Thursday, 31 October 2013

Who is more evil - USA or Germany?

A nice little interlude today with he USA saying that Germany's drive to exports and to keep home consumption low is hurting the eurozone and is a terrible economic model. Much better to be like the USA and splurge your way to victory by printing limitless amounts of the world's reserve currency so pushing up inflation for everyone else across the globe. Hmmm...this is a hard one:

USA:
Source of Global financial crisis
Source of rapacious investment banks, namely the vampire squid of Goldman Sachs
Home of money-printing
Not averse to using its military to achieving economic ends
Huge long term debt crisis
Divided Government regularly frightens world markets
Did handily step in to lend $3 trillion to stop the world ending in 2008

Germany:
Land of Tight money and the bundesbank
Happy to allow a weak euro to subsidise its exports at the expense of other countries import costs
No longer prone to using its military to achieve economic ends
Preaches consumption restraint and practises it too
Prone to lecturing other on their failings
Lacks empathy to support Countries in Eurozone affected by its policies

It's a close call to decide who is worst, both Countries are very keen on mercantilist policies and self-interest. The comments below will decide it....


18 comments:

andrew said...

Just for once, we dont look too bad in this company.
(pot, kettle, sub-fusc kitchen thing)

Bill Quango MP said...

USA edges it. Iraq swings it for the Yanks.

Go USA! You're number 1! You're number 1!

Mark Wadsworth said...

As a "country", Germany is vastly preferable. Not perfect but better than most. The USA is absolutely awful, no question.

It's nice enough to live in Germany, but a bit boring after a while. I've never been to the USA so I can't comment.

As to the people, Yanks are on the whole good fun and Germans are just a little bit irritating.

So it depends on what level you asked the question - the "nation" on the world stage, the country within itself or its individual people?

Mark Wadsworth said...

I'm going to have to submit early again for QT comp:

Dimbletie - dollar signs and swastikas, jumbled together (as a clue that he read this post).

Questions/topics:

1. Hacking trial - press regulation - free speech - surveillance state etc.

2. Energy company rip off, why does faster switching make it better? You just get ripped off faster! Green taxes.

3. Those bloody Yanks, you just can't trust them, eh? Did they all used to work for News Of The World or something? Who says they didn't hack Cameron's phone - or is he simply too unimportant to bother with? And why are they going to deport that hacker chappy, what he did was no worse than the Yanks.

4. What are people on the panel doing to support Children In Need?

5. Hospital closures, savage Tory cuts. No QT submission is complete without some "savage Tory cuts".

Demetrius said...

Until it rebelled in the 1770's the colonies were ruled by a Hanoverian monarch with a distinctly Germanic view of things. There were also a lot of Germans around as well as others. So the USA is arguably an essentially Germanic country that happens to speak a sort of English. Recently the numbers from Mediterranean and Latin countries have taken it one way whereas Germany has gone another. One thing for certain is that neither of them are British.

Nick Drew said...

I'm with Demetrius on this one - & if you've ever encountered the nightmare of US form-filling, (Land of the Free ??) or the clipped US military, & you'll be inclined to agree

I was long ago told that the USA is to be understood as a nation of British (/Irish) farmers run by a German bureaucracy

(New York + Louisiana excepted)

Nick Drew said...

actually, I like & have spent large amounts of time in both; business and pleasure

each pretty hospitable in a politesse kind of way; easy to wander around in provided you look like you are on the right side of the law (easy for a WASP to say)

both emphasise form over style, which can be portrayed as dull, but actually gives the kind of structure within which great things can blossom

both, au fond are quietly bewildered as to how us rude, slapdash, anarchic Brits do so well in the world

CityUnslicker said...

As an addendum, I have lived in the US and worked in Germany. Both are among my top desitinations to visit for differing reasons. economically though, Germany is far worse, actively promoting a race to the bottom for others and being purely mercantilist. The USA is merely trying to sort out its problem of huge over-consumption - ths at least gave the rest of the world exports....

Blaue Augen said...

Hilariously self-unaware commentary from whichever US agency. Don't they realise that the only reason the US can get away with what it is doing is because abandoning the dollar would be quite disruptive for the exporter nations?

Also, it takes two to tango. The Germans and Chinese can only be net exporters because the US, UK et al. run trade deficits.

Trade and investment is directly linked to levels of household saving. Is this US report really telling German Hausfrauen to stop being stingy and start buying crap they don't really want? The German government is supposed to overcome a culture of thrift by throwing a few switches? At the same time why does the US government not press the button on making itself more sustainable?

As for culture I like Yanks and Krauts. Is that allowed? I would be more likely to work in Germany I think.

I think this "intervention" by the US government is a bit of a distraction from its own long-term economic problems.

I think I am right in saying that the federal government would still have a deficit if it abandoned all discretionary spending. Germany is running a fiscal surplus. How awful.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

I've lived and worked in both. On the whole I preferred Germany. Yanks really are "ready, fire, aim" and their bureaucracy is less flexible/intelligent than the Germans. The heinies generally say what they think too, unlike most Yanks. Californians in particular seemed largely to be duplicitous airheads to me, with a few honourable exceptions (curiously all of them Easterners who moved west).

Curious that Wadsworth has such a strong opinion of life in America, unencumbered as he is by any actual experience of it.

Q: How do you tell if someone's a Californian?
A: for every $5 he earns, he spends $6. And all the other Yanks hate him. And our German friend will earn 5 and spend 4. And there is the cause of the trouble, in a nutshell.

dearieme said...

"the colonies were ruled by a Hanoverian monarch": come now, they were ruled by Parliament with interference by the monarch. It was the 1770s, not the 1630s.

And, of course, on most matters they were run by their own colonial assemblies anyway.

Mark Wadsworth said...

SW: "Curious that Wadsworth has such a strong opinion of life in America, unencumbered as he is by any actual experience of it. "

That's exactly what I didn't say. I said, "as a country" i.e. viewed from the outside. The USA (as an entity) keep going round invading places, starting wars and generally interfering. Germany does not do this, simples.*

I also specifically added that I had no opinion on what it was like to live there (on which you probably can't generalise anyway - I'm sure that different states and towns within the USA are even less alike than European countries).

Do you not understand that there are at least three levels to the question and hence three possible answers.*

* By analogy,

a) Turkey is a splendid neighbour, as a country, does not start wars or sponsor terrorism, doesn't bother anybody.
b) I would not like to live there as it is a tad Islamic for my tastes.
c) The few Turkish people I have met, I have liked (although they are rather unsympathetic towards the Kurds).

Sebastian Weetabix said...

Hmm. By the same token, "Wadsworth - frightful shit. Never met him."

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