When Had We Left The Jungle?

I wasn’t aware that we had.

Jungle

WTO Faces Existential Threat in Times of Trump -U.S. President Donald Trump has set his sights squarely on the World Trade Organization in Geneva. Even its critics are worried that without the organization, the world of trade would revert to the law of the jungle.

The U.S. and other industrialized nations made several concessions to developing economies when the WTO was founded in 1995 and significantly reduced their tariffs. In return, they were able to push through stronger protections for intellectual property. They hoped that the strategy would help slow China’s rise.

But from the U.S. perspective, the system has not been beneficial. And once China joined the WTO in 2001, that dissatisfaction only grew, partly because the Chinese proved adept at taking advantage of the rules. Even today, there is significant dissent within the WTO because the economic superpower China is still classified as a “developing nation” by the organization, which gives it certain privileges. On the other hand, China is fighting for recognition as a market economy, to which both the U.S. and the European Union are opposed because it would mean they could no longer defend themselves against state-subsidized Chinese exports with anti-dumping duties.

On top of all that, the WTO is facing a more fundamental problem: its size and its sluggishness. Negotiating rounds focused on removing tariffs have become increasingly complex. And because everything is up for negotiation at the same time, every member state can paralyze the process by simply exercising its veto. The Doha Round, launched in 2001, is a perfect example: It never achieved any results and has become symbolic of the WTO’s failure.

“The problems are coming from the behavior of a single country that would like to return to the jungle.”

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German Of The Day: Wer A Sagt, Muss Auch B Sagen

“Whoever says A must also say B” means if you dish it out, you have to be able to take it.

And that’s what this pukey little twelve-year-old environmental polluter had to learn, the hard way. Kids these days. He, of all people, should know that Germans take their garbage separation very seriously. But this little punk had the audacity to toss his empty pizza carton into a public garbage can! Hello? Everybody over here knows that you are not allowed to put your own private Hausmüll (domestic refuse) into a public garbage can! Oh, you didn’t know that, either? It was news to me, too. But still.

Anyways, the nasty little delinquent got charged ten euros on the spot and had to shell it out pronto-like or else. Serves him right. I think. It has to do with zero tolerance or something.

Ein Außendienstmitarbeiter des Ordnungsamts beobachtete ihn, stellte einen Strafzettel aus und kassierte die zehn Euro Ordnungsgeld. Zusätzlich soll der Stadtwächter der Mutter gedroht haben, sie für das Parken auf der Bushaltestelle zu verwarnen, wenn die zehn Euro nicht bezahlt werden.

More Government In Action

Universal law: Ever notice how when the government employees who are paid to do the job that they are paid to do are eventually asked to finally do the job they are paid to do suddenly have great and nearly insurmountable problems actually doing it – primarily because they are chronically understaffed? Or claim to be?

Government

Well, it’s not just where you live, wherever that might live. Take Berlin’s civil servants, for instance. Please. Remember the Anis Amri case?

The latest here is that the police director of Berlin’s Islamism Department (no, they don’t support Islamism, they combat it – or are at least supposed to) had time enough to pursue private sideline jobs while loudly and officially complaining about how he and his department were completely overstretched on the case.

See how it works? Everywhere? So the next time somebody comes along in your city/state/national capital wanting to cut costs by firing some of these chronically understaffed people, please keep this in mind.

Während seine Mitarbeiter hoffnungslos überlastet waren, hatte der Leiter des Berliner Islamismus-Dezernats offenbar trotzdem Zeit für private Nebenjobs.

Why Are Germany’s Public Broadcasters Raising Their Mandatory Fee?

Because they can.

TV

It will be going up soon enough from 17.50 euros to 21 euros. Whether you even own a TV or not. The excuse this time: They are having trouble cutting costs within the time frame they had promised. There you have it; a state-run monopoly financed with mandatory fees from a public that is never asked if it wants to watch its party line programming or not. I don’t get it, either. How could an institution like that ever have trouble cutting costs?

Bis 2029 sollen die Rundfunkbeiträge von heute 17,50 Euro auf 21 Euro steigen. So jedenfalls wollen es ARD, ZDF und Deutschland-Radio. Und begründen das ausgerechnet damit, ihr Einsparvolumen bis 2024 sonst nicht erreichen zu können.

Spectacular!

The new Elbphilharmonie!!

Elbphilharmonie

Instead of costing the planned 77 million euros it ended up costing Hamburg 800 million instead!!!

Breathtaking or something. Enjoy your status while you can, Hamburg. Just wait until the final cost for Berlin’s airport gets determined. If it ever does, I mean. We will CRUSH you!

Die Hansestädter sind froh, dass das Ding endlich fertig ist. Der Bau sollte 77 Millionen Euro kosten, am Ende waren es fast 800 Millionen.

Next Delay For Berlin Airport Opening Postponed Until 2018

German newspapers are reporting that the latest delay announcement expected for the opening of Berlin’s troubled old new airport will now push the currently planned postponement back until the spring of 2018.

Airport

Disappointed Berliners had been hoping that the next delay announcement could have come as late as the spring of 2017 but this will now have to be moved forward as a new round of cost overruns and construction errors have caused yet another delay for that next planned delay.

Rumor has it that the Berlin Brandenburg Klaus Wowereit International Airport had originally been set to open in 2011 but no one can be located who can verify this with any certainty anymore.

The official announcement for the delay of the delay has been postponed until next year.

“Mir ist keine Entscheidung zwischen Weihnachten und Neujahr bekannt.”

Next Brilliant Green Idea Set To Explode In Their Brilliant Green Faces

Having years of experience when it comes to introducing ideas that nobody likes and losing votes and power because of it,  the German Greens now plan to introduce a “wealth tax” to ensure that they will continue to lose votes in the upcoming 2017 election, as well.

Tax

In traditional re-distributive, Robin Hoodlum manner, they announced during their party conference in Wald Nottingheim (Nottingham Forest) that it is time to ask the “super rich,” whoever they might be, for a higher contribution to wasteful state spending and through this thus ensure that countless Mittelstand (middle class) companies in Germany will be disproportionately burdened. This will of course make them more competitive internationally. Not. As in Nottingham.

If industrialized countries, such as the US following Donald Trump’s victory, opted for a national orientation of their economy, German small- and medium-sized businesses would need their reserve funds more than ever before, Kretschmann stressed. The state should not go after these savings.

This Just In: Governments Waste Money

In Germany, too? You bet.

Waste

The latest “black book” has been published by the German Taxpayers Federation and here – not counting your regular, every-day kind of wasteful government spending – are just a few of the more special ways in which government tosses money out the window:

Garbage cans in the city of Leverkusen that cost  1,258 euros a shot.

A fish ladder near the town of Lauterbach that cost taxpayers 100,000 euros. The only problem is that the fish can’t reach the ladder.

Or how about a townhouse in an exclusive location in Manhattan, owned by the Federal Republic of Germany. The only problem here is that it’s been empty since 2009 and costs taxpayers over 80,000 euros a year in upkeep.

“Politik und Verwaltung gehen verschwenderisch, sorglos oder leichtsinnig mit Steuergeldern um.”

German Of The Day: Fiasko

That means fiasco. You know, like the state-ordained Energiewende?

Wind

Berlin likes to think of itself as a green-energy example to the rest of the world. It sure is.

It makes you wonder if there’s any form of energy-price signal that governments won’t ignore. Germany’s 16-year-old Energiewende, or energy transformation, already has wrecked the country’s energy market in its quest to wean the economy off fossil fuels and nuclear power. Traditional power plants, including those that burn cleaner gas, have been closing left and right while soaring electricity prices push industries overseas and bankrupt households. Job losses run to the tens of thousands.

But now Berlin is going to fix all of this – again.

Derzeit gehe der Ausbau zu schnell und werde zu erheblichen Mehrkosten bei der Umlage zur Ökostrom-Förderung führen.

And You Thought Your Government Wastes Money

And it does. But the German state can burn the stuff up pretty good, too – at any level.

Waste

The German Federation of Tax Payers just came out with its latest “Black Book” of government waste, a breathtaking collection of 133 of the most impressive cases of abuse it found. Some are quite imaginative, I must say.

The city of Bergen on the island of Rügen, for instance, ordered 200,000 earthworms from a special firm in Holland for a sports field there – for over 7,000 euros. These special  „Dutch Nightcrawlers“ were supposed to loosen up the hard playing field. They failed at that but made the field so “soiled” with worm Dreck (filth) that it couldn’t be used anymore.

Or how about the five manhole covers in Osnabrück with the colorful LED lamps on the side? They only cost 10,000 euros a shot. They sure are purty, though.

Then there’s the State Ministry for Culture boss who felt the need to have a “cemetery app” developed that would show its users where over 1,000 famous graves are located. It was called “Where They Rest” and all it did was redirect these users to the website with the same name. It only set tax payers back some 548,000 euros, however.

Nicht kleckern sondern klotzen, I say. Don’t take anything halfway.