The Corona pandemic reveals the failure of the federal government and the consequences of neoliberal policies: incompetence, lack of concept, bureaucratism, greed economy, corruption, lobbying for the profits of corporations and the rich – too few free rapid tests and too few vaccines.
Nothing works, everything takes a very, very long time, bureaucracy and regulations have to be followed. As usual, the discussion goes on for weeks, and above all, as usual, it is talked up and down – without consequences, with a government that is apparently also trying to sit out the Corona pandemic.
How it goes differently show countries like Israel, UK and the USA, which took already last year much money for the well-being of the population into the hand and with different vaccine manufacturers vaccines bought and now – in the fast speed against Corona inoculate. No matter where, whether in parking lots, supermarkets or churches. Everyone can get vaccinated for free. The perspective for the population: The end of the pandemic is in sight!
Germany is “light years” away from this. One year after the pandemic, Germany is in the third lockdown, meanwhile at the beginning of the third wave, with further increasing infection numbers and rising incidence, still too few tests and too few vaccines. High-risk groups such as the elderly are still waiting for vaccination appointments. At this rate, the public will still have to deal with Corona next year.
This could have been prevented after the German government held the EU Council presidency last year after the first lockdown and also otherwise has the majority in the EU Parliament. Already in the summer of 2020, the German government and the EU Commission were informed by scientists that a second lockdown would follow in the fall. Nevertheless, nothing was done, how to ensure and buy enough vaccines, despite billions of surplus by the “black zero” of a conservative, neoliberal and long outdated economic policy.
Instead, time was allowed to pass and petty haggling to save money, as usual when the welfare of the population is at stake. Although quick action, pragmatism, taking responsibility would have been the order of the day, at the latest after the first lockdown. So work out a concept for free masks, free tests and a vaccination strategy. Money in the hand take, vaccines order and buy – above all with the vaccine manufacturers before with the tax money of the population were subsidized.
One week of lockdown only in Germany costs 4 billion euros. 900 million vaccine doses for the entire population in Europe, even with a higher price about 10.8 billion euros and the pandemic could have been fought quickly.
Already on January 27, 2020, the coronavirus officially reached Germany for the first time, of which the German government and the EU Commission knew.
A month and a half later, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) imposed the first measures:
On March 22, 2020, the 1st lockdown was imposed which lasted in Germany until May 4, 2020.
Then the first relaxations in the summer with distance, masks and hand disinfection.
The 2nd and hard lockdown after the infection numbers had risen further from December 16, 2020 to initially February 14, 2021.
Because of the Corona mutations that occurred 3rd hard lockdown which was extended to March 28, 2021.
A total of 25 weeks lockdown results in 100 billion euros only in Germany.
Obviously neither the German government nor the EU Commission under conservative German leadership was capable of this “milkmaid calculation”.
If the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) with the Conservative Germans who had the EU Council Presidency at that time had immediately bought vaccines for the entire population, like Israel, the USA and UK, even at higher prices broadly from several companies for all 450 million inhabitants in Europe i.e. about 900 million doses, the price for these vaccines would have been 10.8 billion euros and the pandemic could have been fought actively and quickly. As by quickly vaccinating against the virus mutations that are now spreading more and more and are much more contagious, thus more dangerous. In order to ensure access to vaccines for the rest of the world, especially the poor countries, and to fight the pandemic globally, it is still necessary to release the pantente.
Bureaucratism and an incompetent federal government in Germany has in the Corona pandemic fatal consequences for the population in Germany and all EU countries, which now also have too few vaccines and must wait for vaccine deliveries.
Fast action is required – pragmatism! That what does not exist in Germany until today: So Eigeniniziativ, take responsibility, courage, fast unbureaucratic action and implement what works – quickly and unbureaucratically. The result and the well-being of the population counts!
That this is possible in Germany, show unfortunately only a few examples such as Tübingen, Rostock and Münster, where the mayors did exactly that, self-initiated and courageously against the German bureaucracy and regulations. With success: since 4 weeks the incidence in all three cities is below 50 and and currently below 35 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in one week. Whether this attempt succeeds remains to be seen.
And the politicians with the federal government? Hiding cowardly behind German bureaucracy for fear of taking responsibility, doing something wrong or perhaps making themselves unpopular and losing votes.
Do something wrong? Like deliberately throwing hundreds of millions of euros of citizens’ tax money down the drain without having to take responsibility for it, like Andi Scheuer & Co? Or the current mask corruption scandal? Resignation was yesterday: Today, it is simply carried on, in feudal lord style, as if nothing had happened. No wonder transparency is seen as romantic by the Union.
This government cannot make itself more unpopular with the population, which is still waiting for free rapid tests, vaccine and vaccination appointments. Instead, in this Corona pandemic, the population hangs on hold waiting for promised payments or on the phone and has to send forms by fax because, thanks to the Union, Germany remains a digital “diaspora” to this day.
We need vaccines to be vaccinated now, no matter where and by anyone who can. Primary care physicians, who vaccinate 20 million people each fall against influenza within two months, are obviously not trusted to do so in the Corona pandemic. Instead, renewed bureaucracy and regulations.
Learning from other Western countries, like New Zealand and Australia that fought the pandemic? Not Germany, which sells itself to the world as a rich “clean nation” and “organizational world champion”!
Now the vaccination is stopped again because of side effects of the AstraZeneka vaccine.
First, AstraZeneka does not keep the agreed deliveries anyway, unlike the other vaccine manufacturers, as the EU Commission has just announced.
Secondly, there are other reliable, tested vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, CurVac and Johnson & Johnson that can be used for further vaccination, as is the case in the USA and Israel. Instead of discussing AstraZeneka as usual in Germany and the EU, obviously to cover up the failure and to run media campaigns to unsettle the population. Fast vaccination is the order of the day, to be faster than the covid mutations, to prevent the spread and thus to fight the worldwide pandemic.
Germany a country hostile to innovation in agony, stagnation, incompetence and a narcotized population for decades – with “keep it up” even in the Corona pandemic manages its wealth: paralyzed by bureaucracy, regulations, steep hierarchies in an enumerated administrative apparatus, in the corporations, in the companies, in the banks – promoted and supported by conservative politicians.
In Germany, regulations and bureaucracy are mercilessly placed above the fate of the individual and the needs of the population, even if this causes great harm to the individual, the population and the country. This mentality runs through all industries in Germany. Everyone rips off everyone – without regard for the fate of the individual and hides hopeless incompetence behind regulations to justify non-existent humanity, lack of social behavior, lack of decency and not having to take responsibility.
Bureaucracy is not only inhumane but also undemocratic and presupposes unconditional obedience without thinking, questioning and acting independently. The damage caused by this bureaucracy to the individual, the population and democracy is also of no interest to anyone, especially not politicos in the federal government, which has been governing for decades past the needs of the population.
The list of home-grown grievances in Germany is long.
Over decades and now every week: Corruption, environmental, animal welfare, and climate scandals with a policy in favor of lobbyists and the profits of corporations and the rich, through low wages and exploitation, a minimum wage that the Union prevented for decades, the lowest pensions in Europe from which the population after more than 40 years of work also can not live and the ever increasing rents of greedy homeowners and speculators can no longer pay, a disastrous school system in which there is still no equality of opportunity, no understanding of democracy is taught, children with their talents for the future are not promoted, the permanent and continuing destruction of its own existential basis of nature and a digital expansion prevented by Helmut Kohl (CDU) in favor of the profits of his “bosom friend” of Leo Kirch, are just a few “highlights”.
Decency has become a foreign word in Germany: Only one’s own advantage and money counts by any means.
The failure of the conservatives in the federal government which are meanwhile over 47 years in power and now in the Corona pandemic becomes visible can be no more beautifully, small talked and relativized, it is the consequence and consequence of a reckless mismanagement and neoliberal policy at the expense of the population for decades.
How inhumane this neo-liberal policy in Germany is, also made clear by the Troika of Wolfgang Schäuble with Angela Merkel (CDU) the countries in Europe with their population, like Greece and Portugal, in even greater poverty plunged and today still suffer from the consequences – especially now in the Corona pandemic. How cynical when today’s EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) now calls for solidarity in Europe in the Corona pandemic.
Governing past the needs of the population. Politics with an austerity policy as a business model for their own benefit, for the profits of corporations and the rich at the expense of others. The system must pay the working population, not the corporations and the rich. With cronyism, fat-cat economy, corruption, abuse of office, and abuse of power in politics. The current mask corruption scandal with the CDU/CSU is nothing new, but usus and has for decades system, not only since the donation affair of Helmut Kohl.
Bureaucratism means excessive action orientation that places regulations above people and treats people as objects. Precisely this is now more than clearly visible in the Corona pandemic.
Governing in feudal lord style!
Angela Merkel still talks about the population as if she does not belong to it, which then gets a “reward” (relaxations after the lockdown) if this behaves “good”. A chancellor and politicians elected and paid by this population.
Corona mercilessly illustrates not only the consequences of inhumane neoliberalism for decades in Germany, but also the bureaucracy. With politicians who live in a parallel world and are no longer interested in the needs and problems of the population. Only their own advantage counts, like Donald Trump.
The gap between rich and poor was already widening before the Corona pandemic due to this democracy-damaging policy against the existing Basic Law and created a breeding ground for right-wing extremists. Discrimination against minorities, everyday racism and right-wing extremism in Germany are homemade. The consequences of the Corona pandemic will be devastating for the population like many self-employed, solo self-employed, gastronomy, art and culture, who are still waiting for the promised Corona aid until today, and will create even more poor people.
Bureaucratism is a heartless, i.e. inhumane rule of the civil servants, the administrative apparatus, politics and companies over the people, who exercise power through their regulations, have no understanding of the needs and problems of the individual and the population, humanity is undesirable and prevents positive change, further development and innovation.
Bureaucracy means absolutism which has its origin in the history of Europe, began with feudalism in the Middle Ages and found its climax in National Socialism, with a population as followers who never learned democracy, subordinated themselves, complied with regulations unconditionally and made this system possible. A bureaucratic regiment with bureaucracy as the ground of absolutism, with a police state that patronized and oppressed the population in the 19th century, can still be found today in the 21st century.
Concerning the new refeudalization, i.e. politics for the rich and corporations, the philosopher Habermas said: “A society in which wealth as well as poverty are “inherited” within delimited social groups, not only through the transmission or lack of material goods, but – socializing far earlier and more profoundly – especially through the social determination of educational and advancement opportunities. Today, for example, the chances of a child from a parental home with a high social status are more than seven times greater than those of a working-class child. An ‘aristocracy of opportunity’ at one end is opposed at the other by groups of the dispossessed and resourceless without prospects.”
With money, the bureaucracy in Germany can also be eliminated for the profits of the corporations.
Neoliberalism continues in Germany as if nothing had happened, as if there was no Corona virus, no middle class threatened with bankruptcy and impoverishment because of Corona, no extinction of nature and species, no climate change and as if it was not known that electric cars are not the future but will lead to the next environmental catastrophe.
Neoliberalism – the new colonialism.
“Keep it up” as if nothing happened, as if there was no “Meadows Report” with the people of MIT in the 1970s that already showed that the neoliberal economic system is not permanent and the raw material reserves are not unlimited. It has been known since then that 20 percent of humanity, such as Europe and the United States, consume 80 percent of global raw materials. If the whole world had this standard of living and this demand, we would need 360 percent of the raw materials – which are not available at all.
Eleon Musk in search of resources in Europe
Increasingly in order to extract lithium, the Barroso World Heritage Site in Portugal is to be destroyed. The hopes of the politicians in Portugal for the exploitation and destruction of their nature in return as promised to get a battery factory, has evaporated into thin air. They were deceived, just used and obviously promoted like the Germans with “jobs” so that Elon Musk’s battery factory can be built in Germany, with lithium from Portugal and workers that are supposed to come mostly from Poland.
Musk was looking for another resource for the car company and the battery factory in Germany, water in a washer protection and nature reserve in Brandenburg. The current project of Elon Musk to build the largest car company in Europe is another “highlight” of the noeliberal policy in Germany in the 21st century, which is also supported by the EU. Furthermore, billions of euros of subsidies are distributed to corporations with the “watering can”, for the destruction of their own livelihood of nature as usual for decades in Germany – with the tax money of the citizens. The fact that these corporations leave behind only destruction and poverty for their profits, like a plague of locusts, has not been recognized to this day by either the neoliberal conservatives in Germany or those in the EU.
When small politicians want to distinguish themselves – in the style of Gerhard Schröder.
Musk makes pressure: 92 hectares of forest were cleared in a “night and fog action” without final permission already in the water protection, and nature reserve. There is also no official building permit, and increased pressure is being exerted on the environmental authority. Elon Musk is more than in the criticism because of the exploitation and the inhuman working conditions of his workers and employees in the USA and California. Musk wants to date neither in the U.S. nor in Germany unions in his group, the workers for the factory in Germany, are to come largely from Poland.
Musk wants to build the largest car company in Brandenburg in the drinking water protection area, where the drinking water for the population is produced. A “Gigafactory” subsidized with 400 million euros, plus 1 billion for a battery factory with lithium from Portugal also in Germany, with the tax money of the citizens. This time even with the support of Environment Minister Axel Vogel of Bündnis90/Die Grünen in Brandenburg. The population and NGOs protested in Germany, as in Portugal, without being heard so far.
How stupid must such politicians be, who “stand at attention”, naively and greedily let themselves be deceived, used and instrumentalized with their hopeless incompetence and think they are important when an Elon Musk calls them. A man who only owns money through the exploitation of others. In Germany, therefore, not only conservative politicians offer themselves, but also politicians from the SPD who think they can distinguish themselves. The Axel Springer Group even honors Musk for this. For what? For his profits through inhuman exploitation? For the destruction of nature and the environment? For the billions of subsidies with the tax money of the citizens which he gets from the policy around his wealth to increase? The laudation at this embarrassing, but typical German event was held by Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) who smiled away the Corona skepticism of Elon Musk. All this is reminiscent of the stock market crash in 2008 when the Landesbanken in Germany were called by Lehman Brothers, subsequently bought their bad papers without any qualms and unscrupulously sold them to small savers and pensioners with horrendous commissions. The consequences are well known. Nothing was learned from it!
Apparently, you can “sell” the Germans anything.
Neoliberalism in Germany, continuing for the profits of corporations and the rich over the exploitation of people. Elon Musk does not want unions in his corporation even in Germany. “The drinking water supply is sacrificed on the gift table of economic policy,” said the head of the Strausberg-Erkner water board, André Bähler Frontal21. According to research by the magazine, the planned factory of the U.S. electric car manufacturer will consume about 3.6 million cubic meters of water per year with the next expansion stages. That would be about 30 percent of the total water volume in the region. This means there is not enough water, Bähler explained. The workers for the plant in Germany are to come largely from Poland, as Frontal21 reports https://www.zdf.de/politik/frontal-21/dokumentation-turbo-tempo-tesla-elon-musk-in-brandenburg-english-100.html
In every crisis there is also an opportunity! The wind has changed! The end of the inhuman neoliberalism and the Reagan economic policy was just finished in the USA.
The article of Prof. Robert Reich of the University of California at Berkeley in the Guardian, about the neoliberal economic policy of Ronald Reagan, which de-regulated the financial markets, favored corporations and the rich through tax cuts, divided society, set the working middle class against the poor and was continued by Trump – reads like a blueprint that immediately found imitators in Germany and was continued for decades, first by Helmut Kohl, then by Gerhard Schröder with Harz4 and then by Angela Merkel. The population was desolidarized.
Robert Reich: “For years, Republicans used welfare to drive a wedge between the white working middle class and the poor. Ronald Reagan portrayed black, inner-city mothers as freeloaders and cheats and repeatedly referred to “a woman in Chicago” as a “welfare queen.”
Joe Biden signed the largest expansion of government assistance since the 1960s – a guaranteed income for most families with children, increasing the maximum benefit by up to 80% per child.
Through President Joe Biden’s recovery plan, more than 93% of children in the U.S. – 69 million – will receive benefits. The incomes of Americans in the lowest quintile will increase by 20%, those in the second lowest by 9% and those in the middle by 6%.
“Instead of pitting the working middle class against the poor, this unites them. Some 76% of Americans support the bill, including 63% of low-income Republicans (a quarter of all Republican voters).
The political lesson is that today’s Democrats – who have a popular majority in presidential elections (they have won seven of the last eight elections) – can win political majorities by raising the wages of both middle-class and poor voters while fighting Republican efforts to suppress the votes of likely Democrats.
The economic lesson is that Reaganomics is officially dead.
For years, conservative economists argued that tax cuts for the rich create job-creating investment, while propping up the poor creates dependency. Bullshit.
Bidenomics is just the opposite: give money to the bottom two-thirds and their purchasing power will drive growth for everyone. That’s much more plausible. How much, we will find out in the coming months.” said Prof. Robert Reich in the Guardian.
After signing this bailout bill, President Joe Biden said during his address, “The government is not some foreign power in a distant capital. No, it is we, all of us, we the people.”
Robert Reich, is a former U.S. Secretary of Labor, professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, and author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few and the Common Good. His new book, The System: Who Rigged It, How Do We Fix It?
The “bang” from the U.S. has obviously still not been heard by the Federal Government in Germany and the EU led by the Conservative Germans who continue to exploit the population for corporate profits and further destroy their own livelihoods, nature and species.
The population has however with the coming choice the possibility their cross not again from habit at the wrong place to set.
It is time in Germany and in the EU that this neoliberalism is finally terminated, around a policy for the population, nature, animals, environment and the climate – thus for the future is rung in.
Or is Germany too big for Europe and too small for the world?
Astrid Ebenhoch is journalist, founder and editor of Hounds & People.
The article in german: Covid-19: Ende des Neoliberalismus in den USA! Und in Deutschland?