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TG, your article has been on my radar to read awhile now...and as always, really respect your writing. So I see a very successful coalition between management and labor, the results of which has the best exports in the world, with a very good social safety net. And this, despite the fact that (at least as I've been told), that the Germans not only had to deal with WWII reparations, but have also had to deal with the costs of integrating East Germany. And STILL are THE most productive exporter in the world...that, oh by the way, pays its workers the best. So, of course, you now have me hooked to go and read the next part...which I do with trepidation.

By the way, I think we will very soon need to put together a German mega-diary, that kind of summarizes all the recent diaries on this subject, so we can try to get some kind of overview of Germany, where it is, and where it is going (or could).

Thanks again for your informative work!!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Wed Jul 20th, 2005 at 01:20:35 PM EST
whataboutbob, you raise a very good point, namely that after reunification the East had to be integrated into Germany.  IHMO, this is the major reason for the current political and economical crisis in Germany.

First of all, our then-Chancellor Kohl decided to pay for the unification mostly by raising credit, a practice that has been hugely popular ever since.  Of course, the next generation will ultimately have to pay for that and we're already paying.

Secondly, while the rest of Europe went through some serious restructuring in the 90s the German government was asleep at the wheel, because the unification caused a boom in the economy.  There was a huge market of 16 million people to conquer, after all.

by hesk on Wed Jul 20th, 2005 at 03:36:13 PM EST
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I think what we ought to do, since the French,  German, and Italian left seem so bereft of ideas now, is to create a manifesto for them, a set of policy proposals that would seriously address the problems of slow growth and high unemployment, but in a way that preserves the traditional European commitment to social justice.

There's potentially plenty of material available - Sweden, the Netherlands, Ireland, for example, are all countries that have recently faced economic crises and recaptured economic dynamism without totally succumbing to neoliberal nostrums. We might examine what lessons they hold for the bigger economies. We might also investigate what left policy intellectuals have come up with.

by TGeraghty on Thu Jul 21st, 2005 at 12:04:57 AM EST
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TG, This is an EXCELLENT idea!! I'm sure others will climb on board a project like this. The question is, where to start, but this is an excellent opportunity to also develop our "open source community" around a project. I have been amazed to watch people utlize Daily Kos as a forum to organize investigative journalistic reports (eg, the White House fake reporter scandel, the Downing Street Minutes, etc), and really come up with some material that "grew legs" and made (is making) serious journalistic and political impact. So...where to start...perhaps we should start with a diary, in which we discuss your idea, getting other peoples input, discussing how to break down research into discrete areas, so certain people, or groups of people, could research it together. Maybe we can talk a little more in this thread about how to organize it, who will start off the diary, who will be project director(s), etc. We could engage other Euro blogs too. (etc., etc.) Heck, we have our first success with Irishhead's project on the front page, so we know that a litle energy put in the right direction can make a big impact!  What do you think? Anyone else out there game??

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Thu Jul 21st, 2005 at 02:15:01 AM EST
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The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Thu Jul 21st, 2005 at 07:22:55 AM EST
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I think it could really be useful. With all the diaries that have been published so far, we're already off to a pretty good start. I'm certainly willing to participate.
by TGeraghty on Thu Jul 21st, 2005 at 03:59:23 PM EST
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What's the next step? A new diary? Collect links to the existing diaries in a "mega-diary"?

Also, Jerome had a bunch of issues that he planned to write about.

by TGeraghty on Thu Jul 21st, 2005 at 07:30:08 PM EST
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I will start a new diary, as a way to begin discussion on how to proceed with this (It's Friday the 22nd, so will post it later today...and it can be on the diary list awhile). I'll link as many of the recent diaries as I can...and we can then develop it from there. Stay tuned...and GREAT idea!!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Fri Jul 22nd, 2005 at 06:08:05 AM EST
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