Nothing is really changing politically in Berlin. To begin with, Germany’s socialists are currently in a coalition with the conservatives, forming an immense majority in parliament. The coalition has slowed down public spending cuts and reforms enacted by the previous government. The German Left is at risk of fading into irrelevance as its choices regarding coalitions are limited: it’s either Merkel once again or going down the road of a three-party coalition.
In this post-crisis economy, Berlin shouldn’t be interested in who organizes a government reshuffle in September, but should instead be concerned with how a freer economy can unleash the potential of hard-working Germans.
Germany’s historic free-market champion, former conservative politician Ludwig Erhard, should serve as a role model for the ideological emptiness of contemporary German politics. Erhard is known to be responsible for the most extensive period of economic deregulation in modern times. Instead of following the temptation of slowly moving towards more economically interventionist policies, Berlin should follow Erhard’s example who believed that, instead of central planners, individuals should decide a country’s future.
Some minor components of MEADS are being developed in Germany by a team of approximately 200 engineers in Bavaria. Supporters of MEADS use the argument to protect jobs in order to justify multi-billion Euros of public spending. Given the high degree of education and skills these engineers have and the shortage of engineers on the German job market it is more than hard to justify why taxpayers should spend about 12.5 million Euros per saved engineering job.
For German taxpayers and European security interests one can only hope that Lockheed’s PR stunts won’t succeed and that technical feasibility and budgetary realities will be the decision variables for a new air defense system.
It would be an important sign of the Ministry of Defense to kill MEADS once for all. This might finally lead to a happy end in its procurement strategy and once in a lifetime it might say: On time, in budget, and flawlessly operational
Advocate Jared Meyer was published in The Manhattan Institute’s E21 on Germany’s experience with restricting carbon emissions.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s new proposed ozone regulations, released the day before Thanksgiving, will raise the price of American energy by forcing new requirements on utilities, coal, oil, and natural gas. The new regulations, out for proposed comment, would limit ozone pollution to between 65 and 70 parts per billion, rather than the current standard of 75 parts per billion.