Class War: Low Wages and Beggar Thy Neighbor
December 13, 2011 6:07 AM   Subscribe

A presentation by Dr. Heiner Flassbeck, a former deputy secretary in the German Ministry of Finance and currently chief economist the UN agency for World Trade and Development in Geneva. He talks about EMU and interest rates, and then links it all to class war and America.
posted by marienbad (8 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Just to say, I have to go to work now, so will check back later.
posted by marienbad at 6:07 AM on December 13, 2011

fascinating. Thank you!
posted by ts;dr at 6:43 AM on December 13, 2011

This is the bond holders v. the stock holders. The rich hold bonds, the middle class, stocks. One benefits from the cheap dollar (the middle class). The other (the bond holders) does not.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:36 AM on December 13, 2011

Shouldn't it be called 'bugger thy neighbor'?
posted by mullingitover at 10:10 AM on December 13, 2011

I surprised myself by listening to all 18 minutes and was glad I did.
posted by Anitanola at 10:12 AM on December 13, 2011

Thanks for sharing.

I want to add some of my personal observations (as a German and Cosmopolitan):

* thanks to Robotization more and more Jobs are permanently lost, if a job goes to China at least a human still makes money

* the number of good paying job has constantly shrunk in the last 30 years, so competition is much tougher, especially for the less educated

* thanks to less jobs and lower education budgets we breed a new Underclass that will only be suitable for lesser and low paying jobs. And it doesn't "pay" to lift there people out of poverty and give them better training, because there are simply no jobs for them.

* the Industry produces more goods with less people, so only a few specialists are needed for design, research and implementation - and only a few for actual production. Service and Support are the only sectors growing, but are not big payers ...

* for Financial Markets investment in the real economy is less and less interesting, "betting" on solely Financial Products. So their interest in economic develop is pretty small, real money can now made in a detached financial cloud that is more and more distant to the real economy.

So the changes the German Government made (as presented in the video) had the following effects:

* destroy the classic social support network and giving only a lifeline to the new Underclass, because there are hardly any jobs for them and most of them are only temp jobs anyway

* make the workforce more willing to accept lower wages and weaker social security (also Unions lost a lot of Power, because they supported the scheme)

* strengthen the Mittelstand and Big Industry for Export only (remember: general low wages kept domestic consumption flat)

* Germany has made many deep cuts and changes to society that are unavoidable. The classic wellfare state is dead - unless we take away work from the machines. Even in China the Robots are slowly taking over the Factories with rising wages and living standards. Sooner or later they face the same problem of a huge amount of unemployable factory workers ...

The next 30 years will be very interesting ...
posted by homodigitalis at 11:58 AM on December 13, 2011

Naked Capitalism is one of the best blogs on the internet--reading it is an education in economics and politics.
posted by wuwei at 2:15 PM on December 13, 2011

Even in China the Robots are slowly taking over the Factories with rising wages and living standards.

I know what you mean, you need to feel safe.

And that's harder and harder to do nowadays because robots may strike at any time.

And when they grab you with those metal claws you can't break free. Because they're made of metal, and robots are strong.
posted by formless at 8:05 PM on December 13, 2011

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