Corona, the Capital and Class in Germany | Instant News


As 70,000 people have died (6th April 2020) from Coronavirus and the United States of America initially expect up to 82,000 deaths (and now expect up to 200,000 deaths), German economists have asked, how bad is Corona for business? while the Germans ask, how bad for German workers. In Germany and elsewhere, Corona upheld his authority capitalism and class.

Over the past few weeks, Germany has been firm free market believes economists have switched to panic mode. Some also began to doubt Hayek’s promise about lasting economic growth. Instead of optimistic neoliberal hallucinations as usual, neoliberal economists have begun to talk, rather cautiously, about the consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic on the economy. Only a few weeks ago, neoliberal The IMF predicted that the global economy will fall by 0.1%. Today, such predictions are very different from anticipating a more dramatic decline, in the coming weeks. Already, the large German car industry has laid off 90% to 100% of its workforce.

Today, many German economists expect the sharpest economic downturn since World War II. Some estimate that mother of all recession just around the corner. Capitalism – as often – in crisis. One of Germany’s main free market think tanks, the IFO Institute, believes that the economic costs of Coronavirus are expected to exceed anything previously experienced in Germany. Coronavirus is thought to create an unprecedented financial crisis beyond the chaos caused by recent natural disasters. This frightening prediction has caused economic historians to identify and explain the cause of this phenomenon.

Economics, History and Spanish Flu

In 1918, the First World War was not over; an epidemic haunting the world that often results in pneumonia, and there is no treatment. In three waves, the Spanish flu killed around 39 million people between 1918 and 1920. About 2% of the world’s population died at that time. Among them were Austrian expressionist painters Egon Schiele who was only 28 years old when he died. Other victims of the Spanish Flu include Max Weber, godfather of German sociology and Donald Trump’s grandfather, Frederick Trump. Amazingly, the Spanish Flu does not originate in Spain as first known case reported at Camp Funston in Fort Riley, Kansas. However, because of uncensored media in Spain, at that time, Spain was the first to report the disease.

For some time, this pandemic was studied by historians and epidemiologists. Not surprisingly, most are ignored by economists who are busy with markets and competition. For many people, it is rather difficult to separate the human and economic impacts of the Spanish Flu from the consequences of the First World War. Their ignorance can also be attributed to the fact that the focus is placed on public health and not economic conditions.

Today, things are different, and “flu” has catapulted economic inquiry to the same footing as public health. In a recent study, economistFrom 43 countries counted the impact of deaths from the Spanish flu on the economy. They concluded that the global economy contracted by 6% while consumption fell by an average of 8%. It seems that the Spanish Flu is disrupting the economy as well as the Flu Global financial crisiswhere the German economy shrank 5.7% in 2009 – the sharpest decline in postwar Germany.

On the human side of the equation, more deaths occur in countries relative to their size in terms of size and economic strength. That is, the larger the population, the higher the number of deaths and the greater the economic decline, the higher the number of deaths. During 1918 to 1921, countries with large populations such as India, Indonesia and South Africa had many deaths. In Europe, Italy, Portugal and Spain which have strong economies experienced the highest mortality rates. Between 1918 and 1921, America, which has a high population and experienced one of the most profound economic downturns in its history (minus 12%) had a significant death.

Corona economy

In the current situation, the Spanish Flu is a warning, especially for those who like comparisons such as French President Emmanuel Macron. Initially, the Spanish Flu was considered as a scenario that illustrates the worst possibility. We then thought Coronavisus could not have been as bad as the Spanish Flu a hundred years ago, and that would not kill because many people remember that today health system much better. Although there are steep variations between the health care systems of various countries. The top 12 health care districts currently are Canada, Qatar, France, Norway, New Zealand, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Singapore, Luxembourg and Japan. The United States isn’t even listed because it’s ranked 37th. As such, the Spanish Flu seems almost convincing.

But now some predictions about the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic go far beyond what economists have led us to believe. German IFO Institute the scenario presented for the current year. The most optimistic estimate shows a 4.3% contraction for Germany. The most pessimistic, minus 20.6%. The reason for this is what people say in every crisis: ‘This time, everything is different.”

This Time Everything Is Different

Those who do not refer to history to understand the consequences for economics orient themselves exclusively at the present time. China, which is at the forefront of the current virus crisis because the first case of Coronavirus appeared there, is a current example. In the beginning, the Western world experienced disbelief (We have a little problem in this country, Trump) then denial and then horror immediately follows behind. Coronavirus has flooded countries like Italy and Spain and is set to do the same in the UK (Britain needs a leader, not a comedian) and in the U.S.

People are surprised to learn that the restrictions they recently thought were unthinkable in the Western world – Germany and everywhere – suddenly become norm. There are meeting bans, postponing big events like the Olympics, European Football Championships and small events like weddings and funerals. Borders and schools are closed. Music shows, shows, shows and concerts are canceled. Shops were closed, curfews were issued, and strict quarantine was imposed.

It is precisely these steps that German economists see under the lens this time everything was different. During the Spanish Flu, each region, such as Switzerland, for example, issued a strict ban on the meeting and Flu Holiday for school children is normal. However, there is no widespread economic closure by state health regulations. That’s why we might violate new reasons. The economy is fast asleep. Global integrated capitalism today is a fact like never before. Maybe the Coronavirus pandemic is indeed a big economic trial.

For many German economists, China remains the only possible reference because only Chinese statistics are available at the moment; however, economic data from Italy and maybe Austria will appear in the near future. While the Chinese data is considered to be chronically tarnished, German economic forecasters look at them and are increasingly worried every week. Observers expect a slight increase due to China’s usual growth rate in recent years. However, in January and February, by that time, the virus had paralyzed life, China reported industrial production had fallen 13.5%. Fixed asset investment fell by almost a fifth and exports fell by 17.2% – the biggest economic downturn in 30 years.

German hope

Even though Germany is not China, Germany is rapidly adopting widespread closure as a method to combat Coronavirus hoping Chinese economic estimates are realistic. The IFO Institute, economists expect a decrease of minus 20%. While one of Germany’s leading banks, the German bank, currently considering minus 15% to 30% “make sense “- “Makes sense” because economists like to frame their estimates vaguely if that doesn’t prove to be true. However, these figures are lacking as a consequence of the pandemic itself. Instead, they are the result of the economic impact of the closure. Because of this, many Germans are not surprised by extreme economic forecasts.

Just, German Chamber of Commerce and Industry Association surveyed 15,000 companies in many regions and in many industries. It was found that 80% of German companies expect a decrease in turnover and 20% are afraid insolvency. Similarly survey by Germany BGA (commercial trade) found 45% of its member companies feared an “existential crisis” if Corona’s closure continued while 51% believed they would suffer economically. In total, 470,000 German companies have laid off workers. If Corona’s preventive measures continue for five weeks, German economists estimate the German economy to shrink by 2.8%.

German Economic Modeling

The prediction of the German economy becomes very interesting when one combines the findings of epidemiologists with economists. These two disciplines have fertilized each other. At present, Germany experiences what economists call it trade-offs – a dilemma. The more life-saving measures that are issued, the higher the negative for the economy. There will be more job losses which will in turn reduce social security, pensions and taxes, and possibly result in mass poverty. Fortunately or unfortunately, this dilemma is on the shoulders of politicians who rely on economic figures.

Therefore, politicians have demanded that economists move away from estimates to find out as precisely as possible which measures and sectors of the economy can be included or excluded from this exchange. One trade-off is the transfer of jobs and services to the Internet in an effort to reduce adverse economic impacts. Therefore, German politicians suggest that Work from home must be expanded.

Other exchanges, in the face of continued economic weakness, may include a total economic closure. Past pandemics have experienced this partly because of mandates ordered by the state but more often as a result of fatalities. In addition, people have also made a personal choice to stay at home, afraid of transmission. Unfortunately, all of these factors cannot be measured accurately, but economists incorporate these elements when calculating the economic impact of the Spanish Flu. Fortunately, the possibility to continue working through the Internet did not exist in 1918 and what we call globalization does not currently exist.

The Coronavirus and Labor – German Food Industry Workers Continue to Act

The job situation looks bleak in Germany. In the car industry, workers are sent home, and child care centers and youth facilities are closed. On the other hand, more shifts are introduced in food production companies to meet the demand for frozen pasta or vegetables to cope hoarding and panic buying.

During economic crises such as the Coronavirus pandemic, workers, trade unions, and collective activities such as strikes, were less than optimal. For the first time since the turn of the century, employees at German food companies went on strike. The workers organized themselves in East Germany Frosta (Bautzen Mustard). The aim is to “straighten” East German wages with West German wages. This means wage increases of up to € 700 more per month and pensions above a meager base rate. German NGG the union hopes “making history”. The union will revive a collective bargaining dispute that has taken place since December.

A wave of strikes is planned, with hundreds of participants expected at a central rally in the city of Dresden, East Germany. Then came Coronavirus and the German government banned public meetings. Now union workers are no longer allowed to gather, which violates the constitutional rights of German workers to strike. For weeks, NGG hesitated, moving back and forth on the decision to strike or not. Finally, all industrial action was canceled, leaving unconstitutional decisions unresolved.

In addition, “unresolved” is currently the case for almost all pending trade union negotiations in Germany. The Coronavirus crisis hit the power of the German trade union hard. In most industrial sectors, collective bargaining activities that have begun or are planned for this spring have been postponed or suspended. The German metal industry, the construction industry, social services and education, and in the food industry all produce viruses for various reasons.

In the current round of collective bargaining, Germany is very powerful IG Metal Union, with 2.3 million members watching helplessly while their strength was swept away by the Coronavirus pandemic. Feeling the effects of the reduced bargaining power, unions closed their collective bargaining initiatives in the German NRW state early. In addition, the current IGM collective agreement that was recently negotiated contains fewer benefits than the previous agreement.

Opinions about the agreement were very much shared between progressive metal workers throughout Germany. Many workers see the results of such weak collective bargaining as part of their long-term social partnership agreement that supports trade union leaders and large multinational companies. Others maintain that the current collective bargaining agreement expresses the current balance of power. Nonetheless, a pilot agreement from NRW has been implemented in strong trade union districts such as the Baden-Württemberg home of Mercedes Benz and Porsche in the hope of providing a stronger footing once negotiations begin after the Coronavirus pandemic.

In addition, many industrial disputes have been postponed due to the potential for negative publicity from power, the conservative press. German trade unions, very feared, the power of propaganda might flood the collective bargaining process during the Coronavirus crisis. For example, in the German food industry, unions are aware that food production remains important, and strikes at this time can damage the union moment. As a result, the German NGG union has decided to postpone collective bargaining in the food industry. The NGG trade union does not want to take advantage of the Coronavirus situation. Trade unions recognize that there is little understanding of the capital-hard work impasse in the current situation. Delaying collective bargaining and strikes also means that workers in East Germany will continue to be paid 30% less than their Western counterparts. However, German unions hope to build on this economic fact and revive the momentum to start a round of collective bargaining in the near future.

At present, workers and unions are involved in direct crisis management. This remains the most important. With the Coronavirus crisis hitting hard, German unions were challenged like never before to keep jobs and to fend off attacks from employers who were trying to take advantage of the government’s mandate. There is fear among union members that work standards, wages and even have long been legally established and supported right of joint determination will now be suspended. In a newly established company the board works and trade unions, have been able to enforce wage increases even in the troubled German hospitality industry which is chronically disrupted by low union density. German unions know, if there is no mutual determination, the boss can exploit employees. As a result, unions defended workers against opportunistic bosses who were trying to exploit the current Coronavirus epidemic.

At the end Corona pandemic, it will be capitalism for workers and socialism for the rich. Results from 2008/2009 Cricis Global Finance tell us a lot. At that time, many workers who paid taxes and had homes were asked to leave their homes because they could no longer pay their mortgages. This is capitalism for workers. Meanwhile, their tax money is used to save banks. That is socialism for the rich. Finally, the Corona Pandemic will not kill capitalism. As we know, “it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism



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