September 13, 2010

"Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?"

Here's the opening of my new VDARE.com column:
For decades, American economic sages, such as Larry Summers, Tom Friedman, and Alan Greenspan, have implied that manufacturing stuff was more or less obsolete—that the building blocks of the economy of the future would be cheap labor and  expensive finance. The Chinese will make everything, while Americans will get rich selling each other ever more sophisticated financial instruments.

You might ask: What about the 98 percent of Americans who aren’t cut out for working for Goldman Sachs?

Well, you see, all we have to do is fix the schools. Then everybody will work for Goldman!

The Germans, however, never got the memo. All those speeches at Davos and articles in The Economist about how expensive skilled labor is the road to ruin worried them, but didn’t convince them. Thomas Geoghegan’s entertaining new book about the triumph of the German economy, Were You Born on the Wrong Continent? How the European Model Can Help You Get a Life, explains why the Germans have kept their files to the grindstone and how it's paid off for them. Germany exports more each year than America, despite having only 27 percent as many people. German machinery is more than competitive on the world market, even with Germany’s high wages, six-week vacations, strong unions, and workers getting half the seats on many corporate boards.

Despite having to bail out the profligate Greeks, the German economy in 2010 is expanding and unemployment dropping. Germany runs a trade surplus. And, as illustrated by the blockbuster sales in Germany of Germany Abolishes Itself [VDARE.COM note: review coming soon!], Thilo Sarrazin’s new book criticizing immigration, the self-respect of the German nation is finally coming out of the closet.

The Anglo-American mantra of low wages being “good for the economy” has provided the intellectual keystone for pro-immigration pundits in the U.S. Although Geoghegan avoids mention of immigration in America, his analysis of why the German economic dynamo keeps humming subverts by analogy the case for immigration.

Geoghegan (whose Irish Catholic surname rhymes with “Reagan”) is a political anomaly in 21st Century America: he’s a 1940s-type pro-union Democrat. Geoghegan has scratched out a career defending in court (he’s a labor union lawyer) and in print (his first book was Which Side Are You On? Trying to Be for Labor When It’s Flat on Its Back), the interests of the least fashionable people in America: beefy, middle-aged, working class white guys in windbreakers.

Read the whole thing there and comment upon it below.

130 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am a US citizen who has lived in Germany for 15 years, and I do wish America's profoundly brain-dead political class would indeed study the German model.

As I've been saying for years now to anyone who would listen, we need a new political equation which jettisons the phobias and obsessions of left and right.

A good compromise would be an agreement between Republicans and Democrats stipulating zero net immigration into the US for the next 50 years, and the expulsion of all illegals, and the revocation of all anchor (fraudulent) US citizenships in exchange for a frank acknowledgment that anthropogenic climate change and environmental destruction generally (the oceans are dying off quickly whether or not the climate changes) is the principal danger facing human civilization, that there has been no real scientific controversy about these matters for decades, and that none of our other problems will even matter if we do not solve this one (if you are dead, you don't have to worry about your high blood pressure, your flat feet, your cholesterol levels, or you are receding hairline).

the left/right consensus rendering overpopulation an untouchable topic over the past 25 years has been an unparalleled catastrophe - and it proves that left and right can the simultaneously in full agreement and cataclysmically wrong.

The strange collaboration between global capital and the intellectually stunted version of leftism known as multiculturalism seem to have been working in concert to open borders, lower wages, erode standards, and reduce self-confident, self-aware, well-informed citizenries to fragmented, chaotic, insecure, and infantilized consumers.

The worst feature of contemporary Europe is its dedication to reproducing America's dysfunctional, ineducable, violence–prone underclass via Third World immigration.

Having succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, Europeans now want yo reverse the catastrophe – for some reason, they actually seem to regret having converted Paris, Brussels, London, and Stockholm into European versions of Detroit, Oakland, New Orleans, & Washington DC.

Having taken on board the American PC discourse, however, they have also deprived themselves of any coherent vocabulary for discussing these issues rationally.

Hence the importance of the Sarrazin flap: the genie is out of the bottle, and too many people are refusing to be silenced.

one delightful benefit of this burgeoning debate is that Europeans no longer ask me with wide-open eyes:

"why are American cities so violent?"

now they know why.

Anonymous said...

To me the most disgusting group of Americas are the beefy, middle-aged, working class white guys in windbreakers.

These guys apparently feel incredibly entitled to a "middle-class" life-style despite not having earned it.

The immigrant works much harder and earns much less and feel much less entitled.

Which group do you find more disgusting? I say the former. The entitled group.

Anonymous said...

To what extent is multiculturalism a means by which the elite circumvents and suppresses class conflict? We're all too busy talking about diversity.

Then again, why do labour unions in countries like Canada support multicultural causes? Indoctrination, perhaps. But also because they are mediocrities who will support mediocrity against excellence. Oswald Spengler said something like this long ago.

Anonymous said...

In school we learned about NATIVIST jerks like you. You're a smooth talker but we know what you're about.

You're about limiting the franchise! Only some people get to live the good life--YOUR PEOPLE.

Anonymous said...

Steve, Germany's debt to GDP ratio is terrible and they are in many ways even more socially depraved than the US. Only Singapore and Switzerland have managed their finances well in recent years. China of course is a special case as the world's creditor.

It would be a real mistake to think that unions are the key to economic survival. A guy who is lucky enough to get a job decides his employer isn't paying him enough, so he gets a bunch of his buddies to agitate for more pay and equips them with rocks to bash in the heads of "scabs" who'd be happy to do the job for less. And the guy who risked his life savings to start the business feels like he should have his head examined for extending a job offer to such troublesome and ungrateful people in the first place. That's unions for you.

Anonymous said...

steve wrote:
"The increasingly outdated talking points of left and right are being displaced by a new realist synthesis."

Yes! And that synthesis is not formed from the parts of the Left and the Right that the media and the conventional wisdom would have us combine. Instead it will be based on the trueleft economics aspect of the american left, the class-oriented aspect of the Left that part that is ignored by the establishment and media, and it will be based on the anti-immigration and states-rights aspects of the Right.

Germany and the rest of western europe are already doing this. They were there a long time ago. Why?

Go one step further and realize that the fundamental difference that allows germany and the rest of western europe to do this the structure of their govt--parliamentarian.

the structure of the govt is the great unacknowledged force in politics, that and the relative degree of homogeneity of the population.

Now go read Dr Woody Holton's essay on how the american form of republicanism is designed to favor Capital over Labor (google "woody holton" "excess of democracy") and read Dr Fresia's online book Toward An American Revolution that deals with the same subject.

I will leave you with this observation: if you are pro-states rights and anti-immigration and anti-racial diversity, then you are a leftist in america.

-cryofan

Anonymous said...

the civil right boys will sue. if you try for a skilled work force.

headache said...

A guy who is lucky enough to get a job decides his employer isn't paying him enough, so he gets a bunch of his buddies to agitate for more pay and equips them with rocks to bash in the heads of "scabs" who'd be happy to do the job for less. And the guy who risked his life savings to start the business feels like he should have his head examined for extending a job offer to such troublesome and ungrateful people in the first place. That's unions for you.
So, tell me where in Germany this happened? What a load of crap. The only people who don't like unions are bosses who are too stingy to pay their workers a proper wage. Cheap workers equate to poor quality. And if you feel your workers are not properly trained, why don't you do something about it?

Anonymous said...

...anthropogenic climate change and environmental destruction generally (the oceans are dying off quickly whether or not the climate changes) is the principal danger facing human civilization, that there has been no real scientific controversy about these matters for decades...

Ugh.

Maybe David Gelbaum isn't such a bad guy after all.

Anonymous said...

Immigrants ought to have a good life - in their own country.

Not here.

The boat is sinking for everyone.

We owe our children, FIRST, not them.

If we get out of the global state market at the same time, then we can have proper boundaries for all.

Anonymous said...

This article is Steve at his very best.

David said...

>You're about limiting the franchise! Only some people get to live the good life--YOUR PEOPLE.<

We made the pie. You don't get a slice. Tough for you. Make your own pie.

Anonymous said...

To the idiot who slagged off the 'beefy windbreaker wearing guys':

Well I'm pretty sure that there are literally hundreds of millions of Indians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis who could do *your* job at a much lower price and at better value - only you won't in a hundred million years ever voluntarily give up *your* job and give the unentitled a chance.
You talk a good game, but in the final analysis you're full of hot air.

Tom Piatak said...

An excellent piece.

Anonymous said...

German labor is at least one of the reasons why I will never buy "Made in Germany." Why should anyone support the lavish life-style of these entitled union-thugs? If I choose to go upscale for my car in the future, I'm buying a Lexus or an Infiniti.

Anonymous said...

To the 'entitled' idiot.
The beefy guys are just looking out for their own self-interest, which elementary economic theory tells us all rational actors in the market do, the word 'entitled' doesn't come into it, they are just seeking to maximize their earnings to the fullest extent possible.Thus it ever was.
Of course, if you re-introduced slavery, then you'll have no sense of 'entitlement' or any wages to pay.The last time America tried that experiment it ended in disaster (I'm sure there were people like you around in those days writing eloquent 'moral justifications' for slavery)and the legacy will continue to visit disaster upon the USA until the USA has its dying day.
The mass importation of low wage Mexicans (similar to the 'mass labor force' idea behind agicultural slavery as practised in the USA - African slavery was only used - as many tend to forget - because the planters simply could not get a labor force at any price, they would have much, much preferred to have a docile European style mass peasantry at hand, a workforce to whom the responsibilty ended after the hours were up), is a similar idea and will have similar repercussions on the USA and those citizens even unconnected with cheap labor.

Anonymous said...

American labor is increasingly controlled by the public sector unions, whose interests are not in line with the private sector. That's because immigrants create jobs for the public sector: they have to be schooled, fed, counted, treated, housed, etc. On the other hand, the private sector workers have to compete with them. Today's private sector unions sell their members upstream when they support immigration. How their rank and file don't revolt, I'm not sure.

-preferrably anon

Anonymous said...

LOL at all the trolls commenting on this post.
Don't fall for it, guys.

Anonymous said...

"These guys apparently feel incredibly entitled to a "middle-class" life-style despite not having earned it. "

Why haven't they earned it? Did people earn in in the 50's. Have all the Wall St scum earned their super rich lifestyle by shuffling paper?

All the immigrants work,right.

Anonymous said...

"In school we learned about NATIVIST jerks like you. You're a smooth talker but we know what you're about.

You're about limiting the franchise! Only some people get to live the good life--YOUR PEOPLE."

Talk about brainwashing in school. Only stupid or brainwashed people are for giving the country away.

They can vote;in their own country.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

In school we learned about NATIVIST jerks like you. You're a smooth talker but we know what you're about."

Yes, I'm sure you did. I'm sure you learned a lot of things in school.....all of them wrong.

"You're about limiting the franchise! Only some people get to live the good life--YOUR PEOPLE."

On this, I will second David's fine comment above.

Go piss in your own pot, idiot.

Jerry said...

"Steve, Germany's debt to GDP ratio is terrible and they are in many ways even more socially depraved than the US."

Really? 72% for Germany and 52% for the US according to the CIA Factbook/wikipedia. And the US is catching up fast.

And the CIA underestimates:

From the CIA link: "This entry records the cumulative total of all government borrowings less repayments that are denominated in a country's home currency."

Approximately 56% of US federal government debt is held by individuals, corporations, and local governments within the US. Thus they will be repaid in the home currency. That explains the discrepancy between the 39.7% number [for 2008] and the more commonly used 85% - measuring different things.

--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt

Anonymous said...

The Germans and Japanese have shown that a high standard of living can be achieved without undermining the cultural foundations of their country. Third world immigration plants the seeds for future race conflicts on top of the already existing one with blacks, the original source of non-white cheap labor. The Germans have a civilized system of negotiating wage levels. Here we just have race and class warfare in some confusing mix. Over there at least they are thinking about their future. Here the well to do just care about a higher profit rate. What happens to the US 50 years down the road, who cares, I got mine today.

Green and Gold said...

Left-wing WASP: "If only America were more like Finland..."

Right-wing WASP: "If only America were more like Germany..."

Chief Seattle said...

The Economist magazine loves to make that kind of argument. Back in 1999 or so after Ford bought Jaguar and GM bought Volvo they were arguing that an independent Honda couldn't survive. Of course all one had to do was drive a Honda, or even look in any California parking lot for the counter argument.

Of course the economist also argues that H1-Bs are some kind of technical world-beaters that the country can't do without.

Census Data said...

"The immigrant works much harder and earns much less and feel much less entitled."


Uh, huh. His kids sure as heck don't work harder or feel any less entitled. 50% born out of wedlock on food stamps, WIC and Medicaid. That is pretty damned expensive. Incarceration of hispanics has increased 50% in just the past 10 years. That is an extra 150,000 inmates. Prisons aren't free, nor are the wardens and their pensions.

Wise up.

For every 1000 latinas, there are 97 illegitimate births every year.

That is higher than blacks at 72 illegitimate kids per 1000 black women.

And almost quadruple the 27 white welfare brats per 1000 white women.

Ray Sawhill said...

Genius review. Sounds like a fun book too.

greenrivervalleyman said...

Tom Geoghegan wrote a bunch of articles on the superiority of the German union-based economy for The New Republic during the mid-90's. I remember this because in addition to making some interesting points he also made a lot of way-out claims regarding Germany's overall cultural superiority (bookstores that sell only the works of Heidegger! 1 year olds that sit patiently through the entire Ring Cycle at Bayreuth!) I bring this up because for those not in the know the The New Republic is the most unadulterated fount of neoconservatism on the planet. If The Weekly Standard's William Kristol is the neocon Darth Vader, Martin Peretz is certainly its Emperor. I trust readers of this blog are sophisticated enough to appreciate the kink this represents in the usual: Jew -> neocon -> neoliberal syllogisms deployed here at iSteve.

Anyway though, as HBD realists we can't overlook the fact that the German economic model works best when you have a nation composed of mostly Germans, with their characteristic knack for hard work, obedience, and priggish nastiness. Forget the 1965 Immigration Act. If one's goal is a high-skilled, high-wage, export-based economy, the 1924 Immigration Act came about 40 years too late. My wife makes me watch all the "Jersey" reality shows (Jerseylicious, Real Housewives of New Jersey, Jersey Shore). Please tell me how you'll get millions of exuberant East Coast wops (no offense), plus Greeks, plus Poles and Ukrainians, to patiently hand-stitch the leather seats of our Mercedes and Porsche knock-offs. This of course does not even address the millions of humanoids now in this country from Nicaragua, Pakistan, and Somalia.

And though I know this comes in for regular ridicule here, there is that whole vibrancy issue. Germany economy = German pop culture. Do we really want to live in a country where the best rock-'n-roll band sounds like The Scorpions? Where instead of being able to catch decent jazz in any moderately large city we're all participating in shape note singing?

Steve Sailer said...

I went to a shape note choir concert once. Yeah ...

Anonymous said...

greenrivervaleyman,
Italians,Poles and other ethnics DID hand sew seat covers for cars and perform a myriad other indusrial tasks in the USA prior to the 1970s.
By all accounts they did this well.

Idiot.

Dahlia said...

Shape note singing was featured in the PBS documentary, "The Appalachians". It's different, but I imagine very haunting and neat when one is coming upon a little church with that echoing through the hills.

Anonymous said...

The immigrant works much harder and earns much less and feel much less entitled.

You're joking yes?

And in addition I'd like to see some factual basis for your assertions.

Anonymous said...

Do we really want to live in a country where the best rock-'n-roll band sounds like The Scorpions?

I do.

cherub's revenge said...

"Anonymous said...

German labor is at least one of the reasons why I will never buy "Made in Germany." Why should anyone support the lavish life-style of these entitled union-thugs? If I choose to go upscale for my car in the future, I'm buying a Lexus or an Infiniti."

You are aware of the fact that Japanese auto manufacturers are all unionized in Japan, right?

It's just them dirty 'murcans that shouldn't have unions I guess.

Steiner said...

An additional component of deception by the "economic sages" is the total absence of any mention of just who is responsible for American manufacturing prowess. There is never, ever, any discussion of how America needs another Westinghouse, Chrysler or Boeing, and the fact that these German-Americans are the product of a deliberate policy of emphasizing immigration from Northern Europe, as opposed to the kind America gets today.

Anonymous said...

First my credentials. I used to work on an assembly line and for a while there I was organizing for the Teamsters. I worked in warehouses lifting heavy things and I drove a truck too. But I don't wax nostalgic for those days. Manual labor, factory jobs and unionization are only attractive if you don't get too close. I much preferred working on math models or database designs while drinking a cappuccino.

My next door neighbor only drives German cars. He lives alone but has two Mercedes sedans and a Porsche (with carbon ceramic brakes). I drive a Japanese sports car. Why no Chevys?

Are there some similarities between the Germans and the Japanese - other than having been the recipient of American bombs? Well there is IQ. Japan is in the top three according to Lynn and Vanhanen. Germany as I remember has a national IQ of about 102-4. The highest IQ nation on earth is South Korea. Hmmm! They seem to have a expanding auto industry too.

So maybe before we get excited about the German "model" we might look at simpler explanations. It's odd that here on this blog of all places I would have to point this out.

Illegal immigration and the loss of industrial jobs have exactly the same cause - the "Robot Gap". Watch the Discovery Channel sometime. Every thing made in a factory so it seems is made by a robot. They have to play the footage in slow motion because the robots are working so fast. Yet at the same time there are no robots available to weed my garden or clean my bathroom.

Consider baseball. I could probably invent a robot(s) to tend the field - i.e mow the lawn, draw the lines, sweep home plate, etc..
But could I or anyone else create a robot who could play shortstop?

Albertosaurus

Omnivore said...

Yeah, Germany's society is doing just great:

http://www.thelocal.de/society/20100910-29737.html

Regarding our beefy unionized white guys, Steve, how often do your Republican comrades in arms support them?

Aren't the Republicans the party that supports the employers who imported the alien slave class?

Have you no shame?

JerseyGuy said...

Steve,
Bill Bonner of the Daily Reckoning has written quite extensively on the Anglo Saxon economists of the past 75 years. The civilization that brought us much of our modern world has adopted this bizarre view that spending and consumerism (either through the cheap wage economy (WSJ and Cato Insitute) and Keynesian economy (Paul Krugman and Martin Wolf) will bring riches. Because these philosphies are based on frauds and untruths, economists have to justify their outcomes with phony statistics like GDP.

Here is Bill Bonner discussing Paul Krugman and WWII deficit spending. I love this line:

"Economists can’t even measure real prosperity, let alone fiddle it. So they put on the GDP and employment numbers the way a bald man puts on a cheap wig. It makes him look ridiculous and fraudulent, but it’s the best he can do."

Although he is talking about the wartime economy, it can also be applied to the offshored/cheap wage economy of modern day New York City. Contrary to what you see on television (except for Manhattan below 96th Street and some Brooklyn Brownstone neighborhoods), the quality of life of New York has decreased in many NYC neighborhoods over the last 15 years, especially Queens.

http://queenscrap.blogspot.com/2010/09/perry-avenue-crap-unveiled.html

According to a modern economist, we are now all better off as where a single 1 family houses once stood, there are now five family houses in the same area. GDP went up!! Wohoo!!

cherub's revenge said...

It also seems that the formation of Japan's Autoworkers Union coincides with the rise of Japanese car manufacturing, not it's decline.

JAW.or

"Confederation of Japan Automobile Workers' Unions (JAW) was formed in 1972. It has a current membership of about 770,000, and serves as the confederated body for the labor unions of automobile manufacturers, parts makers, sales dealers, transportation companies, and other automobile related companies.'

John Seiler said...

Good points, but you're missing something: the massive spending on military hardware by the U.S. That's where our investments and top engineers go. Nobody can match us in those areas. The Saudis just bought another $60 billion in U.S. warplanes.

And the Sunday L.A. Times had a good article on how the increased production of drone aircraft has "revitalized" Southern California's aerospace industry. Except that it's all paid for with money borrowed from the Chinese. The drones will be used to kill Pakistani wedding parties, turning their families into revenge-seeking jihadis. Ours is the dumbest empire ever heard of.

Meanwhile, the krauts cut their defense spending and put their top engineers to work designing Porsches instead of panzers.

Coda: The Germans kept their great trade schools, such as for tool and die, whereas most of ours were dissolved years ago, such as the world-renowened Henry Ford Trade School my father attended in the 1930s, but which closed in the early 1950s. Instead, we send our kids to P.C. colleges to waste four years.

L.A. Times article URL: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/11/business/la-fi-drones-20100912

Claverhouse said...

An Anonymous said:

A guy who is lucky enough to get a job decides his employer isn't paying him enough, so he gets a bunch of his buddies to agitate for more pay and equips them with rocks to bash in the heads of "scabs" who'd be happy to do the job for less. And the guy who risked his life savings to start the business feels like he should have his head examined for extending a job offer to such troublesome and ungrateful people in the first place. That's unions for you.

Well, if we're delving into the dim murky past the guy who risked his life savings can always hire Pinkertons and random police to persuade the workers to call off the strike with the healing power of bullets.

omnivore said...

Anonymous,

Europeans ask you why American cities are so violent? Are you freaking serious? Are you sure it wasn't some senile German granny who lost her marbles in a bombing raid? You mean that young Europeans don't realize their own societies are becoming sinkholes of 3rd world crime:

Regarding crime, read one of the more intelligent comments on the book on the Amazon page:

"Also, violent crime has skyrocketed in Britain and France since 1995, and fell in the US. I personally witnessed more violence in Europe in 8 years, than in 34 in the US, which is supposedly more violent. I was in Lyon, France in 2000 and was personally accosted twice by young African street "urchins", in one weekend (!). I had to almost get into a fight to prevent a woman from being accosted in the subway in Lyon. Nice "quality of life". (no cops anywhere, and if you expect European cops to protect you, you are dreaming)."

In the English language Spiegel, with respect to Sarrazin, I've read that "You Christian" is a common schoolyard taunt.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,716648,00.html

Last but not least, Germany pretty much leads the world in the most radical gay rights.

So, below-replacement level birthrates, rigidly suppressed debate on open homosexuality, skyrocketing crime....

You can have it.

I enjoy a contrarian view as much as the next crank. Geoghegan supplies that. I actually agree with most of what he says.

But Europe isn't the paradise that Anonymous makes it out to be.

Severn said...

For decades, American economic sages, such as Larry Summers, Tom Friedman, and Alan Greenspan, have implied that manufacturing stuff was more or less obsolete—that the building blocks of the economy of the future would be cheap labor and expensive finance.


And the odd thing about that is that the world economy is awash with money looking for something to invest in. There's no particular reason why capital ought to be expensive.

Anonymous said...

Remember that rock group that lip synced songs that were sung by others? Our economy is being liquidated in Asia. Asians are lip syncers but Americans are the real thing. We just need to get rid of the hostile ruling elites who are destroying us and our economy.

Anonymous said...

Steve, Germany's debt to GDP ratio is terrible and they are in many ways even more socially depraved than the US. Only Singapore and Switzerland have managed their finances well in recent years.

Even with all its Muslim immigrants, Germany can still only muster a Total Fertility Rate of about 1.35.

Which is to say: Germany is already dead.

PS: Switzerland, at about 1.40 to 1.45, is not far behind Germany, and Singapore, at somewhere around 1.10, has already turned to dust.

Circa 2050, these nations [i.e. the physical territories which these nations had comprised] will be either vast wastelands, or new outposts of Dar al-Islam.

Big bill said...

Cheap labor means cheap immigrants. Why does the author avoid the mass third world immigration question?

A hundred and twenty-five years ago Booker T Washington was able to speak out on the question in his Atlanta speech. Samuel Gompers, A Philip Randolph and many more could make the obvious connection. A big piece of "The Jungle" was about bosses importing peasants from different countries to foment national hatreds and drive wages down. That is exactly what they did when they imported cheap black hillbilly labor up north to the rust belt, with the same negative results.

Geoghegan knows all that, so why does he refuse to bring it up? Does he honestly believe we can educate all those third worlders or that they will ever be able to pay back any investment in their human capital? Or is he carefully picking his battles and hoping that his liberal readers will see the connection?

Anonymous said...

And though I know this comes in for regular ridicule here, there is that whole vibrancy issue. Germany economy = German pop culture. Do we really want to live in a country where the best rock-'n-roll band sounds like The Scorpions?

Did you watch any of the VMA last night? American popular culture is approaching the vibrancy of a truck stop rest room.

Truth(er) said...

Two issues:

1) The biggest problem with unions is that they do not look out for workers. They look out for retirees. If you have 800,000 retirees and 200,000 actual workers, both in the same union, then whose interests are always going to win out?

2) The problem with any "export-led growth" is what happens if a country stops importing your goods? Then what?

smead jolley said...

I've read just about everything Geoghegan has ever written. Most of it appeared in The New Republic in the '80's and '90'S. He's a Harvard Law grad whose big legal fight was getting middle-American companies to honor their promises to retirees. For the most part, federal courts allowed companies aiming for "lean and mean" to evade those promises. So his attachment to the Democratic party seemed to me mostly about appointing the kind of judges who would invest contract law with some real teeth. What I can't figure out about the guy is why I've never heard him say anything critical about the multi-culti whackos in his own party.

BamaGirl said...

"Do we really want to live in a country where the best rock-'n-roll band sounds like The Scorpions? Where instead of being able to catch decent jazz in any moderately large city we're all participating in shape note singing?"

What's wrong with The Scorpions? They produced a lot of catchy 80s hair metal. And what is your issue with sharp note singing? Its a cultural tradition in many parts of the country and can sound very nice. How does the existence of sharp note singing nullify the ability to "catch decent jazz?" And why on earth are you associating sharp note singing with Germany considering it originated with colonial English/Scottish/Irish settlers??

headache said...

greenrivervalleyman,
relax, nobody expects you to wear a Lederhose or eat Bratwurst. Steve made an obvious point that anybody reasonable can see immediately, namely that a highly-skilled, well paid workforce creates more wealth for everybody. This was the case in the US in the 1950's. Of course this system is anathema to the likes of Goldman and Blackstone, who want to sit on their lonely pinnacle and look down on the goyim rubes. Which is why they spent the last decades breaking the general wealth creating system and replacing it with the Ponzi scheme.

Evil Sandmich said...

so he gets a bunch of his buddies to agitate for more pay and equips them with rocks to bash in the heads of "scabs"
...
So, tell me where in Germany this happened?


Where in Germany did the unions build cars as awful as they did in the U.S. (and especially the U.K.)

The U.S. isn't Germany in a lot of ways, and managing much of anything is one place where we differ greatly.

(I also remember the managment of my company mentioning that German companies would rather go broke buying from other German companies than 'go cheap', not sure if it's still true...)

Anonymous said...

CensusData, do you have any citation (preferably a URL) for where those data (illegitimate births per woman in various groups) come from? The numbers you offer are compelling, but I want to check them before telling others about them.

Anonymous said...

These guys apparently feel incredibly entitled to a "middle-class" life-style despite not having earned it.

The immigrant works much harder and earns much less and feel much less entitled.


Interesting comment which deserves a thoughtful response.

Why aren't these immigrant workers who "work much harder" earning more and benefiting from a "middle class lifestyle" in their homelands? After all, they are "working much harder!" Could it be because of the civilizational, political and legal context provided by "beefy, middle-aged, working class white guys in windbreakers?" If these latter were no longer the dominant political ethnie the context would disappear and these immigrants would then find themselves in the position from whence they came. As a previous poster stated, "We made the pie."

-BWB

Thrasymachus said...

greenrivervalley man is right; one must not confuse "Germans" and "Europeans". I'll do him one better, and ask Steve if he thinks VDare's beloved Scots-Irish are capable of building high quality manufactured products. I'm thinking no; the ethnic analysis of the workforces of American manufacturers is not out but if cars are a reasonable indicator, and I think they are, the German model only works with Germans.

Anonymous said...

"In contrast, the more ethnically diverse a state is, the more the elites of each ethnicity get to manipulate, and the more democratic debate is suppressed as being “angry”."

Yeah, and the more reality resembles parody.
One time I had a dream where I was trying to explain to the ghost of H.L. Mencken multiculturalism's bizarre table of taboos.
"The governing principle is called political correctness and it means that we must be dishonest about our differences while celebrating our diversity" I explained.
"Celebrate diversity?" Mencken replied, apparently stumped. "How do you...I mean, what do you do? Throw diversity parades?
"Yeah exactly. We have those kind of parades all the time."

Anonymous said...

I think Germany is doing well in spite of its unions and immigrants, not because of them. The reasons it is doing well are: Efficiency, Manufacturing, Work Ethic, Geographic Location, and Financial Conservatism (i.e., memories of the Weimar inflation cause them to avoid inflation).

stari_momak said...

"In school we learned about NATIVIST jerks like you. "

--Anon.

And therein lies a big part of the problem.

stari_momak said...

Germany economy = German pop culture

I'm actually quite partial to techno. For me its a toss up as to who is more responsible for the 'rave' , the Brits or the Germans. And Kraftwerk is not only killer in their own right, but probably the single most sampled band is history. 'Rap' wouldn't be the same without those extremely introverted lads from Dusseldorf. Throw in a 99 Luftballons, or a Lili Marlene, the great '

Anonymous said...

"...their characteristic knack for hard work, obedience, and priggish nastiness."

Like many Americans (and most Brits) your knowledge of Germans is about 70 years out of date. Germany has many more demonstrations, protests and vigils than the United States, mostly by the left unfortunately. Germany's political system also allows for a much greater diversity of political viewpoints than the American system.

"And though I know this comes in for regular ridicule here, there is that whole vibrancy issue. Germany economy = German pop culture. Do we really want to live in a country where the best rock-'n-roll band sounds like The Scorpions? Where instead of being able to catch decent jazz in any moderately large city we're all participating in shape note singing?"

This is silly Americentrism. I hard to be versed in German pop culture if you don't speak German. Besides, both jazz and rock 'n roll are Black-American inventions, as are most indigenous American musical forms.

Most American popular culture is trash, as is most pop culture in every country. What distinguishes Europe is it's high culture, which the United States has almost none to speak of.

Svigor said...

To me the most disgusting group of Americas are the beefy, middle-aged, working class white guys in windbreakers.

Then you're a shitbird. Who else puts anyone ahead of the Goldman Sachs/bankster crowd?

Svigor said...

To what extent is multiculturalism a means by which the elite circumvents and suppresses class conflict? We're all too busy talking about diversity.

It's much more naked than that. Too many white people in one place = racism, which is a naked ploy by the political class to suppress white discontent.

I was thinking about this the other day, how the "too white" Tea Party thing has really tipped the hand of our elite. Translation: dissent will not be tolerated from the white scum.

Try...and...fucking...imagine these people characterizing the civil rights movement as "too black" (and therefore racist).

The fear inherent in their position is obvious.

stari_momak said...

Oops, meant to hit 'preview' rather than publish.

Anyway, the irony here is that the whole German system owes more to economist Friedrich List than anyone else, save Bismarck. And he took his lessons from the young American nation, including Clay and Hamilton.



Notice that List was a national-liberal , his Customs Union was designed to break down tariff barriers, but only within the German cultural area.

Anonymous said...

'I went to a shape note choir concert once. Yeah '


But that's HBD for you..every positive trait will accompany one not so good.

Dutch Boy said...

Man does not live by bread alone. Germany shows many of the signs of demoralization common in other Western societies. GDP won't cure that.

KissTheGoat said...

Steve, oh please, move to a platform that allows replies to comments, and nice would be, forces people to make a pseudonym other than 'Anonymous'. 'lesswrong.org' is pretty good (it uses a version of Reddit.com's code), and whatever geneexpression's code is, is fair, too. I'd offer to help but I don't know blog platform software.

Anonymous said...

Um, if Germany's doing so much better than the US why is the American income about a third higher, despite all the foreign wars and blacks to support?

So Germany is growing while the US is not. Big deal. I'm getting better at basketball every year while Kevin Garnett is getting worse. Does that make me a better player than him? Try to prove that Germans enjoy a higher standard of living than Americans. You can't.

Steve, if you want to keep immigrants out because they vote Democrat/Socialist but you like unions and redistribution, what are you trying to protect us from by speaking out against illegals?

dearieme said...

Leave economics to lesser writers, iSteve. This is the stuff for you:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1311533/Black-white-twins-Sisters-Marcia-Millie-Biggs-set-day-school.html

Anonymous said...

Sir, you have no principles. You don't believe in anything, not in free-trade. You have no ideologies. Only ethnic affinity for your own.

pzed said...

so then here's a phrase i've heard a few times, "if you don't like it here, then leave!"

why don't you guys take your own advice?

Anonymous said...

"72% for Germany and 52% for the US according to the CIA Factbook/wikipedia. And the US is catching up fast."

Which number is bigger? Guess right and get a gold star for the whole day! And an extra chocolate milk!

Anonymous said...

The immigrant works much harder and earns much less and feel much less entitled.

But why do your personal qualities entitle you to anything in the first place? Nations exist for the benefit of their citizens. Barging into someone's house and washing the dishes harder than anyone else doesn't entitle you to receive an inheritance. Ironically, only someone with his own very strong sense of entitlement would suggest such a thing.

Why does the mere act of physically crossing a border *entitle* anyone to citizenship? Once again, you couldn't think that thought without having the strongest sense of entitlement of all.

Kylie said...

greenrivervalleyman said..."Germany economy = German pop culture. Do we really want to live in a country where the best rock-'n-roll band sounds like The Scorpions? Where instead of being able to catch decent jazz in any moderately large city we're all participating in shape note singing?"

Sounds good to me.

By the way, shape note singing developed in England and the US (mainly South), not Germany, and as far as I know, is not a feature of German pop culture. Thanks for the link to the Portland Sacred Heart singers, though. That's the first decent thing I've ever heard or seen to come out of that insufferable place.

As for jazz, you and Marty Sheen can have it.

elvisd said...

"In school we learned about NATIVIST jerks like you. You're a smooth talker but we know what you're about.

You're about limiting the franchise! Only some people get to live the good life--YOUR PEOPLE."

YOUR PEOPLE are American citizens. Do you seriously believe it's ok for 12 million people to come across a border and be automatically entitled to a franchise? If your belief were in play, there could be an international "rent a voting bloc", where millions could be sent across any border before an election. In any other country, this would be called "an invasion", "a violation to a people's right to self determination","destabilization", "an incitement to violence", or any U.N. language you care to use.

Anonymous said...

"To the idiot who slagged off the 'beefy windbreaker wearing guys':"

uh, I think the "idiot" is a provocateur, aka, a troll. They frequent this site. Also, persons who disguise their gender or race.
What's really creepy is this troll is probably a young, white person paid for services against their own race or even, by narrowing the focus, their own family and friends, even their own selves.. It's called federal bureauocracy.

asdfasdfadsf said...

"(On the other hand, if you insist upon being scammed by foreign layabouts, Turks, who tend to be sedate and respectable, are a better choice than, say, the car-burning “youths” of the Paris suburbs.)"

Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!! So true.
Not all Muslims are alike, just like not all Christians are like? I'll take a million Lebanese Christians over a million African Christians as immigrants any day.

Peter A said...

Germany economy = German pop culture.

Actually Blumfeld and Die Sterne are excellent indie rock bands. Klee is pretty decent as well. The TV show "Pastewka" is a rip-off of "Curb your Enthusiasm" but it is a well done (and funny) rip off. The country still produces a few kick ass movies every decade (the Baader Meinhoff movie was great). Germany is certainly not as creative as Russia or the UK, it's true. But you could survive on a diet of German pop culture.

Anonymous said...

"Germans look out for each other more than Americans do, just as Germans look out for their forests more than Americans do. Why? Because they feel Germany isn’t just a node in the global market network. Instead, Germany is the homeland of the German people, now and in perpetuity."

Well said. Any true native of California who has watched his hometown friends and elderly neighbors pack up and leave, only to be replaced by hordes of gibbering foreign opportunists, feels betrayed by the elitists who control our borders.

afasasdfasdf said...

"Similarly, the German welfare state works reasonably well among Germans because they generally feel some shame about exploiting other Germans. In contrast, Turks in Germany feel less guilty over ripping off Germans by going on disability the first chance they get."

This is essentially true but not true enough. Would Turks be any more responsible in Turkey if it offered lots of socialist goodies? Probably not. Some cultures tend to be more conscientious--guilt- and-shame-oriented--than others. Greece is mostly made up of Greece, but Greeks sure don't mind greasing and fleecing one another. (Today, 'golden fleece' has a whole new meaning over there.) They want everything from the government but wanna pay no taxes. Many Italians are like that too, though Italy is mostly made up of Italians. (More so in Southern Italy of course.)
Though Germans are surely more conscientious among other Germans, my guess is they would be responsible citizens even where they are not the majority. Throughout Latin America, German communities have often been exemplary in their work, thrift, and discipline.

It's possible that a German minority community in another country would be more conscientious than the majority population. It may not choose to fleece the host country simply because the majority are not Germans. Germans, like Japanese, take pride in their work ethic and self-estimation. A German acts as he does not only because of social or external pressure but due to moral or internal pressure. Even if they could get away by being lazy, they would still choose to work(and very hard)because their sense of pride and self-worth is linked to being a productive, diligent, and honest person.
This could be racial--bio-temperamental--or cultural--protestant moralism--, or both.

Same goes for theft. Some people don't steal because of fear of being caught. If the fear is remomved, they would steal in a heartbeat. But some people don't steal even if they could get away with it because they'd feel self-shame and self-disgust.

One of the dire effects of secularization and materialization of society is that we see moral consciousness as quaint, old-fashioned, and irrelevant. The emphasis is mostly on external factors and solutions--schools, public spending, number of police men, more jails, etc--, as if we are all rats or robots to be conditioned or programmed by the 'best and the brighest'.

But in fact, the most stable or successful communities are those where people are guided by internal mechanisms of self-worth(as opposed to inflated 'self-esteem'), shame, guilt, earned pride as opposed to entitled pride. These things are culturally and spiritually rooted than intellectually or sociologically manufactured.

So, Turks would probably act like Turks even in Turkey whereas Germans would probably act like Germans even if they were a minority in Turkey. This is why some minorities do better than the majority populations. They prefer to work and rise through hard honest work than go the shameless gimme gimme gimme route.

Ironically, Jews have risen from the bottom due to their moral and spiritual strengths, but they never share the secret of their success with poor communities. Jews believed in family and in work than welfare. Yet, Jews have promoted, among blacks and browns, anti-family craziness and welfare dependency. Hmm.

So, DO AS THE JEW; DISOBEY WHAT JEWS SAY.

corvinus said...

How about Germany's economic model combined with our social model? Germany may have a trade surplus, but it's a very Orwellian place.

Bob said...

Germany did not bail out Greece, it bailed out German banks that lent money to Greece.

The Greeks aren't going to pay their full Euro-denominated debt anyway. And the debt was unsecured. There is no repossessing a country.

The question in Germany was, who takes the loss? The shareholders and bondholders of dumb German banks who lent the Greeks all that money, or the German taxpayers.

Just like in the USA, Germany's parasitic financial sector won out.

ATBOTL said...

"Anyway though, as HBD realists we can't overlook the fact that the German economic model works best when you have a nation composed of mostly Germans"

America is essentially a nation of Germans. Italians don't have a hard time making quality goods, here or in Italy.

Bob said...

"Please tell me how you'll get millions of exuberant East Coast wops (no offense), plus Greeks, plus Poles and Ukrainians, to patiently hand-stitch the leather seats of our Mercedes and Porsche knock-offs."

"Poles and Ukrainians" describes a lot of cities in the Midwest that made cars just fine from 1910 to 1985 until the US market was completely opened to foreign competition.

At the same time, the German/Japanese/Korean automakers got huge government subsidies and were protected by tariff walls and undervalued currencies that prevented their citizens from buying imported cars.

Anonymous said...

One area I always disagree with Steve is free trade.

I bought some high end German brand knives at Costco. A friend who once sold knives admired them and when I bragged about the low price I paid, she looked at them closer and said, "these were manufactured in Spain, the ones made in Germany cost more and are better."

So people will pay more for the same brand knife if it is made in Germany because it is better. So German workers can have a higher salary than Spanish workers.

Remember "Pulp Fiction?" The German herion cost much more than the other herion, the dealer said something like "you will know where the money went."

I am indifferent to the salary of people who make the products I buy. BMW or Mercedies, whichever looks the better car for the price. you could tell me BMW pays its line works 200% of MB, I don;t care. However if the workers make a better product, they can be paid more than workers doing similar jobs in other companies and still yield a profit for their employer.

A Japanese manufactured car will sell for more than a Korean manufactured car. Both will sell for more than a Russian manufactured car. So wage arbitrage is not the be all and end all to trade.


Maybe American manufacturing decline was not due to lower wages elsewhere. Maybe American products were very good and commanded a premium. maybe unions (or other factors such as expensive regulation, lawsuits, EEOC and OSHA) added disadvantage upon disadvantage to American mfg. Unions pretty much killed American steel mfg, and domestic auto mfg while people working for foreign auto shops prospered.

Average Joe said...

For decades, American economic sages, such as Larry Summers, Tom Friedman, and Alan Greenspan, have implied that manufacturing stuff was more or less obsolete

Anyone else notice what these three guys have in common besides their idiotic economic ideas?

adfasdfasdfa said...

Actually, the 'Anglo-American' Jewish economists might have been right had it not been for the entry of mega-China-and-India into the world economy all at once. 2.3 billion entering the global system at the same time was simply too much to bear.

On the other hand, US does lead the world in high-tech. Most of the innovation has been over here, and the best German minds have come to American universities and firms to work and progress here.

Also, depending on the moment or period, one nation looks better or worse than the other. Japan looked better than the US in the 80s. Not now. US looked like it couldn't be stopped during the dot.com yrs. Not anymore. Now, Germany looks good but for how long? No single way or system is good for all times, just like a raincoat is good for rainy days, not for all days.
Even as nations seek the overall best solution, they also need to learn to adapt. US has been adaptive, a good thing, but it's been TOO adaptive regardless of the large consequences, a bad thing. Germans have been less adaptive, a bad thing, but their stubborn insistence on their old ways of doing things have helped them weather the global economic storm, a good thing.

Whiskey said...

German debt levels ARE high if one includes off-book but nevertheless liabilities of German Landesbanken, much like our Freddie/Fannie GSEs (Government Supported Enterprises). German Debt including regional and city governments which the Federal Government must bail out eventually is also very, very high.

That being said, the German strategy of competing on high labor productivity on high end systems is wise.

We ought to copy it.

sestamibi said...

Yeah right. Tom Geoghegan ran for Congress (in IL-5, the old Rostenkowski/Blagojevich/Emanuel district) and tanked there too.

Bottom line of this analysis is the notion, embraced by both the Buchanan Right and the Wellstone Left, as follows:

"I am a [in your words] beefy, white (?), windbreaker-wearing guy. I am entitled to live better than the rest of the world, and because once I made $75 an hour for installing bumpers on Ford Focuses I must ALWAYS make AT LEAST that much, and government must step in to make it so. How dare those [insert preferred ethnic epithet here] make a better product than me for far less!"

The problem is that this thinking hasn't reflected reality for over 30 years now, but politicians still swear obeisance to it. We cannot afford this much longer, and the sooner we realize it the less painful the adjustment will be.

adfadfasdf said...

What is a 'windbreaker'? I thought it meant farter.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I was born on the wrong continent as much as I was born at the wrong time. It doesn't matter whether you were born in Europe or North America. With massive, unrestricted third world immigration both continents are hosed. I don't know if it is even possible to save them

Al Gore keeps telling us we have 10 years to act or we will hit a tipping point at which time there is no saving the environment. I think something could probably be said about third world immigration and Europe and North America.

Anonymous said...

Your quote from the longer article grabbed me:

"You know, the more I think about it, the more it seems that these quaint-sounding 1950s-style windbreakers v. suits arguments are the kind that dominate politics in a healthy, cohesive polity, such as America in the 1950s. In a democracy, you have to argue over something, and fighting over which interest group gets how much money is, at least, honestly crass."

What I like:

1. that you frame an important social issue not in terms of black/white or right/wrong but in terms of the quality of the debate that animates it. I am of the view that ideas are mostly just adaptations to begin with, as much as we are jury-rigged to perceive them in terms of right and wrong. But if you step back you can often see that good things--progress, if you will--comes less from the "right" side winning and more from the right kind of foment.

2. it's also nice, given how you are given to strong opinions, to see you in the process of being persuaded. You can't persuade if you can't be persuaded, and you do both so well.

Difference Maker said...

To me the most disgusting group of Americas are the beefy, middle-aged, working class white guys in windbreakers.

These guys apparently feel incredibly entitled to a "middle-class" life-style despite not having earned it.

The immigrant works much harder and earns much less and feel much less entitled.

Which group do you find more disgusting? I say the former. The entitled group.


The problem is that the immigrant is not

.. as smart
.. as "moral"
.. as pretty (girls)

That pretty much sums up what I care about.

agnostic said...

OT: can Hispanic-only movies become profitable at long last?

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/business/media/14hispanic.html

From the two girls pictured and the executive's whining about how you never see Latinos portrayed as businessmen and only as tattooed thugs, it's clear they're only going to appeal to rich white Hispanics.

But the days of Lee Trevino and Desi Arnaz are long gone. Ramping up illegal immigration is only going to frustrate these guys' projects more. Serves the dumb bastards right.

Steve Sailer said...

Thanks for all the good comments.

Anonymous said...

Steve Sailor said:
Thanks for all the good comments

Is this a new way to close a thread? Or is it a bogus ainti-steve, charged with writing steve-esq entries and moderating comments and then wrapping things up in this akward way? Bogus.

Kylie said...

afasasdfasdf said..."But in fact, the most stable or successful communities are those where people are guided by internal mechanisms of self-worth(as opposed to inflated 'self-esteem'), shame, guilt, earned pride as opposed to entitled pride. These things are culturally and spiritually rooted than intellectually or sociologically manufactured."

Agreed. But I think these internal mechanisms require a certain minimal level of intelligence, one that can process abstract concepts, understand the link between choices and consequences, and see beyond the concrete and the immediate. If you have too many people not bright enough to do these things, you can't have a decent civil society unless you also have some heavy-duty external policing.


Re my earlier reply, I know that it's Sacred Harp singing and not Sacred Heart singing. That's one of those mistakes I can't seem to break myself of--like calling the breed of rabbits my mother-in-law raises "Checkerboard Giants" instead of "Checkered Giants".

Steve Sailer said...

"Is this a new way to close a thread?"

No, I just thought the comments were particularly good today. I've learned a lot from them.

Anonymous said...

An interesting note about protectionism. If you look up "free trade" on Wikipedia, the first critic they mention under the anti-section is Paul Craig Roberts. You'd think that if there were any economists who were anti-trade they'd find somebody with less baggage to make their point.

Actually, the 'Anglo-American' Jewish economists might have been right had it not been for the entry of mega-China-and-India into the world economy all at once. 2.3 billion entering the global system at the same time was simply too much to bear.

Wrong. This will be the only thing that saves the global economy. The bigger the differences in wealth and skill the more potential there is to benefit from division of labor.

Anonymous said...

Reading about Germany makes me happy that I work in an American industry that's thriving, employs thousands upon thousands of beefy white guys (albeit in cargo shorts instead of windbreakers) in highly skilled jobs, produces a product that's hugely in demand and sold around the world, and lets me raise a family in California on one income. I refer, of course, to Hollywood. As a good Southern California, Steve understands these truths about the film and television industry, even if the rest of you don't-- for all of the purported decadence, it's actually a culturally conservative place and one of the last bastions of being able to live like you're a mid-century American.

Svigor said...

Try to prove that Germans enjoy a higher standard of living than Americans. You can't.

Germany has a shot at remaining Germany without internecine war. That's what I call a standard of living.

Svigor said...

Barging into someone's house and washing the dishes harder than anyone else doesn't entitle you to receive an inheritance.

Lol.

Ironically, only someone with his own very strong sense of entitlement would suggest such a thing.

^^^^
What he said.

The guy's obviously a spamming troll. But he's so bad I wonder if he's just taking the piss.

Reciprocity? What's that? That's the golden rule. Beyond the troll's comprehension, I guess. What's Mexico's is Mexico's, and what's America's is Mexico's, too.

Can I do everything in Mexico that illegals can do here if I jump their border? Can I do everything in Mexico that legals can do here if I legally immigrate to Mexico? Can I get all the goodies from the government in Mexico all the goodies immigrants get here?

In short, laying aside the fact that Mexico's economy is shyte compared to ours, and is therefore a far less attractive place to live in economic terms, do Mexicans reciprocate? Who's $*@!ing whom?

Will this shut the troll up? Of course not.

texas first! said...

If modern Germany is Geoghegan's version of heaven, I'd just as soon remain in hell. Good luck trying to reform hell.

Speaking of...Here's a game to play. See if you can pick out the character named Nelson Van Alden in the trailer for Martin Scorsese's new HBO series, Boardwalk Empire (that blues number at the end is called "The Devil's Basement" by the Dallas band John Tyler and the Northern Lights).

Eric said...

So maybe before we get excited about the German "model" we might look at simpler explanations. It's odd that here on this blog of all places I would have to point this out.

Germany has a lot of immigrants too. They're just from Turkey instead of Mexico.

jody said...

i have a lot to say here, but people don't like my long posts, so, blah.

Anonymous said...

As a good Southern California, Steve understands these truths about the film and television industry, even if the rest of you don't-- for all of the purported decadence, it's actually a culturally conservative place and one of the last bastions of being able to live like you're a mid-century American.

You should be proud to be a part of a small group that is able to maintain such a lifestyle by feeding on the broken, dying middle-class of the rest of America.

Wilson said...

Yes, the PC pundits were wrong. Shocker.

Something else they were also wrong about: that resource extraction industries were less important than flipping houses, selling paper to each other, and writing articles on critical transgender afroamerasian feminist theory.

Nevermind the number of countries in the Middle East who have built up vast amounts of wealth by doing nothing but resource extraction (actually they pay foreigners to do it for them, then keep the royalties). Seriously, when's the last time you bought anything that said "Made in Saudi Arabia" or "Made in Syria"? OK, my underwear says "Made in Jordan." And that's about it...

Nevermind that Norway is one of the richest countries in the world thanks to resource extraction, notably oil and fish.

Nevermind that Alaska and Wyoming are both in the top 20 in state PCI thanks entirely to resource extraction.

Nevermind that two of the richest countries in Africa - Equatorial Guinea and South Africa - owe their positions almost entirely to resource extraction.

Logically it would follow that one good way to maintain a solid middle class in your country is to keep a high natural resource to person ratio.

But that's assuming the elite gives a shit about the middle class.

Germany should pray to God no one important starts to notice how its policies undermines practically everything the elites are telling us we should do. The left will soon have it in its sites.

One other thing Germany does is push students who are non-college material into trades. Thanks to race politics here, that will not happen. Every ghetto mother thinks little Taniqua and D'arn'ell are just cut out to be doctas and lawyas, and won't even thing of having them be brickmasons.

Pseudothyrum said...

A main reason Germany and other European countries have such low birthrates is that they are very crowded, extremely dense in population.

Germany, for instance, is the size of a single U.S. state of Montana. Yet they have 80 million people living there. It is VERY crowded, and when people look around and see so many people the urge to procreate is lessened due to almost instinctive pressures related to crowding, resource issues, etc.

Other European nations are even more densely populated than Germany - the Netherlands, Belgium, and England, for instance.

So what Europeans need to do is immigrate to North America - the USA or Canada - and have large families. Here there is plenty of space for them, and resources, open land, clean air and water. We have plenty of space left for millions of industrious European immigrants here in North America who want to have large families and contribute to the building of this continent.

It would be no big deal if the population of Germany dropped down to 60 million, or even 40 million or less...AS LONG AS THE 3RD WORLD IMMIGRANTS ARE KEPT OUT OF THERE.

Ernest T Bass said...

Thrasymachus said...I'll do him one better, and ask Steve if he thinks VDare's beloved Scots-Irish are capable of building high quality manufactured products. I'm thinking no...

We might not be much good when it comes to design, but we can sho' enough put the parts in the correct place on a BMW. We've got's us this book to help, Building BMW's for Dummies, that's got lots of pictures.

Anonymous said...

Anon:"Reading about Germany makes me happy that I work in an American industry that's thriving...produces a product that's hugely in demand and sold around the world, and lets me raise a family in California on one income. I refer, of course, to Hollywood."

Actually, most American movie studios are functionally bankrupt since most American films do not turn a profit. Studios such as Paramount and others have had to borrow hundreds of millions from Deutsche Bank and other German firms to stay solvent.

"How 'bout them apples"?

Also, Hollywood makes crap movies these days, 90% utter trash - definitely nothing to be proud of. It's glory days are long past.

Anonymous said...

The Americans are a nation of inane babblers, journalistic scribblers, and TV zombies, while the Germans are a nation of DOers. The Americans talk, the Germans get things done.

Enough said.

Oldtime worker bee said...

Has anyone done a free-thinking (or triumphalist-but-observant) history of the effects of multiculturalism on the U.S. labor movement?

Add Putnam's insights about diversity creating low trust environments to the workplace and it becomes clear how it functions as a tool of management.

Also it helps explain the sidelining of white ethnic power in the Democrats: civil rights/ multicult functioned to block or co-opt the old ethnic labor leadership. Anti-racism originated as an intra-Democrat dispute, yes?

Laban said...

Anon - "I work in an American industry that's thriving, employs thousands upon thousands of beefy white guys (albeit in cargo shorts instead of windbreakers) in highly skilled jobs, produces a product that's hugely in demand and sold around the world, and lets me raise a family in California on one income. I refer, of course, to Hollywood."

Five years ago, when the last major British indigenous car manufacturer closed down, I wrote :

"The reason American popular culture dominates the globe is connected with the fact that the US is currently the most powerful nation, economically and militarily, on earth. Lose that and see how many people want to see your movies."

Anonymous said...

"Bill Bonner of the Daily Reckoning has written quite extensively on the Anglo Saxon economists of the past 75 years. The civilization that brought us much of our modern world has adopted this bizarre view that spending and consumerism (either through the cheap wage economy (WSJ and Cato Insitute) and Keynesian economy (Paul Krugman and Martin Wolf) will bring riches. Because these philosphies are based on frauds and untruths, economists have to justify their outcomes with phony statistics like GDP."

Ah yes, those infamous "Anglo-Saxon" economists, Krugman and Wolf.

LOL. Anglo-Saxon! Priceless.

Anonymous said...

"Sir, you have no principles. You don't believe in anything, not in free-trade. You have no ideologies. Only ethnic affinity for your own."

Ah, the "no principles troll". Newsflash, troll: taking care of one's own is a principle. Loyalty to one's own is a principle. Patriotism is a principle; nationalism is an ideology.

Do you treat your own family the same way you treat strangers? No? Why not? Don't you have any "principles"?

Get lost, you pathetic troll.

Pissed Off Chinaman said...

I'm a big fan of the German economic and educational model as well as Thomas Geogheghan (whose Congressional campaign I made a small contribution to). However, isn't it/he a bit socialist for most of you guys?

Anonymous said...

Actually, most American movie studios are functionally bankrupt since most American films do not turn a profit. Studios such as Paramount and others have had to borrow hundreds of millions from Deutsche Bank and other German firms to stay solvent.

"How 'bout them apples"?


Nonsense. Even with the DVD revenue downturn, Hollywood is doing great. We're just very good at finding other people to put up money. And most films have never made money. But the ones that do make money more than cover the losses for the others. Fox may have had a lousy summer, for example, but they're still swimming in Avatar money.

And while you and I might think Transformers was an idiotic movie, it paid a lot of guys' mortgages because people around the world are apparently happy to pay to watch giant robots beat the crap out of each other and pee on John Turturro.


You should be proud to be a part of a small group that is able to maintain such a lifestyle by feeding on the broken, dying middle-class of the rest of America.


No, I'm proud to be part of a small group of people who work our asses off to make an American made product that the rest of the world wants to buy. We take foreigners' money to employ Americans to make a product that we sell largely to foreigners. If Detroit was as good at that as Hollywood is, this country would be in a lot better shape than it is.

Ray Sawhill said...

Co-signing Pseudothyrum's comment.

Sometimes a country's population level stabilizes. The US's population was stabilizing in the early '70s, for instance. So shoot me, I think that was an expression of a general feeling that "We've got enough people for now."

Maybe sometimes a country's inhabitants feel that the population needs to shrink. So maybe they cut back on the number of kids they have. If future populations decide that the country's population needs to grow, they'll start having more kids again.

So long as immigration levels are sensibly controlled, why should any of this be thought to be a major problem?

Why, in fact, isn't it considered (and maybe even celebrated as) a function of free people freely expressing their preferences?

So (sez I): Let the natives have as many kids as they feel like having, and focus on bashing the elites and getting control of immigration instead.

Rohan Swee said...

Anonymous: An interesting note about protectionism...

Dude, the faith-based, true-believin' platitudes about protectionism and "free trade" that you've been plopping into sundry threads have been entertaining in that bible-thumpin' kind of way, but any kind of argument by assertion gets tedious after a while. (You're the same guy complaining about the "nativists", excuse me, NATIVISTS, aren't you? Just can't wrap your mind around the fact that some people around here just don't share your premises, can you?)

If you look up "free trade" on Wikipedia, the first critic they mention under the anti-section is Paul Craig Roberts. You'd think that if there were any economists who were anti-trade they'd find somebody with less baggage to make their point.

See, there's your problem right there, Sparky. (Well, that and taking some guy on Wikipedia's bibliographic habits as dispositive. Not that I found any reference to Roberts on the either the "free trade" or the "free trade debate" page.) I never met (or read) anyone who was anti-trade. You're confusing the entire universe of trade with the brain-dead unilateral bogus "free" trade currently online in the U.S.

In other words, the first paragraph in that Wikipedia "free trade" page is not a remotely accurate description of modern global trade. Sorry.

Omnivore said...

"Maybe sometimes a country's inhabitants feel that the population needs to shrink."

Pseudorhythm, Ray Sawhill;

No argument w/that - but below-replacement level birthrates are accompanied in Germany (and other European countries) by some other distressing things: to wit, a vocal and insanely privileged gay rights movement, same-sex marriage, disparagement of traditional marriage, etc.

I support sane family planning. I bemoan societies with below-replacement level birth rates accompanied by signals of cultural cringe.

headache said...

jody said...

i have a lot to say here, but people don't like my long posts, so, blah.

I look forward to your posts, with lower-caps and all, so please write.

Anonymous said...

You're the same guy complaining about the "nativists", excuse me, NATIVISTS, aren't you?

No, but if it makes you feel better to group everything you don't like into one person, you can pretend like I am.

PRCalDude said...

Try to prove that Germans enjoy a higher standard of living than Americans. You can't.


They do. I've been there. It's better - better roads, better schools, better agriculture, fitter people, the list goes on and on...

BamaGirl said...

"Besides, both jazz and rock 'n roll are Black-American inventions, as are most indigenous American musical forms."

Rock and roll is also heavily influenced by country music, which mostly originated from folk tunes of the British Isles. So its more of a hybrid product of the black american blues and older euro folk songs.

BamaGirl said...

"America is essentially a nation of Germans. Italians don't have a hard time making quality goods, here or in Italy."

I like/admire the German economic model as much as anyone else commenting, however I'd still disagree with your statement. Just because there are a lot of German-Americans doesn't mean the entire country is "a nation of Germans." Don't tweak history. There are large sections of the country where there was very little German immigration.

Severn said...

Steve, if you want to keep immigrants out because they vote Democrat/Socialist but you like unions and redistribution, what are you trying to protect us from by speaking out against illegals?



I don't recall Steve saying that he likes unions and redistribution.

Anonymous said...

Another thing Steve missed.

Germany's euro currency is kept artificially low by the PIGS - Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain (for whom the currency is too high). That's how Germany can keep its high trade exports and employment.

Here's a tip Steve - never write about Europe again until you have learned some elementary facts about the European Union.

Rohan Swee said...

No, but if it makes you feel better to group everything you don't like into one person, you can pretend like I am.

Maybe if you all didn't have the same name it would be easier to tell you apart.

Whiskey said...

To be fair to the FT, in recent months they have covered Germany's remarkable rebound (9% growth in GDP vs. about ~2% at best for the US), with emphasis on the "Kurzarbeit" work-schemes that kept workers on with short hours and government support, to keep high tech workforces intact during the crisis. They've also covered in depth the remarkable investment after unification in worker productivity, which required fairly substantial government support for capital investment, at home.

Industrial policy, in other words.

As far as Exchange rates go, until the Greek crisis, the Euro was over-valued wrt the US dollar. The problem with the Renmenbi affects Germany, and also Brazil. Given that China has a severely undervalued currency. The issue of the PIGS driving the Euro lower is something of the last year or so.

Steve this one of your best columns ever. I was very excited and pleased to read it!

Again: ONE OF YOUR BEST COLUMNS EVER!

Anonymous said...

Well, this seems like an interesting take, but on one thing Geoghegan has inadvertently bought into the economic elite's Weltanschauung without realizing it ( That all people and all cultures should have equal levels of output if given the same enviroment. ) It was easier for the Germans to go after the high value added industries because they have high value added industries already.

In other words, culture matters, they are no American versions of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, Audi-Volkswagen, Bugatti ( Owned by Volkswagen-Audi) Carl Bosch, Carl Zeiss, Leica, Linhof, Schneider, Heckler & Koch, Wusthof, etc... The Germans have been leaders in these types of industries especially in Europe for many decades. The German auto industry is really the only one in Europe not protected by protectionist trade barriers that has thrived economically in the face of Japanese competition over the post-WW2 period. They are also not coincidentally the only European auto industry that has significantly expanded sales outside of their home market since WW2 as well.

German domination of high value industries is embedded in German culture, because the Germans have a very strong work ethic that is not easily eroded by even by the welfare state, unlike that of their British cousins who lost their once renowned work ethic as soon as they starting electing Labour PM's and creating a "just society". The Germans have had a welfare state since Bismarck, but it has not eroded their work ethic one bit. Additionally, although German unions like IG Metall might strike they don't have the devil may care attitude of many of many American and British union members regarding the quality of their work. Even today, three decades after Thatcher's first election, a common British refrain regarding a lackadaisical attitude is " Don't be such a trade unionist " Anyway, my point is: Don't expect German policies to lead to German outcomes in countries very different from Germany.

Jerry said...

This post has a chart from the BIS suggesting that the US has a higher government debt level than Germany:

http://seekingalpha.com/article/225460-when-japan-collapses?source=article_sb_popular