I have been delaying quite a rant about Germany. Mostly I needed the time, and the fire in my belly to take the time to do this topic justice.
If you have been paying attention, Greece, Spain, Portugal, and other countries in the Euro are hurting bad.
On a collision course to the potential epic explosion of the Euro is France vs Germany.
To learn more about the state of these countries, click on the links above.
At the heart of all these problems is the Euro.
The Euro is NOT a pure fiat currency. It is a currency that has strings attached, set by the dominant members of the Euro, with Germany at the heart of this debate.
Lets examine Greece as a case example. We'll bypass how Greece could never have entered the Euro without bogus off-the-book tricks to make their balance sheets look good enabled by large financial companies. The Euro (Germany) sets the rules that to be a member of the Euro you must have your finances in order. Countries cannot run deficits of 250% of GDP like Japan does. Such recklessness is at the expense of saving nations, like Germany.
Germany looks like the victim, a saving nation bailing out its neighbors, and enforcing tough love. This tough love of course is causing Greece to experience about 60% youth unemployment, 27% for general population, and 10% of all children at risk for insufficient food. A tough person would look at this and say "hey, Greece dug this hole, let them dig themselves out for the next 50 years". That in itself has issues for anyone born since 1980, hardly fair price to pay.
So the question is, why did Germany enter into such a disastrous marriage with countries with less than stellar financial histories? It is simple, it benefited Germany. How you may ask? It is a slight of hand that must be followed carefully.
Lets assume there was NEVER a Euro. Every country would have independent autonomy on their currency and finances. Greece could continue to (over) spend on their economy without having to cut back on their finances. You may say, that's illogical, they couldn't do that forever. True, there may be consequences but the likely net result is a currency that continually loses value compared to saving nations, like Germany.
So in 1990, 1 Drakma could buy 1 German Mark. By 2013, 5 Drakma buy 1 German Mark.
This of course, looks bad for Greece, their currency slides lower while Germany acts responsible.
So say you live in Greece and buy a BMW car for 30K in 1990. Car runs great and in 2013 time to buy another car. Now that same car will cost you 150K in 2013 in Drakmas'.
All things being relative, this will likely result in LESS German goods being purchased by Greeks. Now expand that thinking to every country 'not as fiscally' responsible as Germany.
The net result is for Germany to keep its exports healthy, it would REQUIRE to cut it's standard of living to it's citizens to bring down that car to say, 70K from 150K. Sure its not 30K, but something that may strike a balance of economics vs standard of living.
Now, which sounds better to you, have a customer base that sees your BMW as a 30K car in 2013, or 150K? The consequence of course is what Greece is experiencing today.
The only victim in Germany and Greeks citizens who believed their politicians.
Now the real victims is the youth of all countries, as they have near zero prospects for work. What we are building now is a European revolution, as the young get older, disgruntled and angry. Once we have a majority that are angry, this farce will end in a spectacular event.