The great German beer crisis? Demand is falling, people. And I can only drink so much on my own.
Demand is falling in a country where there are more than 6,000 different brands of beer. The theory goes that you could drink a different one each day for more than 16 years without having to taste the same one twice. In fact, today fewer Germans regularly drink beer at all. Since the early 1990s, domestic consumption has dropped by more than a quarter. Consumption per head peaked in 1976 and has been falling ever since. The result has left mass-market brewers suffering from overcapacity and fighting a long-running price war. More than two-thirds of all the beer sold in supermarkets is offered at a discount.
“How is it that one of the world’s biggest export nations, and one so obsessed with beer quality, fails to woo international drinkers?”
An energy revolution? Then pay up front, Germany. It’s going to cost you a zillion dollars and you may not be able to come up with the cash for it later.
Germany spent 25 billion euros ($26 billion) on renewable energy in 2016, most of which—23 billion euros—consumers paid through a surcharge on their electricity bills. The rise in that surcharge is the single biggest reason that the amount the average German household spent on electricity rose to 1,060 euros in 2016, up 50% from 2007.
When Germans refer to a “black zero” these days they mean a balanced fiscal budget with no red ink. What a concept. If it weren’t so unthinkable (I am from US-Amerika and we’re clearly too smart for that) I would have a “quasi-religious fixation” with it, too. More power to you, Wolfgang.
In his aversion to the pursuit of full employment through fiscal policy, Mr Schäuble is an obvious heir to Eucken. This is also true of prominent German economists who, during the eurozone crisis, have ignored the effects of austerity on demand, out of a deep-seated belief that structural reforms can solve all problems.
I pour moi think he’s the greatest. Weiter so (keep it up), Wolfgang!
Despite bitter opposition in many quarters to the austerity-first policies Germany has imposed on Europe’s poorer nations, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has hung on to its role as champion of integration on the Continent through deft use of diplomacy and the country’s economic clout.
But in negotiating a new deal this week to bail out Greece, Germany displayed what many Europeans saw as a harder, more selfish edge, demanding painful measures from Athens and resisting any firm commitment to granting Greece relief from its crippling debt. And that perception was fueled on Thursday when the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, suggested that Greece would get its best shot at a substantial cut in its debt only if it was willing to give up membership in the European common currency (they mean Grexit here, of course, they just don’t like to use the word).
“Ich werbe nur dafür, dass Sie heute nicht meinen – jetzt ist das Thema erledigt, jetzt haben wir noch mal einen da zum Bösewicht erklärt. Ich bin so abgehärtet in einem langen politischen Leben, dass mich das nicht aus der Bahn wirft.”
Well known for his refreshing viewpoints, Mr. ex-SPD, ex-Left, ex-Bolshevist, ex-you-name-it Oskar Lafontaine himself has come up with a brilliant new idea to save Greece from its upcoming euro Grexit exit: Get rid of the euro first.
Being the true radical thinker that he is, he seems to have devised a radical new European economic system by which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without having to use a medium of exchange like dirty, filthy, old (or in his case new) money. And the way things look right now, Greece will be the first country to get the chance to test this out in a big way.
“Der Euro ist ein Rückschritt im historischen Projekt der europäischen Integration. Der Euro ist schon gescheitert, wir dürfen uns da keinen Illusionen hingeben.”
Or German energy turnaround… It’s really working great!
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.
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
But… How is it that its critics blame Germany for the high unemployment, declining living standards, and riots to their South?
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.
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.”