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Glurp
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Topic # 242474 30-Oct-2018 08:26
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In the wake of major election losses, Angela Merkel has announced her intention to step down when her term finishes in 2021. I think this is a huge loss, and will have consequences for the stability and direction of Europe comparable to the effect of Donald Trump's election in America. The world seems to be moving in a disturbing direction. Merkel was one of the few leading politicians with the vision and courage to do the right thing in the face of enormous human tragedy. Unfortunately fear, self-interest and selfishness have won out and she and her supporters are being punished for that. Her departure from politics will be felt throughout Europe and the world. We seem to be heading for a dark time.

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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  Reply # 2116582 30-Oct-2018 08:46
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To try to put a less pessimistic spin on it, she will have been chancellor for 16 years when she steps down.

 

Yes - the far right are growing in strength, but so are the greens. 

 

The bad news is that "centrists" are under threat.


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  Reply # 2117605 31-Oct-2018 21:44
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Having lots of relatively unskilled immigrants arrive in a short space of time. Is really bad if you are a low or middle income worker. Lots of people who want your job and who are willing to do it for less. Good luck getting any meaningful pay rises in the future. Extra demand for housing, transport, health, education, social welfare etc. Means either reduced benefits from those services, or more tax just to maintain existing service levels.

If you are a company executive or an investor, rampant immigration is excellent news. All those extra workers means that you no longer need to offer pay increases to the bulk of your staff. All of the extra demand means more sales and higher asset prices. So you get massive pay rises and bonuses for yourself.

I have heard claims that this mass immigration is part of a long term plan to bust the German Labour unions. And reduce the long term wage costs of the big German car manufacturers. Surprise, Surprise, the German government owns big chunks of those car manufacturers.

So of course the masses don't want rampant immigration anymore. As they are the ones who will be affected the most by it.

Closer to home, Labour and NZ First campaigned on reducing immigration. And they are now in government. Especially as lower immigration is a U turn compared to the Helen Clark Labour government.





 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 2117626 31-Oct-2018 22:32
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Aredwood: Having lots of relatively unskilled immigrants arrive in a short space of time. Is really bad if you are a low or middle income worker. Lots of people who want your job and who are willing to do it for less.

The refugees from Syria into Germany will be a broad cross section of society from the affected regions. It's likely many of them will be in the process of setting up businesses and so on and contributing strongly to economic growth in Germany. It will be a gain for the german economy.

Add to that many of the labour shortages in various areas of the german economy in the early 2010's.

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  Reply # 2117632 1-Nov-2018 00:55
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Labour shortages are a good thing if you are an employee. And a bad thing if you are a company executive or investor. As Labour shortages mean larger wage increases that happen more often. No surprises guessing who wins and looses in a Labour shortages.

Agree about the broad cross section of society part. But consider that most professions and lots of trades are regulated. If you are an overseas qualified Doctor, lawyer, teacher, engineer, electrician, dentist, whatever. You can't just start working in your field of practice as soon as you arrive. You have to apply to a licencing board or government department, who will check if you meet the required minimum standards before you can practice in your field. And until you are approved, it is typically illegal to practice in that field. And often also illegal to even say that you are a lawyer, engineer, whatever.

It would be a safe bet that Germany has very strict rules and qualifications that you have to comply with before being allowed to practice in a number of professions and trades. If you are a recent immigrant who is highly qualified, but cannot met the practice requirements for your trade / profession. You are still going to need a job, any job. Both to pay the bills for now, and to get some local work experience for your CV. So you are forced to do jobs that are lower skilled.

Now imagine if you are a worker who is unskilled or semi skilled. Which would probably be the demographic who would work in the car manufacturing plants. You suddenly have lots of people who have higher qualifications than you, who are competing against you for jobs.

Agree also that the higher immigration will be helping economic growth in Germany. But Total GDP growth mainly helps the upper classes. While if per capita GDP stays stagnant, the middle and lower classes loose out.

Back to NZ. Look at the John Key National and Helen Clark Labour governments. Both had strong GDP growth, high immigration, and expansions in social spending. And very low per capita GDP growth. But I doubt that anyone here would say that lower income people are better off now than they were 18 - 20 years ago. Just look at housing costs VS wages.





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  Reply # 2117845 1-Nov-2018 13:50
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Fred99:

 

The bad news is that "centrists" are under threat.

 

 

This is a very elegant summary of what is wrong with politics in the world at the moment.

 

The world is becoming increasingly polarised, on many issues.  Moderate positions are unpalatable and politically untenable.

 

 

 

I'm going to explain this badly, but I have been noticing a trend in many things lately toward dichotomies. 

 

Journalists, rather than asking for someone' opinion will ask them to choose between  two diametrically opposed positions.  Even marketing often implores people to decide whether they relate to x or y.  Lightweight semi-news programmes in the 7pm or breakfast slots have a lot of this sort of thing.  People no longer need to think, just choose between two options.

 

It's a hard phenomenon to describe (I did predict I'd explain it poorly), but keep it in mind for a couple of weeks and see what you notice.

 

 





Mike



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  Reply # 2117898 1-Nov-2018 14:42
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I would not disagree with you on this. I guess the question is why? What is it that is causing people to become increasingly entrenched in their positions? 

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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  Reply # 2117946 1-Nov-2018 15:15
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Social media.


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  Reply # 2117974 1-Nov-2018 16:21
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MikeAqua:

 

I'm going to explain this badly, but I have been noticing a trend in many things lately toward dichotomies. 

 

Journalists, rather than asking for someone' opinion will ask them to choose between  two diametrically opposed positions.  Even marketing often implores people to decide whether they relate to x or y.  Lightweight semi-news programmes in the 7pm or breakfast slots have a lot of this sort of thing.  People no longer need to think, just choose between two options.

 

It's a hard phenomenon to describe (I did predict I'd explain it poorly), but keep it in mind for a couple of weeks and see what you notice.

 

 

It's like Netflix removing their star rating and replacing it with a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down"!


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  Reply # 2118066 1-Nov-2018 20:10
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Aredwood: Labour shortages are a good thing if you are an employee. And a bad thing if you are a company executive or investor. As Labour shortages mean larger wage increases that happen more often. No surprises guessing who wins and looses in a Labour shortages.

They are a bad thing if you are in a hospital or aged care facility with a shortage of medical staff.

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  Reply # 2118079 1-Nov-2018 20:19
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Aredwood: Agree about the broad cross section of society part. But consider that most professions and lots of trades are regulated. If you are an overseas qualified Doctor, lawyer, teacher, engineer, electrician, dentist, whatever. You can't just start working in your field of practice as soon as you arrive. You have to apply to a licencing board or government department, who will check if you meet the required minimum standards before you can practice in your field. And until you are approved, it is typically illegal to practice in that field. And often also illegal to even say that you are a lawyer, engineer, whatever.

I agree. Also a new language or technical terms to learn. Luckily refugees tend to be very motivated as a group and to some degree usually anticipate the challenge. Germany is big on vocational training and that will be a strength. Sure not everyone will make it back to their area of expertise, that's a fact unfortunately.

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  Reply # 2118088 1-Nov-2018 20:39
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Aredwood: Back to NZ. Look at the John Key National and Helen Clark Labour governments. Both had strong GDP growth, high immigration, and expansions in social spending. And very low per capita GDP growth. But I doubt that anyone here would say that lower income people are better off now than they were 18 - 20 years ago. Just look at housing costs VS wages.

Housing generally is an affordability problem for low wage earners and subject to massive underinvestment in NZ when compared to Germany leading to this:



Morgan foundation analysis: https://morganfoundation.org.nz/german-house-prices-flat

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