Weep Because Germany Is Too Competitive?

Krugman‘s “More Notes On Germany“: .“about Germany’s trade surplus and the US report saying, correctly, that it’s harmful to the world economy.

The worst thing, if you ask me, in the Spiegel report on the controversy is the statement by Germany’s Economics Ministry that Germany’s surplus is a sign of the competitiveness of the German economy and global demand for quality products from Germany.

Economists everywhere should read this and weep. It is a basic accounting identity that:

Current account = Savings – Investment

Any story about the determination of the current account balance must take this identity into account.”

Krugman talks, but he is unawares of the details, thus the devil. Innocently, like the sheep frolicking, he contentedly bleats, and points at the big bad Germans.

Germany has 20% more population than France, but one third fewer young people. So a lot of its psychological problems have to do with aging. Merkel, for example, unfortunately not just for her, had no children.

Germany’s economic outlook is viewed, by many European economic experts as the worst in Europe. Yes, it’s surprising, and little known, but this dire prediction is something those who steer the German economy are perfectly aware of. So they cling desperately to the competitivity thing.

As I said in a comment not published by the NYT, as I am not trusted, the German population is old (relative to the French one, say). And it is smaller than thought, even a year ago.

Germany needs to import people, even before stuff. As there is more work in Germany, Germany was able to “import” more than one million qualified workers, from the rest of the EU, in just one year.

So the German competitivity is a way to compensate for terrible demographics, and a not so good educational system (great for apprentices, not so much for creative engineers; France beats Germany on that score).

The interpretation in France is not that Germany is bad, but that France is uncompetitive. Solution? Not whine about Germany. Nobody serious is whining about Germany in France.

Instead, some German methods are now imported to France with gusto. One is to have representatives of the unions sitting on the board of companies. To replace strife and strikes by concertation, as done in Germany.

Some take a public oath to write 50,000 words in November.

Call that the anti-German method. Once Einstein met Valery in Paris. “What’s the little book for?” enquired Albert. “So I can write my fresh ideas, dear Albert!” Einstein was baffled:“But ideas are very rare. I could never forget the few I ever had.”

The giant mathematician Gauss had the motto:“Pauca, Sed Matura.” (Few, but mature.)

Verbal diarrhea ought not to be confused with what’s needed. Yet studies have shown that, the more blogs publish, the more popular they are. Thus demonstrating how uneducated the public is, and how much it wants to pet a cat. All the time, everyday.

10,000-Year Study Finds Oceans Warming Fast, But. From a Cool Baseline.

Notice that there is always a “But“. That looks fair and balanced, but it destroys the primary message.

In truth global warming is proceeding, not just unabated, but accelerating. The much advertized “pause” in global atmospheric warming over the last decade is nearly irrelevant.

I suggested first that the pause was due to the “sun cooling” in 2009: https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/05/31/sun-cooling-ice-melting/

followed by NASA’s Hansen and al. 2 years later: Hansen, J., Sato, M., Kharecha, P. & von Schuckmann, K. Earth’s energy imbalance and implications. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 11, 13421–13449 (2011).

 Now the atmospheric pause is mostly explained as absorption of heat by the oceans. Guemas and coworkers in Nature Climate Change in April 2013 “attribute the onset of this slowdown to an increase in ocean heat uptake. Most of this excess energy was absorbed in the top 700m of the ocean at the onset of the warming pause, 65% of it in the tropical Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The ability to predict retrospectively this slowdown not only strengthens our confidence in the robustness of our climate models, but also enhances the socio-economic relevance of operational decadal climate predictions”.

The average ocean depth is 4,000 meters. The pressure from the atmosphere is equal to that from ten meters of water. hence one can say that the ocean has potentially 400 times (total mass ocean) two-thirds (surface earth covered by ocean), that is 250 times the heat storage capability of the atmosphere.

In truth, the heat capacity of the ocean is more like 500 times, because half of the atmosphere is above 5,500 meters and warming up there mostly reflects into space (to the point the stratosphere is actually cooling, as it loses warmth from all the infrareds blocked by the greenhouse below! This is an experimental fact that has been known for 20 years, by the way.)

It’s highly likely that some ocean currents have gained force to augment convection, carrying heat away with them (proof: much and much Pacific El Nino style imbalances).

The Earth energy system has many degrees of freedom. As the heating of the atmosphere momentarily maxed out, other systems got in gear, allowing more efficient transport of heat to the oceanic depths.

An example is melting: as ice melts, or sublimates, temperature stays constant. Does not require much brain to realize this is happening in the Arctic. Especially with an absolutely gigantic permafrost briskly melting (and an even greater larger heat capacity). 

This deep ocean warming spells catastrophe, as it could quickly lead to release of methane hydrates and melting of the high latitude under water frozen basins in East Antarctica.

New York Pravda?

To cover-up the “debacle” (dixit Obama’s HHS secretary, Sebellius) of “Obamacare”, the New York Times has instituted a severe censorship system.

“Trusted Commenters” are published immediately (as they would be in the Wall Street Journal, except, there, everybody is trusted until proven otherwise!) Most of my comments, on anything, have been censored in October.

For example Krugman published essays on the French economy in the 1920s to try to disprove contradiction from his enemies. This is a subject I know well, and I could see that Krugman had missed the elephant in the bedroom. So I sent a very detailed and explicit analyses demonstrating that Krugman’s pontificating about France was fraught with fundamental flaws. It was all very scholarly. The New York Times censored all of it.

Brain recognition, not just speech recognition, is a problem at the NYT. So now comments from brainy people are not published by the New York Times in a timely manner. Because they are not “trusted”! I have had a full subscription to the New York Times for more than three decades, so I can read comments from “Rima Rigas”? And see mine not published?

“Rima Rigas” claims to be a down on her luck, dirt poor, adrenal gland cancer riddled [sic]. Still she has the time to send 30 comments to the New York Times, each day, some very long. All supporting insipid talking points of the caviar branch of the democratic party.. which obviously pays her, and a few of her ilk.

Other “trusted commenters” are obviously insurance industry shills (when the issue of private insurance and Obamacare arise, and only then, they are out there with ten trusted comments recommended instantaneously by 100 people. They have identified me as a problem, so they call me a “liar” (just because I know Europe a bit better than they do). A similar problem happens with greenhouse warming subjects; obviously paid characters show up, instantaneously recommended by dozens. 

It reminds me of the Iraq war, when none of my anti-war comments was published for 6 months. I love contradiction by clever people. Nothing is worse than confusing the bleating of the sheep with something brainy. Especially when they are obviously paid.

Patrice Ayme


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