Monday, August 08, 2005

Austrians the better Germans? 

What every Austrian knows for sure since hundredth of years, has finally been found out by Bloomberg and Columnist Mathew Lynn:

Austria Shows Sick Cousin the Way Ahead

The story starts with:
We have become used to reading about the dire state of the German economy. Unemployment soars, incomes flag, the birthrate declines, and the government stumbles toward an almost certain electoral defeat.

That's why it comes as a surprise to read about an economy of a German-speaking country that is doing pretty well.

In a quiet way, Austria has been consistently outperforming its close cultural and linguistic neighbor. There are lessons in that about where Germany itself went wrong, and about its prospects for transforming itself in the years ahead.

... explains some of the major highlights of the differences and ends with:

The lesson for the bigger of the two German-speaking economies is simple. If Austria can prosper, so can Germany. Austria's big cousin just needs to find the will power to change.
This is obviously a hint to the Germans NOT to re-elect the Red-Green coalition a third time (how stupid one can get?) in September 2005. Interestingly the Red-Green opposition in Austria is blaming the conservative government to be complete idiots and/or morons. This is BTW the same conservative government that was blackballed by all other 14 EU-governments in 2001, basically the same governments now driving Europe against the wall.

On the other hand, this success is nothing new: see Five Decades of Success - Austria’s Economic Rise within the OECD since 1950 (pdf), Anton Kausel

As a result one could come to another explanation: the influence of a democratic government on the ecomomy of a country is (luckily?) neglectible, it is basically the people itself. So the impact of the outcome of elections to the econmic success of a country is the same as pushing the close door button in an elevator. This may even be a comfort button like in the elevator of the Meridian in Paris (not connected to anything, because the door is closing anyway).

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