Great Graphic : European Demographics and the German Window

The combination of the fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of China ushered in a period. We live, not in the post-WWII period, but in the post-Cold War era. One of the main characteristics of this period is that it is not Euro-centric. 

We live in the earlier years of what may be a Pacific Century. The center of the world's economy has already shifted. For more than a quarter of a century already, more goods cross the Pacific than the Atlantic.

The US foreign policy has made the now famous Asian pivot. The anti-European sentiment is strong in the UK. It is possible that the UK leaves the EU, but even that it is having a national debate on the issue, illustrates the break from the past that is taking place. The US and the UK appear willing to let a hegemon rise in Europe, Germany. It is emerging under the auspices the EU, the ECB and a number of other institutions, in a similar way that the IMF, World Bank, and GATT globalized the US Open Door policies.

Germany, and the creditors in Europe, cannot accept debt mutualization carte blanche. It needs to put into place at least three elements: 1) it needs to know, some degree of precision, how much debt is at stake; 2)weaker creditors must be taken out; and 3) measures must be in place to prevent this from happening again. Each one of these elements have subsidiary components and may involve some loss of sovereignty.

Germany has been moving slowly, but as this Great Graphic, from a recent Ambrose Evans-Pritchard column in the UK Telegraph, illustrates, demographics are working against it.  Simply put, German is near its peak in population and workforce.    In our life times, we can see France and the UK surpassing Germany in terms of population.  Germany's population is projected to decline by 20% over the next 50 years.  Its work force has already begun shrinking.  

Evans-Pitchard concludes from this that the Germany hegemony will be short-lived largely because of this.  But this is not the not only conclusion one can draw.  Neither Pax Britannia, nor Pax Romana or Pax Ameircana were based on superior population size.   It does suggest why it is important that Germany institutionalizes the rules of engagement.   In addition, Evans-Pitchard maybe underestimating the ability of Germany and its ordo-liberalism to reform. 
Great Graphic : European Demographics and the German Window Great Graphic :  European Demographics and the German Window Reviewed by Marc Chandler on June 29, 2013 Rating: 5
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