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Cream of the Crop > Group's Default Discussion > Debate about capitalism in Der Spiegel View modes: 
  • Debate about capitalism in Der Spiegel

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    I just read an interesting debate in "Der Spiegel", during an interview with a German billionaire.

    IMO, the billionaire got off lightly - as he was able to get away with the usual tactic of fat-capitalists: claiming that the only option to capitalism was some sort of communist extreme. There were a few other EXTREMELY flawed arguments made by the billionaire, but I'll avoid stating any more of my own views.

    The GOOD part of this interview (in one of Germany's premiere media outlets) is that this was not the usual pandering love-in you see when North American 'journalists' (for lack of a better word) interview the 'rich and/or powerful'.

    What is SADLY LACKING on this side of the Atlantic is ANY serious introspection about numerous institutions and  a lot of dogma - which has been repudiated by years (and in some cases DECADES) of economic devolution (and a huge decline in our standard of living).

    Here's the link:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,598945,00.html



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  • RE: Debate about capitalism in Der Spiegel

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    Good read - Der Spiegel and The Economist hopefully will never morph into Fox News!

    Plattner has the typical pragmatic attitude of so many Germans (I can get away with that being 100% square-head).   The concept of "The Social Market Economy" is very appealing but as they note, very contradictory. http://countrystudies.us/germany/136.htm  At least they are trying.

    I had to look up his reference to Ludwig Erhard  As Germany's minister of economic affairs from 1949 to 1963, Ludwig Erhard crafted the plan for West Germany's post-World War II economic recovery, sometimes called the German "economic miracle."
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/shared/minitextlo/prof_ludwigerhard.html

    No wonder Chancellor Angela Merckel was loathe to bailout banks.
    A Black Hole in the Banking Bailout
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,598499,00.html

    Prosecutors in Germany are investigating accusations of insider trading at Hypo Real Estate, the Munich-based mortgage lender that has recieved billions of euros in government bailouts -- the most of any company so far -- as a result of risky investments in US subprime loans.


    Then you have this:

    Strikes hit German car industry

     

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    8,000 workers launched a series of co-ordinated strikes at automobile and electronics companies as it and employers spar over wage increases.

    The strikes took place at 17 companies, the union, IG Metall, said in a statement.

    Car maker Audi was particularly hard hit, as 4,000 workers walked off the floor of an Audi plant in the southern city of Ingolstadt, the union said. Another 1,000 spots went unfilled after a nightshift ended at an Audi plant in Neckarsulm, to the west.

    IG Metall leader Berthold Huber said the union could call its members across the country on Monday to mount a series of short-term strikes, "like the country has seldom experienced" if its demands for an 8% pay increase are not met. On Friday the union's branch in the southern state of Bavaria rejected a 2.9% wage increase over the next 12 months.

    Employers argued that the credit crunch and financial meltdown makes a better offer unrealistic. IG Metall said its requested wage hike is justified because companies' profits increased 220% between 2004-2007 - a time when wages effectively increased by only 8.7%.

    "We are not responsible for the crisis on the financial markets and we're also not ready to take the blame for the gamblers and financial jugglers," said IG Metall chief negotiator Harmut Meine.

    If no pay deal is reached, "the real wave of strikes" would start Monday, union chief Berthold Huber said.


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