Jump to content
kiko

German politics xth attempt

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Scholz is not only boring, he'a also pretty right-wing. He also, like Nahles, stands for the Agenda 2010 legislation.

Edited by Mindwalker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about Franziska Giffey?

She was Bezirksbürgermeisterin in Neukölln so she has a little knowledge of crisis management. Her childhood in the DDR could mayhaps help her winning some votes in the east.

Only problem: Her PhD is currently under investigation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Mindwalker said:

Scholz is not only boring, he'a also pretty right-wing. He also, like Nahles, stands for the Agenda 2010 legislation.

Don't tell me. I am perfectly aware of that. But whether the right wing thing would hurt or help him electorally is up for discussion, his absence of charisma however, that would most definately not help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

But whether the right wing thing would hurt or help him electorally is up for discussion, his absence of charisma however, that would most definately not help.

17 hours ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

For the love of everything unholy not the red zero Olaf "Prince Valium" Scholz. 

In Hamburg, Scholz managed a pretty solid campaign in 2011 and 2015, so there's at least that. He also managed his party in Hamburg pretty effective, an most people agree that he's a workaholic who is pretty strong on detail and facts. He's "tainted" by Agenda 2010 though (personally, I still consider it one of the most important and successful political reforms of post-war SPD).

Schwesig has yet to prove her mettle both as a campaigner and party manager. Apart from picking up a relatively safe constituency in MVP in 2011 she's gained nothing so far. Her offices were handed to her as part of the internal party politics and there's no doubt that she's popular in her own party, but that's mainly because so far she's held only ministerial positions and none of the unpopular party offices.

Schwesig is an "easy" pick, but considering how the party treats those to whom it entrusts it's managing positions, she might rightfully be cautious to tame her ambition until MVP has voted in 2021.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Alarich II said:

 He's "tainted" by Agenda 2010 though (personally, I still consider it one of the most important and successful political reforms of post-war SPD).

Why this? Even if these "reforms" were economically beneficial in the short term (which is highly doubtful but I'll not go into that) they were socially and politically devastating. Especially for the SPD, so in any case it was strategically a desaster. In the short term the "Agenda" led to the rise of the WASG/Linke, so basically to a further split of the center-left/left (with the eventual consequence of the left never going to be able to lead a federal government again!) and it was probably also one major factor in the rise of the AfD (the others are "euro scepticism" and migration).

Most importantly, it will lead to millions of elderly people in poverty, has already been a factor in the rising social inequality, extremely weakenend the bargaining power of workers and employees and expecially led to the almost complete loss of trust in politics. If the party of the workers, jobless and elderly throws you under the bus, whom do you have left to trust? It destroyed the SPD (well deserved), the Left in general (not quite as deserved) and the pensions of millions and the trust of about half the populace (not at all deserved because this was not what they voted for). Basically, it set the country on the current course of being torn apart between naive (upper) middle class bubble Greens/SJW and rightwing "populists". All these consequences are so devastatingly bad that a few percent better economic development (largely eaten up by the global crisis or the next one anyway) could never outbalance them.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Alarich II said:

In Hamburg, Scholz managed a pretty solid campaign in 2011 and 2015, so there's at least that. He also managed his party in Hamburg pretty effective, an most people agree that he's a workaholic who is pretty strong on detail and facts. He's "tainted" by Agenda 2010 though (personally, I still consider it one of the most important and successful political reforms of post-war SPD).

That is a somewhat superficial take on things. If you want to look at his Hamburg track record it might be good to go back a bit further.

Scholz was in the late 90s early 2000s Innensenator in Hamburg. That conincided with the rise of Ronald"Judge Dread" Schill (the same trash that made up his party is unsurprisingly also the core of the AfD). How did the SPD react to this far right uprising? They chased after them. His department was of course on the forefront of this. He was the one that pushed for forcing vomitives into suspect drug dealers. As a direct result one of them died. He has become unelectable for me ever since. To add insult to injury the SPD lost the Mayoral race in Hamburg in 2001 [for the outsiders, Hamburg, Berlin and Bremen are City states. So whoever runs the state is also the Mayor of the City], and Ole v. Beust became the new City leader as head of a colation of his CDU, Schill, and FDP (they have always been opportunistic scum), and thus ended decades of SPD rule. I think there's a lesson to be learnt about imitating right wing populists for electoral gains not being an effective strategy. Major achievement of those bells in goverment? Privatization, privatization, privatizaion. Including the privatization of the hospitals, he ignored a referendum on that one.

Anyway, the coalition fell apart spectacularly, when Schill tried to blackmail v. Beust over his sexuality, which was like never going to work. The SPD took a beating in the following election, Schill's party was no more, the FDP exited the Bürgerschaft [parliament] once again. v. Beust won with an absolute majority. He ran for a third term. After that election, he needed a coalition partner and was down to two choices. Either the grand coalition or the Greens. He opted for the latter. Their pound of flesh was reforms in education, which were a bit half arsed, since the CDU did not want to part with Grammar schools in full. The Green electorate was not too pleased with all of this*. I know quite a few Green voters, who were against this coalition in the firs place (including sincerely yours). At some point the moderate v. Beust decided he's had enough, and resigned. His sucessor was from the (far) right end of his party, C. Ahlhaus (a real piece of work). And the CDU-Green coalition did not last much longer (they put up with him for three months). There was discontent on the Green side before, but Ahlhaus was just beyond the pale.

Entrance Olaf Scholz. The right turn of the CDU was punished. While v. Beust won 42% of the vote the last time around, his successor cut that result in half. So the SPD picked up votes there, and won an absolute majority in 2011. It had nothing to do with Scholz. It had to do with Green voters punishing them for entering a coalition with the CDU, and with voters giving the CDU a kicking for Ahlhaus. Nahles would have won that election. That the Greens managed to roughly get the same result as in the previous election, however that was way below where they were polling nationwide in 2011 (they received about 10% of the vote and were polling around 15% nationwide), and they had the advantage of low turnout, and we are talking about metropolis, so Green hometurf here.

in 2015 the Greens time in the sinbin was over, and the SPD lost its majority and had to form a goverment with them again. Yes, the result for the SPD was good again. But let's say the CDU did not really put up much of a fight with their candidate (Wersich), that in combination with the incumbent bonus was basically enough. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtMRpQsyLT8

Extra 3 link to sum up the patheticness of the 2015 Hamburg election.

*anecdotal evidence of how many left leaning voters despised them for going to bed with the CDU. Fegebank (today assistant Mayor and leader of the local Greens) decided she wanted to have a beer with some friends. So they entered the Jolly Roger (FC St. Pauli fan scene pub). The Jolly staff told her in no uncertain terms they would not serve her, and she should get her CDU supporting ass out of the bar and buy her beer elsewhere.

Edited by A Horse Named Stranger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Jo498 said:

Why this? Even if these "reforms" were economically beneficial in the short term (which is highly doubtful but I'll not go into that) they were socially and politically devastating. Especially for the SPD, so in any case it was strategically a desaster. In the short term the "Agenda" led to the rise of the WASG/Linke, so basically to a further split of the center-left/left (with the eventual consequence of the left never going to be able to lead a federal government again!) and it was probably also one major factor in the rise of the AfD (the others are "euro scepticism" and migration).

Most importantly, it will lead to millions of elderly people in poverty, has already been a factor in the rising social inequality, extremely weakenend the bargaining power of workers and employees and expecially led to the almost complete loss of trust in politics. If the party of the workers, jobless and elderly throws you under the bus, whom do you have left to trust? It destroyed the SPD (well deserved), the Left in general (not quite as deserved) and the pensions of millions and the trust of about half the populace (not at all deserved because this was not what they voted for). Basically, it set the country on the current course of being torn apart between naive (upper) middle class bubble Greens/SJW and rightwing "populists". All these consequences are so devastatingly bad that a few percent better economic development (largely eaten up by the global crisis or the next one anyway) could never outbalance them.

 

Actually no, the reforms are not only short term beneficial, in fact, we have today one of the lowest unemployment figures ever, and - perhaps an even more important metric - an extremly low youth unemployment figure by European standards. There are many factors leading to this, but these reforms were badly needed - even Angela Merkel admitted that her later success in steering through the crisis of 2008/9 was mainly based on these reforms.

Now, I won't quibble some of the excesses of this reform, because they certainly exist. Humiliation and social exclusion should never be part of this system - I agree on this. However, the underlying principle that solidarity is not a one-way road and that those who receive social security should also be expected to make an effort to come out of their situation is a sound one. There was nothing fair about the old system that basically provided a UBI financed uniquely by those who pay into the social security and encouraging systematic free-riding.

I do agree that in terms of party politics these reforms were a mistake because the left did split and it did alienate many voters - especially in combination with the tax reforms in 2008 of the first grand coalition of this century. In that sense it was probably the wrong party for the right decision. But the left did split before over environmental issues (the Greens) and it might have split over any other issue later, never mind the fact that the PDS was a political force in the east even before. The fact that in governmental positions you will have to take hard decisions has nearly torn the Greens apart. And for the SPD it was the fact that there was an alternative leftist party that never had to fear any responsible position and could needle it from the left without having to put their positions to the test of governmental responsibility did the rest.

Did they give rise to the AfD? I actuall don't think so, in fact, if you look abroad, countries like Italy or France with much tighter labour regulations also have their fair share of right-wing parties, most of them even stronger than the AfD. Now I don't really give a shit for the SPD, they never were my kind of party, but I respect that Schröder put the good of the country before the good of the party.

Finally the great story about "elderly poverty", the one thing that really ticks me off. No, in fact, our current elderly population is the richest population ever, their poverty levels are below the general mean and their growing numbers basically make them the most pampered and subsidized group of the electorate. The fact is, that I will have to pay for the next decades to finance the redistributions policies in favour of pensioners, both out of the general tax-pot and the social security fund.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Also, if you look at election results, Schröder did reasonably well in 2005. Merkel came out just ahead by a tiny margin. The big drop came in 2009, after four years with Merkel. The Agenda may be unpopular with party members but not with the general electorate. 

Edited by Loge

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Alarich II said:

Actually no, the reforms are not only short term beneficial, in fact, we have today one of the lowest unemployment figures ever, and - perhaps an even more important metric - an extremly low youth unemployment figure by European standards. There are many factors leading to this, but these reforms were badly needed - even Angela Merkel admitted that her later success in steering through the crisis of 2008/9 was mainly based on these reforms.

Now, I won't quibble some of the excesses of this reform, because they certainly exist. Humiliation and social exclusion should never be part of this system - I agree on this. However, the underlying principle that solidarity is not a one-way road and that those who receive social security should also be expected to make an effort to come out of their situation is a sound one. There was nothing fair about the old system that basically provided a UBI financed uniquely by those who pay into the social security and encouraging systematic free-riding.

Sorry, but this is bollocks. The unemployment figures are (of course officially and legally) doctored (about a million off or so, see below) and why should a comparison with economically weaker (and otherwise problematic) countries like Italy be even relevant? We are also much better off than Somalia, so what? The reasonable comparison would be the overall social situation of the 70s and 80s with far better benefits, a far more equal society etc.

https://www.die-linke.de/themen/arbeit/tatsaechliche-arbeitslosigkeit/2019/

https://www.tagesschau.de/wirtschaft/hg-arbeitslosenzahlen-101.html

Two more points:

Hardly anything changes for the "free riders". The subproletariat, welfare kings and queens, who never worked and won't work anyway are not much worse off than before.

The ones FAR worse off are the recently unemployed, the precariously employed etc.  Many of which paid many years and a considerable portion of their income into the "solidarity system" (because unlike the top 20-25% they cannot opt out) They will be expropriated after one year of benefits because as long as you own any funds beyond a pittance you have to use them up before even qualifying for welfare. They are f*cked in four ways: Far weaker negotiating position because unemployment becomes far more threatening, as long as employed still forced into a "solidarity system" with fairly high fees and taxes, and when unemployed they will get almost nothing out of this system and have to use up their private funds before getting anything. And finally, without steady good employment they will be quite poor when old. So I cannot say anything but F* you to the politicians who brought this about and to anyone supporting this.

And it is of course not the current elderly in danger of impoverishment because they had hardly breaks in employment and benefitted from the strong social state of the 60s to mid-1980s during their lives and carreers. It's many of us in 20-30 years.

You apparently fell for the divide and conquer strategy to set unemployed vs. employed, young vs. old etc. all for the greater benefit of the top 1-10%.

It will get only ever more ugly. And the "reforms", along with tax cuts, privatizations, saving corrupt banksters etc. where what started us on that path. And the SPD got what they deserved. I am not crying after them. The only problem is that the balance of a strong center-right and a center-left party our system was built on from the 50s through the early 2000s has been destroyed. This might even have been good, if this destruction had been somewhat symmetric and new balances could be found. But only the left side was destroyed or at least seriously weakened so that the system is now very lopsided. As I said before this imbalance is somewhat hidden because in some issues there has been a vocal shift to the "left" (or more precisely the SJW-pseudoleft). Positions on taxation, the overall social system or public infrastructure that were centrist 30 years ago are now "far left", positions that were centrist 30 years ago on migration or gay rights are now "far right".

edit: Another article I found that severely criticizes the economic policies the Agenda was part of:

https://makroskop.eu/2019/05/die-cdu-und-rezo/

Edited by Jo498

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Jo498 said:

So I cannot say anything but F* you to the politicians who brought this about and to anyone supporting this.

I agree with your post.In fact, I haven't voted for any of the parties who brought this about. Which means: SPD, Greens (governing coalition; sadly, the Greens never suffered for their part in it), and of course, CDU and FDP: opposition, but voted for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 6/2/2019 at 7:51 PM, A Horse Named Stranger said:

Don't tell me. I am perfectly aware of that. But whether the right wing thing would hurt or help him electorally is up for discussion, his absence of charisma however, that would most definately not help.

Sure, but I don't care about saving the ass of that sorry excuse for a party unless they change their policies and develop something of a vision again. And that's not likely; even the party base seems to be of the opinion that their leadership (i.e. Nahles) just failed to communicate their splendid work. F*** them. That's what I meant by "too little, too late, and for all the wrong reasons". The only reason they mobbed Nahles out was their heavy losses, voting-wise. They honestly believe a better behaved person will change that.

ETA: The unemployed consist of more people than just the recently unemployed, or people who paid into the system for a long time, on one side, and "welfare kings/ queens" on the other. In fact, there are very few welfare royalty, but a lot more people who never get the chance to find half-decent, or any work, ever, or ever again. The quality of so-called "education" for Hartz IV people is abysmal. And of course the constant humiliation, not to mention the strain of living on such an extremely limited budget for a longer period of time take their toll, too. Everyone who has worked with these people knows it; everyone working within the system knows it. It's not a coincidence that those employees of the so-called job centers who issue most sanctions have the best prospects to rise through the ranks.

Of course, those on welfare long-time will also die 10 years earlier than the employed person, so yeah, damn entitled welfare kings!

Edited by Mindwalker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Jo498 said:

Sorry, but this is bollocks. The unemployment figures are (of course officially and legally) doctored (about a million off or so, see below) and why should a comparison with economically weaker (and otherwise problematic) countries like Italy be even relevant? We are also much better off than Somalia, so what? The reasonable comparison would be the overall social situation of the 70s and 80s with far better benefits, a far more equal society etc. 

So comparison to our direct European neighbours is not valid, but comparison to the 70s and 80s is? France is not so very different in it's industrial structure, they compete in the same environment and deal with the same global problems. So does Italy. Or Spain, or the UK for that matter.

In fact, with the recession in the 70's starts not only a sharp and continuous rise in unemployment, but also for the first time the widespread phenomenon of long-time or even permanent unemployment. So please spare me the 70s. People and politicians back then were drunk on 20 years of explosive growth and after their first hangover they did nothing to reform our social system to deal properly with economic crisis. This glorious baby-boomer generation is now the the richest ever generation of pensionaries who feed on the future of our social security because they solved their problems back then at the expense of the future generations. Not exactly an exemplary way to deal with problems.

And the fact that you cherry-picked this particular time and generation to compare it to our situation today is pretty telling.

 

Now for the "paying-in" argument, this is really boils down to "I want my money back", not exactly a very social motion. In fact, those who paid into this system for years, didn't actually accrue any rights to a payout, they simply supported the welfare state. This is like our pension system: you don't get your own payments back, your payments are simply used to pay out the pensions of the current pensioners and you must hope that in your own old days the system will still work this way. It is pretty obvious that such a system must rely on two things: a) enough people who pay in and b) not too many who are paid out. In other words, if the balance tips in the wrong direction (i.e. too many or too high pay-outs) the whole system becomes very unstable. And that makes ill suited to economic down-turn, because obviously those who paid in during the good times now want "their" money back (which is actually not their money) instead of saying "I'm glad I could support this system as long as it lasted, now I'm going to contend myself with less, as the times have changed". It leaves a bitter taste, but this is the system that we are (unfortunately) dealing with.

Now there are two steps: first is unemployment pay, then comes social security. In fact for ALG I, you don't have to sacrifice anything, you don't have to sell your house or anything.

Social security is a different matter, and it should be. Social security is not meant to secure your privately accumulated wealth, your house, two cars and two holidays abroad a year. There are enough people who are working and paying into the system who don't own any great private funds and it would be deeply unfair to take their money to fund those who have enough funds to support themselves for a time. Solidarity is not a one-way road: you cannot expect people to pay large amounts of money into a system that just hands out the money without considering the economic situation of those who get the pay-out. Social security cannot mean the total mitigation of any economic risk in life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

That is a somewhat superficial take on things.

Of course it is. But the point still stands: Scholz did win two elections, Schwesig none. Can we generalize the peculiarities of Hamburg? Certainly not, but that makes Schwesig not more qualified.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I can only say that two of my co-workers from Germany earn the same amount in 4 months in Austria than they earned in 12 months in Germany.

Same job and less hours. They hail from the New states of Germany.

Another co-worker with a PhD earned the same amount in Germany but the pension system and health care systems are still much better here which is the reason he does not want to go back.

I know it is just anecdotally evidence but I have yet to meet a German from former East Germany who got paid decently back home. 

Germany only works because a lot of people are still willing or are forced to do a good job for shitty pay and we are not talking about "Aufstocker" here imho.

Some people seem to live in some kind of bubble though. I have been to quite a few Cons in Germany and a lot of people from rich German states seem to live on a different planet than those from poor states. Some of the discussions I have heard were less than friendly because the well of Germans never seem to believe the other side. I have no problems believing them as I know dozens of Germans personally who moved to Austria for economic reasons. 

Edited by Wolfgang I

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Wolfgang I said:

I can only say that two of my co-workers from Germany earn the same amount in 4 months in Austria than they earned in 12 months in Germany.

Same job and less hours. They hail from the New states of Germany.

Another co-worker with a PhD earned the same amount in Germany but the pension system and health care systems are still much better here which is the reason he does not want to go back.

I know it is just anecdotally evidence but I have yet to meet a German from former East Germany who got paid decently back home. 

Germany only works because a lot of people are still willing or are forced to do a good job for shitty pay and we are not talking about "Aufstocker" here imho.

Some people seem to live in some kind of bubble though. I have been to quite a few Cons in Germany and a lot of people from rich German states seem to live on a different planet than those from poor states. Some of the discussions I have heard were less than friendly because the well of Germans never seem to believe the other side. I have no problems believing them as I know dozens of Germans personally who moved to Austria for economic reasons. 

That's the price for Germany's trade surplus. It's a liability rather than something to brag about. It may work well for big corporations and their shareholders but the workforce get screwed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I live in Saxony and I know, I don't know, perhaps 1 or 2 people who work during the winter in Austria (as seasonal staff in hotels). Their stories of employment don't really make out Austria as a bed of roses. The brain-drain to West Germany (or, I should say, certain regions of West Germany) used to be quite high, but the trend has reversed (if only recently).

Also you shouldn't forget that Austrias nice pensions-system relies on the fact that you have to pay in for 15 years to be eligible for a pension (in Germany it's only 5 years), in Austria you pay in a higher amount of your salary and last, but least, the base is lager because self-employed people also have to pay in (something that we should have adopted decades ago). Also pensions are fully taxed in Austria, not in Germany.

Be that as it may, Austria is probably a very good example that people can and do lead rather comfy lives and still vote right-wing assholes and ex neo-nazis into government. And when they get exposed a substantial part of the electorate is in total denial.

Wenn es dem Esel zu gut geht, geht er aufs Eis tanzen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Alarich II said:

Of course it is. But the point still stands: Scholz did win two elections, Schwesig none. Can we generalize the peculiarities of Hamburg? Certainly not, but that makes Schwesig not more qualified.

I am not even sure how Scholz would do in the next local election here. He buggered off to Berlin just in time to avoid some quite uncomfotable questions concerning the HSH bank, and the deal they cut to finally sell it. Yes, this was the CDU (v. Beust and Peiner to be more precise) who created this mess in the first place. But that doesn't make the SPD's (Scholz) solution anymore sensible. The only thing he got going for him, is that his successor Tschentscher has even less charisma than the Scholzomat himself, and a more difficult name to remember on top of that. Don't get me wrong, he seems to be a nice fellow and stuff. But right now, there's a case to be made about SPD doing better, if they were to dig up the remains of Voscherau and put him up for election again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Karneol said:

Yes I know this quite off discussion but I find this article pretty interesting for all those who voted Green or plan to

https://www.der-postillon.com/2019/06/gruene-1998-2005.html?m=1

Please remember that the Postillon is sometimes a little bit sarcastic.

The problem still is: You can't exactly say that a party that occasionally betrays its principles is somehow worse than parties that have none in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×