: Problems of the Federal Republic of Germany
Post by Daryl   » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:36 am

Daryl
Admiral

Posts: 2266
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:57 am
Location: Queensland Australia

From my admittedly limited information I'm in a quandary about Merkel.
From what I've read she seems to be a superior politician, diplomatic, capable and straight, with an impressive list of achievements.
On the other hand I do have a problem with any leader who stays too long, be it running a business or a country. New fresh blood brings new ideas, and most leaders eventually become not necessarily corrupt but inflexible and unable to forge new ideas and alliances. She is described as a moderate conservative of a right leaning centrist, while I generally am a left leaning centrist.
So not sure, but she appears to be far superior to anyone Australia or the US has available at present.
Top
Re: Problems of the Federal Republic of Germany
Post by munroburton   » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:12 am

munroburton
Vice Admiral

Posts: 1860
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:16 am
Location: Scotland

Bruno Behrends wrote:Another issue I am thinking about now that elections are ahead is what do you guys think of Ms. Merkel?

She has been at the helm for a long time now. Is it time for a change?

How is the perception abroad: is she a problem? Or is she a positive force?


My view is that Merkel has exactly the "strong and stable" leadership that Theresa May claimed to have. That isn't necessarily a good thing(the description definitely applies to Putin too, for one) - in principle I agree that politicians need to be changed and often, but at the same time, if you find a gem of a leader - hang onto them as long as possible.

My problem is similar to CRC's - although I have more than average interest in EU politics, it's quite hard to keep on top of the candidate pool for any possible challengers or successors. The only one I can really name is Martin Schulz - I believe he leads the junior coalition party in the government? And I have no idea about possible future leaders of CDU/CSU.

So from afar, I see nothing intolerable about Merkel. She is leagues and leagues ahead of most British or American politicians.
Top
Re: Problems of the Federal Republic of Germany
Post by Bruno Behrends   » Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:21 pm

Bruno Behrends
Captain of the List

Posts: 527
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:33 am
Location: Berlin

Yeah - I understand that US politics is more interesting these days. It interests me more too really heh.

I apologize for using you guys as a sounding board on Germany and Merkel. It really helps me though:

We have the federal election coming up here in the fall and I honestly have a hard time deciding which party fo vote for. There are many issues to think about but I already know many of the usual points of view of my fellow countrymen including my own. That's why an outside view is so interesting to me.

Also with all that's going on everywhere in the world I am getting a feeling like the immediate post-cold-war period has ended and we are entering unchartered territory. Truths that we held to for long may not be true anymore. Or maybe they still are but its hard to be sure.

So if anyone else wants to jump in or add something please do.
Top
Re: Problems of the Federal Republic of Germany
Post by biochem   » Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:14 pm

biochem
Rear Admiral

Posts: 1281
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:06 pm
Location: USA

To bring up a completely different problem. Germany has to figure out what to do about Greece next time they have to default. Greece hasn't fixed their structural problem and with them still in the Euro........ Now would be the time to come up with ideas while there is time to work out all of the bugs.

I don't have any great ideas. The only thing I can think of is to kick Greece off the Euro, but I'm not sure that is the best idea either.
Top
Re: Problems of the Federal Republic of Germany
Post by Bruno Behrends   » Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:09 am

Bruno Behrends
Captain of the List

Posts: 527
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:33 am
Location: Berlin

biochem wrote:To bring up a completely different problem. Germany has to figure out what to do about Greece next time they have to default. Greece hasn't fixed their structural problem and with them still in the Euro........ Now would be the time to come up with ideas while there is time to work out all of the bugs.

I don't have any great ideas. The only thing I can think of is to kick Greece off the Euro, but I'm not sure that is the best idea either.


I don't know if Greece should be kicked off the Euro:

Often I read that the problem of the Eurozone is that it (by definition) forces the European Central Bank to make a single currency policy for all the Euro countries when the bandwith of underlying economical and financial strength of those countries is really to big for a single currency policy to work for all of them.

Germany and Greece are kind of at the two opposing ends of that Eurozone economic bandwidth. One could say Greece should be kicked because it is too weak and needs that overly soft currency policy than the Central Bank provides at the moment but one could at least equally well conclude that Germany should be kicked instead because it is too strong and needs a much harder currency policy and higher Euro.

Or maybe they manage to keep muddling through like they did so far. I am not expert enough to know.
Top
Re: Problems of the Federal Republic of Germany
Post by Daryl   » Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:25 am

Daryl
Admiral

Posts: 2266
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:57 am
Location: Queensland Australia

At the time the Euro was announced I was working in a challenging job for about 70 hours a week, so said to my self "That's interesting, I wonder just how they got all those countries to adopt the same financial system and guidelines?"' then I just went back to work without reading more.
I never thought they would have had the same currency but kept different systems. How can you have retirement ages more than a decade different but the same currency?
Since then I've retired and discovered this particular lunacy.

Bruno Behrends wrote:
biochem wrote:To bring up a completely different problem. Germany has to figure out what to do about Greece next time they have to default. Greece hasn't fixed their structural problem and with them still in the Euro........ Now would be the time to come up with ideas while there is time to work out all of the bugs.

I don't have any great ideas. The only thing I can think of is to kick Greece off the Euro, but I'm not sure that is the best idea either.


I don't know if Greece should be kicked off the Euro:

Often I read that the problem of the Eurozone is that it (by definition) forces the European Central Bank to make a single currency policy for all the Euro countries when the bandwith of underlying economical and financial strength of those countries is really to big for a single currency policy to work for all of them.

Germany and Greece are kind of at the two opposing ends of that Eurozone economic bandwidth. One could say Greece should be kicked because it is too weak and needs that overly soft currency policy than the Central Bank provides at the moment but one could at least equally well conclude that Germany should be kicked instead because it is too strong and needs a much harder currency policy and higher Euro.

Or maybe they manage to keep muddling through like they did so far. I am not expert enough to know.
Top
Re: Problems of the Federal Republic of Germany
Post by biochem   » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:41 pm

biochem
Rear Admiral

Posts: 1281
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:06 pm
Location: USA

Typical politicians kicking the can down the road. If I recall correctly all of those financial systems were supposed to be aligned "later". I.e. Easy part first (euro), hard part later (alignment). The Europhiles just assumed it would go wonderfully and that all of the countries would be so happy with it that they'd just jump on the bandwagon when it came to next steps. It didn't and they didn't. :roll:
Top

Return to Politics