A Lesson for Britain's voters in general ... and Gordon Brown in particular.Germany's new boom: making money by making stuffhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/1...om-making-stuff
Strolling the broad, prosperous streets of Munich, it is worth recalling the times over the past decade when Gordon Brown used to boast in his budgets about how the UK economy was leaving Germany for dead.
Now – following the most successful year for Europe's biggest economy since the euphoria that followed reunification two decades ago – that looks like the sort of prediction English football fans make ahead of each World Cup: premature, based on little more than wishful thinking – and wrong. "We will have a golden decade now," says Hans-Werner Sinn, president of Munich's Ifo Institute, one of the country's leading thinktanks. Sinn wrote a book early in the last decade, when unemployment was high and pessimism rampant, called Can Germany be Saved? His view then was that it could be. Now he says it has been.
The phrase "crisis, what crisis" also springs to mind outside the Audi plant an hour up the autobahn in Ingolstadt, where a happy band of German motorists have turned up to pick up their new cars, fresh off a one-kilometre production line churning out 2,500 vehicles a day, six days a week. ...
"Britain was on a 10-year high and now it is doing cold turkey. You have to wean the economy off credit and rebalance towards production and traded goods. But it takes years and years and years. In Britain there is a tendency to take the easy way out, to just go for another gin and tonic