Speaking Of The Energiewende…

Or German energy turnaround… It’s really working great!

Strom

The price of electricity for private households in Germany has gone up 38 percent since 2008.

It’s easy to do, all you other countries out there. Just follow Germany’s example and shut down all of your nuclear power plants in a panic and then force through the construction of renewable wind and solar energy plants that are neither energy nor cost-efficient enough and then have them heavily subsidized by these households. That turns things around in no time.

Der Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft (BDEW) erklärte, der starke Anstieg der staatlich verordneten Steuern, Abgaben und Umlagen in den vergangenen Jahren sei der Grund für den Anstieg der Strompreise für Haushaltskunden. «Hinzu kommen die gestiegenen Kosten für den Netzausbau, der mit dem weiteren Ausbau der erneuerbaren Energien notwendig ist», sagte ein Sprecher des BDEW in Berlin.

Best Paid Pilots In The World Need More Money

And more early retirement.

Strike

Lufthansa has now been grounded by a three-day pilot strike.

Lufthansa pilots belong to the best paid pilots in the world. At some American airlines the pilots only earn a fraction of what they get, an international comparison shows.

Die Piloten der Lufthansa gehören zu den bestbezahlten Flugkapitänen weltweit. Bei einigen amerikanischen Fluglinien wird nur ein Bruchteil dessen verdient, wie ein internationaler Vergleich zeigt.

“We’ll first see out the strike and then we’ll think about talks.”

PS: The belief that labor unions can substantially raise real wages over the long run and for the whole working population is one of the great delusions of the present age. This delusion is mainly the result of failure to recognize that wages are basically determined by labor productivity

I’ll Bash Germany With The Best Of Them

But… How is it that its critics blame Germany for the high unemployment, declining living standards, and riots to their South?

Germany

If this were a football game, the referee should call unnecessary roughness for piling on Germany. The American Left led by Paul Krugman (The Harm Germany Does and Those Depressing Germans) excoriates Germany for forcing austerity on the rest of Europe. The U.S. Treasury - and others - (no newcomer to spending) demands that miserly Germany spend more to pull the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain) out of their economic doldrums…

I interpret the liberals’ German bashing as having an entirely different motivation – their inherent dislike of economic success… In the liberal mind set, success must be equally shared. If one person, company, or country is better off, it must be at the expense of those who are less well off. We need to even things out in their zero-sum world.

PS: And I’m going to go even further out on the limb tonight defending Germany by predicting that they will finally – after 19 encounters? –  beat Italy.

Latest Upbeat Prognosis Für Welt Just In

And for Deutschland, in particular.

2035

It goes a little like this: In the year 2035, 2035 (if man is still alive), all the economies of Welt will have lost ground big time except for China and India (and a wee little bit for Brasil and Russia) and Germany will have become so weak and mickrig (puny) that it will then become prey to something economic scientists and other experts refer to here as “langsame Bedeutungsverlust” or a creeping loss of significance.

Hey, ain’t that how life goes for all of us out there sooner or later, Deutschland? Don’t fret. You are not alone. You are just all by yourself.

“Es könnte gut sein, dass man eines Tages sogar darüber nachdenken muss, ganze Landstriche aufzugeben.”

It’s Good To Be In A Crisis

Money is like water (or maybe like beer). It has to go somewhere. And 40 billion euros just made its way to Germany.

Crisis

While fear has driven money away from Greece and Spain and co, making the government cost of repaying debt in these countries seem prohibitive, in Germany it has been quite different. Fear has boosted Germany coffers…

One thing is for sure, putting it in Greek bonds is risky. Spanish, Italian and Portuguese bonds don’t seem much safer either. But German bonds, in contrast, feel as safe as a safe house in a land with no crime. In fact so safe are German government bonds or bunds, perceived to be, that there have been times when the yields on some of them have been negative.

So actually, Germany has done rather well out of fear created by the euro crisis – or should that be the other way around – a euro crisis created by fear?

Discountrepublik Deutschland

Verblüffender Befund (an amazing finding)? I don’t see how it could amaze anyone here – anyone who has ever gone shopping in Germany and then compared those prices to those you would pay in other European countries, that is.

Prices

Germans apparently aren’t aware of the fact that they have some of the lowest Lebenshaltungskosten (living costs or cost of living) in all of Europe. Of their immediate neighbors, it’s only cheaper to live in Poland and Czechia.

What is really amazing I find, however, is the fact that the Germans are able to enjoy these cheap prices while still having a higher per capita GDP than a lot of the European countries with a higher cost of living (Belgium, Denmark, France).

Beats the hell out of me. Hey, es darf eben nichts kosten here.

Verbraucher in Deutschland bekommen für ihren Euro mehr als die Menschen in den Nachbarländern. Lediglich bei den Nachbarn in Polen und Tschechien sind die Lebenshaltungskosten niedriger.

Germany Honestly Not Seeking Hegemony In Europe I Swear

German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected again today claims that her country was seeking hegemony in the European Union.

Hegemony

“We already are the largest economy in Europe,” she might have said. “Like, by a long shot. So why on earth would we want to do that? All we want to do is just keep exercising our predominant influence over all those other namby-pamby nations around us and with time, through peaceful terms and non-aggression, achieve world, I mean, total European domination.”

“Germany has a sometimes complicated role,” she actually said. “Because we are the largest economy – we are not the richest, but we are the largest. Therefore Germany will only act together with the others – hegemony is totally foreign to me.”

Germans Suddenly Poor

The Bundesbank (Germany’s central bank) has just published a study showing that the average German household is a full three times less wealthy than its crisis-hit Spanish or Italian counterparts.

Poor

Whereas the median Spanish household has net wealth of €178,000, the equivalent in Germany is €51,000.

“These German households are downright poor,” a spokesman for the Bundesbank said after presenting the study. “Relatively speaking, I mean. In fact they are so poor that they have to eat cereal with a fork just to save milk.”

“Poor? These households are so poor they only have two TV channels: On and off.”

“We’re talking poor here, folks. These households are so poor that the ducks throw bread at them.”

Germany’s relatively low level of home ownership is one of the principal reasons suggested for the wealth disparity.

Where’s The Money?

Germany’s Federal Minister for the Environment, Peter Altmaier, will now be shutting down 14 German climate protection programs due to cost conerns, not that anyone here who can do any arithmetic will take much notice or much less care.

Climate Change

Funding for something called Elektromobilität (electromobility) will be cut first, soon to be followed by funding cuts for Stromspeichern (energy storage technology) with the other cuts soon to follow. Billions of a vital natural resource are missing, it seems (they call them “euros” here), this because European CO2 emmission rights certificate trading just ain’t bringing in the cash it’s supposed to do.

Do I detect pattern here? Why is it that the so-called real world is always getting in the way of those way cool dream world plans that so many folks out there want to make come true so really, really, really bad? Who is behind this, anyway? It just has to be a conspiracy (again).

Demnach sollten die Projekte ursprünglich aus dem Energie- und Klimafonds der Bundesregierung finanziert werden. Dort klaffe jedoch eine Milliardenlücke, weil der europäische CO2-Zertifikatehandel nicht genug Geld in die Kasse spüle.

Inequality For All

That seems to be what most Germans think their country provides them with these days. They are forever moaning and groaning about how the German “social divide” keeps widening.

Germans can be pretty innumerate, you see, believe it or not (when the media hype wants them to be). Nobody ever stops to consider the numbers here, either (just like everywhere else). You have to go to professional-like people on the outside (like at The Economist) for that.

DIW, an economic think-tank in Berlin, says that inequality rose significantly after German reunification; but that it has fallen a bit since 2005 (see chart). Awkwardly for the left, that is when Angela Merkel became chancellor, in coalition first with the SPD, then with the FDP.

Numbers

This is the opposite of what the public believes. According to a study by Allensbach, a polling institute, 69% of Germans think wealth and income are unfairly distributed, and almost two-thirds believe inequality has risen in the past few years. That is good for the left.

Germany remains a huge social and economic success, something that it often seems unGerman to savour.

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