Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The SPD Plan

I noticed in the morning news readings....particularly from Focus, but several German news outlets chatted about this public event.....the SPD Party has come out with their 2016 "thrust" to get active and protect their image for the 2017 election.  The theme?  "Restart Germany".

This theme requires the government (with the CDU supporting it) to spend an extra five billion Euro on various projects which touch upon immigrants and the nation itself.   They sell this by suggesting that it benefits everyone.

The key pieces?

First, to create 80,000 new nursery/kindergarden spaces, and hire 20,000 additional pre-school educators.  No one says much but you can expect all of this to be in the urbanized zones of Germany.

Second, they want growth on all-day schools in the country, with recruitment continuing for more social workers and teachers.

Third, they want the process of integration.....particularly with language courses....to be highly organized and connected to the work office of each community.  Presently, language courses are part of VHS.....a non-profit adult education system, which has NO connection to any government entity.  While the language instructors might like being government employees, getting various benefits out of this....the management of such schools would balk at being attached to the work office of each community.

Fourth, they are aiming for thirty percent of the refugees to have a vocational qualification very quickly.  No one says precisely how quickly, and this might amount to six months in reality (this is Germany after all).

Fifth, using government funding to create jobs (out of thin air) for minimum-skilled immigrants.  The number mentioned is 100,000.  Landscaping crews?  Well, that would be competition against various contracts that already exist.  It's hard to figure how they'd use the hundred-thousand low-skill people within a city or regional government apparatus.

Sixth, to use federal funding to build 400,000 houses/apartments each year for five years.  These would all meet the low cost threshold.  Of the six ideas, this is the one with the most issues and problems tied to it.

Most immigrants want particular urbanized areas (Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Hamburg, etc).  Just finding property within the city limits and acquiring it would have a cost attached.  If you said you were acquiring a half-block area in a major city to build low-cost housing.....locals around this affected area would ask questions and want assurances about the size and expectations.  Some political groups would be under intense pressure (even the SPD).

Some communities might see this funding as a cash cow and build a 100-unit apartment complex....right next to some heavily industrialized area, and find that no one really wants to live around that area.

The government went through various failures with large-scale 'cheap' housing in the 1960s and 1970s.....basically creating urbanized ghetto operations and bringing discontent with the low-cost housing 'victims'.  The general idea these days is to build smaller units for ten to twenty families and spread them out as part of some neighborhood.

The SPD is hoping to separate itself from the CDU.....establish itself as the protector of the average wage-earner and hope to capture another five points over the last elections results (25.7 percent), and watch the CDU falter with public support.

As for where this five billion Euro will come from?  Well.....the 'other pocket' of course.  Eventually, some idiot will stand up in the crowd and ask this question and the political figure will just grin and suggest there's more money out there (meaning to tax of course).  The excitement over the program will lessen a bit and the SPD folks will sweat over the whole plan.

The truth is....they have to do something to show progress and earn votes.

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