Friday, July 13, 2018

'Regime Change' Talk

There's a piece by Focus Magazine (the German news magazine) today, which chats over this new topic: 'Regime Change in Germany'.

Naturally, it's a anti-Trump piece. 

Trump in his European 'tour' didn't actually say 'regime change' but he kinda hinted that the relationship would require some fresh perspectives (hint, some new faces).

So the former Foreign Minister of Germany (Sigmar Gabriel) came out and said you really need to put 'force' against Trump, to make him understand how strong you are.

It was a nice short piece....direct...a little bit hyped-up, and then you stood there wondering.....who exactly is this magnificent German character that Gabriel is talking about?  Chancellor Merkel?  Well....no, it can't be her.

The Finance Minister (#2 in leadership, SPD Party member, Olaf Scholz, former mayor of Hamburg)?  Well....no, it can't be him.

The President of Germany (Frank-Walter Steinmeier)?  Well.....no, it can't be him.

The next dozen-odd SPD, CDU, CSU, Linke Party, Green Party, FDP and AfD political figures?  Well, not, it can't be any of them.

Over the past twenty years, you could suggest that Germany has assembled a fine cast of characters for a bureaucratic team of technocrats.   They give splendid speeches, present decent arguments in forums, and make fine 'actors' for public TV theatrics.  Beyond that, no....they really don't have that type of forceful character that Gabriel is talking about.  Nor is there anyone on the horizon for the next four years that seems to fill those shoes.

So here's the odd thing that you would need to worry about, if Trump's strategy seems to lift off and carry weight.  What if the US industrial machine were to repair itself, and go back to the GDP-type heavyweight that it was in the 1970s?  What if Trump had created by the end of 2019.....four million new jobs from day one?  What if the national unemployment rate was near 2.5-percent? 

What if industrial HR people started to arrive in the spring of 2019 in Germany, and began to look for engineers and PhD type people for major projects and industry?  What if the German machine skipped a beat and saw a slight rise in unemployment (say one-percent up in 12 months)?  What if 10,000 Germans packed up in 2019 and took jobs in the US?  What if the US started to raid the best and brightest Germans to US jobs?

That's the thing about this whole theatrical thing underway.  The Germans want to envision Trump and the game plan in a particular way.  Trump?  In his book, there are no enemies....there are competitors, and he's playing the game as if the US actually can compete on a massive scale.  The comeback to this.....can Germany compete in this type of situation? 

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