No Winners, Only Losers

[Imported from Whale Oil Beef Hooked on Blogger]

Excellant article about the morass in Germany by Dan Coats who served as U.S. Ambassador to Germany from 2001-2005 and U.S. Senator from 1989-1999.

With a quick find and replace it could almost be an article about New Zealand.

A little over week ago, observers on both sides of the Atlantic and both sides of the political spectrum were calling September 18 a crossroads for Germany: Either Germany would choose the path of free-market reform or continue down the path of status-quo statism. But the observers were wrong. Rather than giving Angela Merkel a mandate to change course or Gerhard Schroeder a mandate to stay the course, the German electorate simply froze in the middle of the intersection. And that’s a dangerous place to be, as anyone who has tried to cross a busy Berlin street knows.

On the political front, it is evident now more than ever that Germans may talk about wanting reform but they do not want to endure the change needed to bring about reform. For a majority of Germans change represents not an opportunity but a threat—and it’s enough to paralyze a country. To choose the path of reform is to take a risk on the unknown, a frightening prospect for many Germans. It’s frightening because Germany has lost its confidence, its sense that tomorrow can be better than today.


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