Saturday, March 24, 2012

Just More of the Same

For all practical purposes.....there are two Germanys in operation today.  Americans may be a bit shocked and surprised at this comment....but it's the simple truth.

When things unraveled in East Germany in the late 1980s....the eventual outcome was reunification in 1990.  If you compared the two Germanys in was a pretty big difference.  You had a modern infrastructure in West Germany, with almost everything rebuilt since 1945.  Buildings were brightly painted and roads were in first class condition.  Most West German towns had ongoing projects to spruce up things and local residents were all proud of their city or town.

East Germany in 1990....was a different sort of place.  Roads and bridges needed rebuilding.  There were still bombed out areas left over from 1945.  When folks did renovation on their was a self-help project with mixed results (half of the house might look 1955 in appearance, and the other half like some 1985 mixed-up renovation project).  

One of the big promises out of 1990 from the new unified German government....was this massive infrastructure cash flow.  They would rebuild East Germany.....even if it took decades.  Well....we are now over twenty years into this effort, and some German communities in the western part of the nation....are feeling some pains that they haven't had full cash flow on their projects in twenty years.  Hundreds of billions have flowed into the eastern portion of the country, and frankly....some folks think it's to just be "fair" about funding.  

I read a comment this week....that around forty percent of people living in the eastern regions of Germany....still feel like a second-class citizen.  It's been two decades, and things haven't changed much in the minds of these folks.  Yes, we can kinda admit that no company out of the eastern half of Germany has even made it into the German top thirty businesses.  And we can admit that hundreds of small villages in the eastern regions of Germany have only seen their roads paved and the public buildings painted.....without any other real construction (like the big towns in the eastern half received).  

For all practical's still two German nations.  I suspect in another twenty'll still be two German nations.  

From an American's like going from Atlanta, to some 1-star town in southern Georgia that doesn't even have a stop-light.  We've been living in a split society for over two-hundred years, and never thought much about it.  Occasionally, some media guy will tell us that it's a shame....we agree.....and life just goes on.

I suspect Germans are mostly the same way.  You can talk about two German society all you want.....but'll be the same way.  

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