By Michael dr. Logies
“The over-financialization and hyper-deregulations of the global(-ized) markets has brought the low-waged Chinese (peasant converted into a) wsorker into the spotlight of European considerations. Thus, in the last two decades, the EU economic edifice has gradually but steadily departed from its traditional labor-centered base, to the overseas investment-centered construct. This mega event, as we see now with the Euro-zone dithyramb, has multiple consequences on both the inner–European cultural, socio-economic and political balance as well as on China’s (overheated) growth. That sparse, rarefied and compressed labor, which still resides in the aging Union is either bitterly competing with or is heavily leaning on the guest workers who are per definition underrepresented or silenced by the ‘rightist’ movements and otherwise disadvantaged and hindered in their elementary socio-political rights. That’s how the world’s last cosmopolitan – Europe departed from the world of work, and that’s why the Continent today cannot orient itself (both critically needed to identify a challenge, as well as to calibrate and jointly redefine the EU path). To orient, one need to center itself: Without left and right, there is no center, right?!” – prof. Anis H. Bajrektarevic brilliantly summarized situation in Europe already years ago. Let’s see how it reflects on just closed German elections, and some fallacies surrounding (interpretations of) it.
Contrary to the constant reporting the low unemployment figures in Germany are simply misleading. The volume of work has shrunken slightly over the last 30 years. Many once well paid jobs have become part time jobs with low incomes. The lower 40 percent of population have not made any economic progress the last decades or have fallen back in real terms. The economic gap between the lower 40% and upper 10 % has widened. Prices of rents and houses are exploding in the bigger cities due to immigration, speculations driven by low interest rates and bau-mafia.
All this is putting economic stress on the lower and middle class. Merkel`s politics of initially open doors for over a million Arabic and African immigrants threatens the lower incomes classes because of more fierce competition on the labour market. And the SPD as a coalition partner in government did nothing to protect the lower classes from this competition, as it did traditionally.
(For those interested in a in-depth analysis do a graph of the SPD results over time. You will quickly notice a huge bump. This happened when Schulz became candidate and made all the right noises about social fairness. The bump quickly faded, after he was unable to add meat to it. So we are NOT looking at an electorate, which wouldn't vote for the classic profile of the SPD. Instead, we are looking at an SPD, which is unable to agree on a coherent program for it.
Moreover, recently, Germans were polled about it. About 80% (!!!) responded, that the SPD wants to stand for social justice, but isn't able to explain, how they want to do that.)
And all this in a country which exports its unemployment by a surplus of 8-9% of GDP to other countries. Simply put, Germany exports more than any other country on earth.
On the other hand, over the decades, the German mainstream media have been dominated by transatlantic elites with a neoliberal agenda for Germany and the EU, mimicking the US, ignoring most of these facts. The devastating effect on other countries in the EU by German underinvestment and austerity politics for the EU has been completely ignored in these German elections.
For me this all means that German elites are not able to lead the EU proactively. German elites are only reacting, based on a misleading, neoliberal economic theory (for alternatives: e. g. Steve Keen, Richard Werner or look to Scandinavian countries). The EU may implode because other countries don`t want to remain the poor backyard of Germany. Or the national elites in other EU countries, also dominated by neoliberal economics, will continue to successfully suppress there lower incomes classes like in the US, provoking silly reactions like electing Trump after even more silly removal of reasonable, economic alternatives like Bernie Sanders by the elites. Of course Trump is unable to deliver, what he has promised, with the usual consequences of populistic right wingers: making the rich richer (although perhaps a different fraction of the rich), suppressing minorities, cooking wars, etc.