♠ Posted by Emmanuel in Europe at 11/15/2010 04:50:00 PMWell here's another brief but entertaining salvo from the Germans aimed at the United States' entreaties to increase home consumption and/or focus less on exports. In so many words, Take that, America! We ain't going down no steenkin' neoliberal path to ruin like you--or many other EU members for that matter. You've got to admire Chancellor Merkel's durability and reading of German public sentiment even if the end result is certainly up for debate in the overall scheme of things (AKA global economic imbalances). It certainly plays to the home crowd in pointing out that Germany's large trade surplus is a result of the desirability of its wares as opposed to, well, countries that don't really make that much stuff nowadays:
She also said Germany, one of the world's leading export nations, would not accept being punished for its successes.To paraphrase a colourful expression, don't hate Germany because it's exportful. Maybe we should all be so lucky, though there are many crabby types that always seek to pull you down. As before, I doubt whether there is much room to get Germans to splurge Anglo-Saxon style anyway given its particular cultural predispositions [1, 2], national history, and demographic realities.
Merkel was referring to pressure from the United States for Germany to reduce its trade and current account surplus and stimulate domestic demand to help global economic recovery. "We will not allow ourselves to be punished for something that we do well," Merkel said. "We'll not allow ourselves to be whipped because we export good products, made in Germany, all around the world."