Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Can the US Learn from Germany?

As the US economy continues to struggle, should the States should look abroad for ideas on how to get out of the hole? Thom Hartman, host of RT's The Big Picture, says that despite a huge tax burden, Germany's economy is thriving. What can America learn from them? Hartman says that, for starters, Reaganomics must at long last be retired and money, no matter where it comes from, needs to be spent.

The German Government protected their economy and industry and didn't encourage the export of their productive capacities overseas unlike the US. They realised their workers were valuable since they spent money to create demand. They also focused on cutting edge technology and efficiency.

In the US there is a massive problem of high stakes fraud and gambling in the high end of the economy that is sucking wealth out of all other sectors rather than creating it. Just laws are necessary to ensure the protection of citizens from this kind of destructive behaviour. The major problem with the US system is cronyism and corruption with the bailing out and protection of capitalist leaders who are maximising profits for themselves at the expense of the overall economy.

Also the ridiculous bonuses being paid, and laws that encourage the export of jobs overseas, have helped lead to an increase of short term profits at ANY COST. US financial leaders lost sight of the devastating consequences of their actions. Rather than looking out for the longer term whole they looked after themselves at the expense of the whole. Looking after yourself is fine provided you do not cause harm, or great harm, to others, something libertarians in the US should agree with.

This German system juxtaposed to the US free market model is an interesting thing to consider. It is difficult to say which is best except that some level of Government intervention is handy to make sure people play by fair or just rules and that those seriously impoverished can get a hand up when needed. The great experiment continues.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, June 14th, 2011.]

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