Half a year ago, the Economist survey of America concluded that the US is an extraordinarily dynamic country, but its very mobility may now be drawing people apart. Now the Economist published one of its well written and researched surveys about Germany, which describes how
Germany's institutions have slid from virtue to vice: in politics, in the labour market, in education, in competition policy and elsewhere. It is not that the country has not tried to change. But most of these changes have been designed to optimise existing systems rather than change them fundamentally.The summary of this survey is available for free and states that the risk of poverty has greatly increased, that Germany is already doing less well than many other European countries in terms of social justice. Germany has already ceased to be the "equitable middle-class society" with a "social elevator" for everybody, "if the think-tanks have their numbers right." However:
Many of its global companies have never been more competitive. With exports of nearly $1 trillion in 2005, this medium-sized country (smaller than the American state of Montana, but with 82m people) already sells more goods in the world market than any other. Investment and domestic demand are also picking up at last, so Germany's economic outlook at home, too, has brightened. (...) But the labour market does not seem to have turned the corner yet: in January, unemployment before seasonal adjustment again hit 5m, or 12.1% of the workforce. (...) Most importantly, if it [Germany] does not start tackling its structural problems in earnest soon, it may find itself stuck with something its people dread: amerikanische Verhältnisse, or "American conditions", code for a socially polarised society in which workers are hired and fired at an employer's whim. The risk is that Germany's labour market, in particular, will end up "Americanised", but without the good points of the American one, such as its openness and inclusiveness, argues Wolfgang Streeck, head of the Cologne-based Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.In August 2005, The Economist described the reforms much more positively and was more optimistic about Germany's economy. Access to that article only for subscribers, but there is a free German Handelsblatt report.
Atlantic Review on : Nobel Prize Winner Compares the Economic System in the U.S. and in Germany
Edmund S. Phelps, Professor of Political Economy at Columbia, was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize for economics on Monday and published the interesting article &quot;Dynamic Capitalism: Entrepreneurship is lucrative--and just&quot; in the Wall Street Journal