r/worldnews 2d ago Helpful 2 Silver 1

Germany - burned by overrelying on Russian gas - now vows to end dependence on trade with China Opinion/Analysis

https://www.businessinsider.com/germany-scholz-reliance-russia-energy-gas-end-dependence-china-trade-2022-11

[removed] — view removed post

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u/Dealan79 2d ago

This is both a good thing, and doesn't need to be seen as particularly antagonistic to China. Some people seem to be reading this as if Germany is looking to end trade with China instead of dependence on trade with China. The latter simply means that they are looking to diversify their supply chain so that no part of it is held as a Chinese monopoly. That's just sensible economic and foreign policy even with allies.

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u/Pm_me_Djibouty 2d ago

I read between the lines here and this is what I got:

We, the free world, must end our reliance upon the dictatorships. Countries that have a willingness to use force, military force, to get their way.

Russia has shown us that this must end.

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u/FM79SG 2d ago Take My Energy

vows to end dependence on trade with China

I will believe it when I see it.

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u/ensoniq2k 2d ago

We're giving China a big stake in a freight haven in Hamburg right now by chancelors order. I'm hesitant to belive any anti China action will really come to fruition

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u/eggs4meplease 2d ago Helpful

This is the result of multiple things. A minority stake in a freight terminal isn't even that unusual. Multiple large European and Asian ports have this arrangement.

One of the underlying issues that continues to haunt Europeans is that Europeans themselves have not unified their economic and trade rules enough. State-aid rules of the EU prevents unfair competition amongst themselves but simulatanously create issues with outside economic forces.

Multiple European ports and port terminals have stakes by Chinese companies. All of which have to simultanously compete against one another for business.

Their own management of the Eurozone crisis and the Greek debt issue has caused the Greek government to sell state assets to cover their ass. The port of Pireaus was for example fully taken over by COSCO. This is the rats tail of the inherent problems of the Eurozone construction conceptually, which is not Chinas problem.

Meanwhile, the Port of Pireaus has actually done pretty decently under COSCO, expanding for multiple years at a rapid pace until Covid came knocking, making Pireaus one of the leading ports of the Eastern Med region.

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u/AnotherBlackMan 2d ago

This is a really good take.

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u/Lord_Euni 2d ago

How does any of this explain Scholz overruling basically his entire cabinet? It's much more likely that he did it because Scholz is still buddy-buddy with his SPD colleagues in Hamburg who really wanted this to go through for $ome reason.

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u/Mantarrochen 2d ago

Europe has one big problem: the €uro.

The smaller economic powers not being able to devaluate their own currency enables i.e. Germany to completely run them over by offering the best profitabilty (per worker) per salary. Thats why 20 years ago the old chancellor Schröder boasting in Davos about how they created the largest low-salary sector (because they basically put a gun to the head of the unemployed and thus the workers being afraid of becoming one of them) -
thats why that runs completely contrary to the original European ideal. The lesser powers just cant make their jobs cheaper because they have the same currency.

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u/thedonjefron69 2d ago

I was just in Europe and was wondering what COSCO was because at first I thought it said “Costco” and got excited.

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u/dingdingonyourleft 2d ago

This guy gets it.

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u/slightlylong 2d ago

EU countries in general are caught between a rock and a hard place.

European fears of being crushed between and too dependant on the two giants of the world, the US and China are resurfacing with good reason.

The EU states have a large amount of internal and external unresolvable issues and are deadlocked about a way ahead.

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u/gold_rush_doom 2d ago

Same thing with the "free energy market" that ended up fucking us in the throat through the ass this past year. Yeah, competition is ok, but owning and controling critical assets and the final price is much better IMO.

Also the same thing with rail transport.

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u/Oberschicht 2d ago

Not a big stake at all. That basically everyone except for the chancellor (who is from Hamburg) are against it is another thing however.

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u/netherknight5000 2d ago

It’s 25% in the smallest terminal in Hamburg. It’s a shit idea but it’s certainly not that big of a problem.

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u/sw04ca 2d ago

Indeed, it's a pretty small stake. The most concerning part of it is that everyone is railing about what a terrible idea it is and the chancellor is forcing it ahead anyways. That's what makes people worry about Scholtz's willingness to follow through.

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u/netherknight5000 2d ago

I can agree with that. For a guy that is known to be very cautious I’m surprised he has picked this as the hill he wants to die on.

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u/Onkel24 2d ago edited 2d ago

The other side of the coin is that people interpret a bit too much into his role.

This port isn't Scholz' to sell. It's not federal property. Actually, the government isn't supposed to intervene at all, unless they see urgent need. Yet people preferred to read into that that the chancellor somehow has a personal stake in forcing the sale.

The only reason the government is involved is the critical infrastructure thing, when the discussion was about a 35% stake.

With the reduction of the sale to a silent 24,9% minority share, it appears that most of the solid indicators against the sale are marginalized, too.

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u/AirsoftCarrier 2d ago

everyone is railing about what a terrible idea it is

Including six state departments. Which is wild.

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u/WellIGuesItsAName 2d ago

Less then 30% in the smallest of all 4 terminals with close to no power over anything is not what i would call "Big stake".

That its Olaf, and he could be better isnt something new. But its still important to keep the truth.

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u/Aeseld 2d ago

While there is a difference between manufacturing and trade independence and anti-China, I pretty much agree with you. It's a lot easier to release a statement like this than it is to follow through on it.

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u/IshKebab 2d ago

Yeah this is essentially impossible. They might be able to reduce it a little, but end? Literally impossible. 90% of everything is made in China.

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u/IcyNefariousness8987 2d ago

They didn’t just magically appear in China, years of moving business there got us here. The Midwest/Rustbelt in the US used to be full of warehouses and factories. Now it’s full of broken communities who relied on these places. It’s not impossible, just would take some investing back into communities at home. Will that happen is another thing entirely.

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u/MegaSeedsInYourBum 2d ago

Most importantly it will require a societal shift to look down on people who outsource work. Right now the rich are venerated regardless of the harms they do, if the guy who closed his plant in Arkansas’s and moved it to China got ostracized and Chinese imports were taxed far higher, the plant would come back.

Most of the time the issue isn’t that they make no profit operating in the West, it’s that they make so much more if they outsource it to China. This damages communities as you mentioned, and causes a national security concern as the West is not able to manufacture the materials that it needs anymore. Look at the start of the pandemic where there were no masks, and imagine if a war broke out. There aren’t a ton of places that can be easily retooled into making war materials anymore.

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u/musexistential 2d ago

Mitt Romney, the 2012 US Presidential Candidate of the Republican Party, ran companies that profited off the practice of outsourcing. He won the nomination while claiming to be a job creator! Republican voters tend to be more rural and affected by outsourcing, yet they worship guys like that. Then Trump came along and showed us that they would vote for someone even less moral.

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u/FM79SG 2d ago All-Seeing Upvote

It's possible, not in one go, but possible slowly. Supply chains can be moved.

The question is: do they want to or do they want keep making the big bucks

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u/Portalrules123 2d ago

Maybe it is time for people to recognize that neoliberal free market capitalism isn’t always the best idea? Protectionism and government regulation may be required to ensure that the social contract is maintained.

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u/IshKebab 2d ago

I mean you can move it to other Asian countries but not really Europe because of the increased costs. You would need heavy import tariffs to cancel that out.

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u/guy_incognito_mode 2d ago

The real reason everyone wants to move away from China now is that it isn’t the cheapest place to manufacture anymore because standard of living has increased.

It’s just easier to say you are making a political point than I need new cheap workers to exploit.

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u/ForgetTheRuralJuror 2d ago

exactly this. 20 years ago china was 5-10x cheaper. Now it's actually not that different in price to many western countries if you don't account for the initial setup cost (which is astronomical)

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u/Carvemynameinstone 2d ago

It's almost the same price for some goods to be manufactured in Eastern Europe and Turkey right now. Especially Turkey is a "big" player in actual textiles (so, cotton and wool, a lot of what comes out of China rn is plastic clothing.).

From furniture to glasses (my expertise) a sizeable number of brands are changing production to East Europe. Sadly because of the horrible situation in the Ukraine it's slowed down a lot though.

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u/machado34 2d ago

You could also move it South America. Plenty of cheap labor ranging from non-specialized to highly educated, and I'm sure Mercosur would welcome the opportunity to industrialize their countries. France could be a facilitator, as it has a presence in the region, and seem eager to work with Brazil's president-elect Lula. Besides, apart from Venezuela, South American countries have been somewhat stable, with instabilities like the 2019 Bolivian coup and Brazil's Bolsonaro being resolved quite quickly, and Mercosur's Democratic Clause is a disincentive to drift toward authoritarianism. With a stronger market there, it would be even bigger.

Countries like Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and others are ripe to become the new manufacturing hubs for the world

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u/4Wf2n5 2d ago

Which just means Europeans end up paying more for goods and have a reduced standard of living.

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u/Tolstoy_mc 2d ago

Moving production to the EU would also mean an increase in production jobs though, which pay well and have strong unions.

The hit to living standards comes more brutally when the suppliers we depend on decide to cut us off to further their geo-political agendas. Like Russia with gas, China can do the same with goods.

It's unfortunately a strategic insecurity that has to be mitigated. To not learn from the whole Russian gas thing would be a gross failure of government.

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u/4Wf2n5 2d ago

They only pay well if they can offer competitive prices.

If consumers can't afford to buy the goods then it doesn't help.

Otherwise stuff like televisions will become luxury items again.

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u/pavelpotocek 2d ago

Yes, but we wouldn't want to sacrifice our liberal society and values for a better living standard. The goal is to balance these values well.

Arguably, too much emphasis has been on the living standard, which is dangerous. We have seen this problem with cheap Russian energy.

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u/Test19s 2d ago

Everyone wins from trade more or less in terms of goods prices, as long as all parties involved are motivated rationally by economics. When you have a Caligula-type dictator, all bets are off and free trade basically comes off the menu. (Free trade > protectionism, but protectionism > 18-month back orders because Xi Jinping decided to lock down the economy for some inane reason)

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u/ManItToTheStick 2d ago

This is a lie told to you by the globalists in charge. Most of the savings go to the corporate fat cats and their shareholders. Then when the pandemic hit, we were worse off because of the just in time model and over dependence on China for medical supplies. China, naturally, prioritized themselves. What little that tickled to the west those first few months came at a huge premium.

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u/ziggy3610 2d ago

Yup. Cheap goods from overseas is part of how the ownership class has disguised the lack of growth in US wages for the last 40 years. We shipped our own manufacturing overseas, trading good paying jobs for cheap junk made by slave labor.

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u/MRCHalifax 2d ago

But also that more Europeans would be paid more, and have a higher standard of living. Like, that person in Cologne needs to pay more for a doodad or gizmo because it’s being made in Poland rather than China, but on the other hand some Polish worker making doodads and gizmos can now afford to go to Cologne on vacation. Or just buy more Adidas and Puma gear.

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u/Grenbro 2d ago

Vietnam, India, and Mexico are being set up to replace mainland china. At the end of the decade money talks and if those places make it worth while people will go there. They had no loyalty to their own nations think they care about china who steals IPs and entire factory's? Those places don't even need to be that much cheaper just safer (for the investment not the workers duh)

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u/CorrectPeanut5 2d ago

Vietnam and India for sure. Mexico has been trying since NAFTA but they have a lot of head winds. The gangs and cartels have been stopping trains and robbing them blind like it was the wild west days the last few years.

Nissan has been having a heck of a time with robberies.

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u/Froggr 2d ago

It says "end dependence” on trade, not "end." Very different meanings.

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u/Oscarcharliezulu 2d ago

Only because we let it be so. There’s also Thailand, South Korea , Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, India, Bangladesh, who have or are on their way to having large industries.

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u/SlackerAccount 2d ago

It would take decades but it's possible. 60 years ago no one thought china would be where they are now.

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u/Malamazu 2d ago

Last time I checked it was 28% of goods are manufactured in China, which isn't too extreme when you consider they have 18% of the world's population.

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u/CookieCrispr 2d ago

It sounds like complete lie tbh. Sholz went to visit Xi literally a few weeks ago, what a joke. They'll go where the maximum profit is.

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u/MrFancyPanzer 2d ago

Remember thinking it was extremely dumb to rely on russian gas after they invaded Crimea, in case they tried to pressure the Germans in the future.

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u/eypandabear 2d ago

Yes but the counterpoint was that Russia couldn’t use that leverage without screwing themselves over. Even during the Cold War, the Soviet Union reliably sold gas to (West) Germany.

As it turned out, Putin was willing to play the card he could only play once, at great cost.

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u/sylver_dragon 2d ago

About a century ago, The Great Illusion was a popular book which argued that the major countries of the world were so integrated via trade that no one would be dumb enough to start a major war. And then Archduke Ferdinand's driver made a wrong turn.

People like to believe that everyone is only focused on the economy and everyone is perfectly rational. Neither of these things is true and it sets the world up for failure when a power hungry dick head proves the assumption false.

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u/Jane_doel 2d ago

It’s like driving a car. You are trusting the other drivers to follow the law and customs of the road. Most do, most of the time. But then somebody starts texting while driving or drinking or just driving recklessly because they’re a selfish asshole.

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u/snuzet 2d ago

I’ve seen that subreddit

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u/BigUptokes 2d ago

/r/people

What a bunch of bastards...

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u/_Ghost_CTC 2d ago

It's always strange to find people arguing about rational decisions by nations while ignoring nations are groups of people who are inherently irrational. You find it at the highest levels of academia too. People who should really know better.

One professor put it well though. She described the actions of nations as those of fear. It very much rings true. Fear is the greatest motivator for people and it does not mix well with rational decision making.

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u/laosurvey 2d ago

The bigger problem is that rationality does dictate outcomes. You have to figure in beliefs about how the world works, values, objectives, what I formation is available, etc.

Putin probably is acting relatively rational from the information and drivers he has to deal with.

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u/IFixYerKids 2d ago

And a rational person can still make mistakes. Putin fucked up big time, because he's acting on the classic autocrat assumption that democracies and their people are weak and that dictatorships and their people are strong. If you look at all his decisions with that belief, then his actions start to make sense. He didn't expect the west to support Ukrain like we did, because he thought we were weak. He didn't expect the Ukrainians themselves to fight like they are, because he thought they were weak. He thought he could hold Europe hostage with gas, because he thought they were weak. He now thinks if he just holds out long enough, that the West will lose interest in Ukraine and get tired of the high gas and energy prices caused by his war, because he thinks we are weak. He'll continue to make mistakes as long as he holds this belief.

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u/Hip-hip-moray 2d ago

Your counterargument is as oversimplified as people rationalizing actions of people.

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u/velvetretard 2d ago

Only in that groups have multiple and often complex emotions in the sane way individuals do. Boiling it down entirely to fear is an oversimplification. Saying the only true logic of humans is emotional isn't.

In a way that's a derationalisation of human behaviour. Which is much better at predicting it.

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u/tyranicalteabagger 2d ago

Few things will push a large group of people to do something against their own interests like fear, though. Just look at all the BS that happened after 9/11.

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u/jessquit 2d ago

People like to believe that everyone is only focused on the economy and everyone is perfectly rational.

It could be argued that Putin is acting far more rationally than people assume. The issue is that he's acting only in his own personal interest, not in the national interest.

This is why decentralized representative government is so helpful. Even if power is concentrated in the hands of a few hundred or thousand people, that's still going to deliver decisions that are vastly more representative of the national interest.

This is a major reason why dictatorships are so brittle.

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u/sylver_dragon 2d ago

That's a fair point and why I prefaced that with "everyone is only focused on the economy". Dictators tend to be self serving dicks who want all the 'taters for themselves. Their focus may be rational, from the perspective of amassing power and wealth for themselves. Just irrational as a way to run a successful country.

Also, Putin can only act on the information he has. He may have truly believed that the Russian military was capable of rolling over Kyiv in a week. So, he assumed that it would be a lot like Crimea, where the Russians roll in, Ukraine rolls over and "The West"/NATO just shrugs in appeasement. Ukraine holding on long enough to garner major support may not have been part of his calculus for this war.

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u/twistedbristle 2d ago

I got a low score on a term paper for arguing rational actor theory is stupid. I really wish I could talk to my professor again after the last few years

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u/drconn 2d ago

To play devil's advocate, maybe it wasn't argued well enough?

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u/GreatStuffOnly 2d ago

Dude. Teachers love counter argument papers if argued well. Hell I wrote an entire paper in a university history course essentially taking the side against his primary sources in the curriculum.

As others say, let’s see the paper.

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u/16thompsonh 2d ago

I wrote a paper on the psychological differences in users of pencils and pens. So long as it’s structured and written well, I don’t think professors care what you’re writing about. You see a lot of students complain that they got bad grades because of ideological issues, but that’s rare.

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u/mynameisvlad 2d ago

This. I had an "Ethics in Computer Science" course where the prompt on a midterm was something about licensing and copyright.

Ended up arguing in favor of it having just come from an internship where that was prevalent. It was obvious the professor was expecting the opposite response.

Ended up getting a nearly perfect score for the essay part. As long as it's argued well, they don't give two shits what your opinion actually is.

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u/omnitemporal 2d ago

Yeah let's see the paper!

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u/TehOwn 2d ago edited 2d ago

An analysis of Rational Actor Theory

Rational actor theory is stupid.1

Written by twistedbristle

1 - https://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/z3f0ne/comment/ixm0qpr/

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u/streep36 2d ago

If you see rational actor theory as "countries always maximize wealth", then yes, you deserve the low score

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u/BaldRapunzel 2d ago

As with all economic theory it reduces an unfathomably complex system with a myriad of unpredictable, moving pieces to something that half decently approximates what we're seeing in the aggregate.

It's not stupid as long as you keep its limitations in mind, it becomes stupid if you treat it as gospel. At the least it's something you need to learn to be able to handle more advanced theory later on that'll more accurately describe reality.

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u/streep36 2d ago edited 2d ago

literally the first lesson we learned at my uni was that all models in social science obscure big parts of the real world, and that it is a feature, not a bug.

it's just so surprising to me that people treat these models like they should be able to explain 100% of all behaviour and otherwise they are shit

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u/trekie4747 2d ago

Your teacher wasn't a rational actor so they gave you a low grade.

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u/Modo44 2d ago

I don't think it was ignorance on Germany's part. Turning a blind eye to the Russian threat meant decades of easy budgeting in Germany.

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u/DrDerpberg 2d ago edited 2d ago

Theory which relies on all humans being rational actors often fails because humans often aren't rational actors. Even during WWI there was the sentiment that it was a silly war and cooler heads ought to prevail soon. A lot of Brits wondered why they were off shooting their German cousins as if it was a family spat.

But nope, we're extremely vulnerable as a species to tit for tat, sunk cost fallacies, and outrageously sensitive to any sentiment of having been disrespected. The Russian regime thinks a giant empire is Russia's inherent right, and is deeply offended anyone would defend themselves or others from it. The world helping Ukraine is, to them, like if I handed a knife to the guy who just stole your bike. Rational consideration of how the Russian economy would be better off playing nice has yet to enter the equation. Even if Russia stayed a corrupt shithole, the oligarchs would all be richer if Russia stopped invading its neighbors.

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u/go_half_the_way 2d ago

Kinda feels like Germany should have had options in place to disconnect that supply so Russia know it was more of a problem for them than Germany. Instead they let Russia think they had leverage. This might of even caused Russia to feel more confidence invading Ukraine as Germany - amongst others - would not punish them for fear of losing precious energy supply.

This feels like a significant strategic failure by Germany.

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u/Dunkelvieh 2d ago Silver All-Seeing Upvote

As a German, i agree. As i wrote on Reddit repeatedly, i do not think it was a mistake to TRY and bind Russia economically, try to open a door to the western civilization. This kind of appeasement is not a mistake in and of itself. After all, if you don't even give someone the chance to be part of your group ,they will with 100% chance remain a rival at best, and an enemy in most cases.

The big mistakes was to ignore the alternatives and not be prepared for the potential disaster. At the latest 2014 it should have been on the agenda of our politicians. But it wasn't, our previous government (it was Merkel all the way since 2005, with various partners, including the current chancellor) failed us hard here.

In the end, the sentiment still stands - Russia cannot ultimately profit from war. The idea was that this is enough of a deterrent, but they ignored that a dictator isn't bound by logic and informed decision making.

So yes you are right, it was a strategic mistake of Germany

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u/classifiedspam 2d ago

I agree, and in my opinion the german government's biggest mistake (looking at you, Frau Merkel) was/is that there almost never is a healthy plan B available in any case, if things go horribly wrong. Germany should always be more prepared for bad things to happen just in case, just look at how disastrous we handled the Ahrtal catastrophe, when the entire valley and old town got flooded even after all the warnings beforehand. And even right after that, almost no one knew what to do and who to ask. We need better emergency plans in place with short command chains so these can be followed immediately, if anything happens to the power grid or similar essential services and infrastructure.

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u/SomeGuyNamedPaul 2d ago

It seems there were shady deals made such that there was no plan b on purpose. Has Germany updated their anti-corruption laws so there's never another instance of something like Schroeder joining the Gazprom board?

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u/rocketeer8015 2d ago

Things like that are terribly hard to stop via laws as they pertain to individual freedoms.

Which part would you even target? Making a deal that gives Germany access to cheaper gas? Making a law that stops Germans from working for Russian connected companies? A law that prevents former politicians from gaining employment?

The actual problem was that there was no plan B, and the reason there was no plan B is complicated. There is partly the closure of coal mines and plants that started 30 years ago to blame, partly the closure of nuclear plants, partly the buildup of intermittent renewable sources that necessitated a cheap on demand power source and many others more.

Frankly it’s doubtful wether a usable plan B is even possible given the decisions above. Having 3-10x more expensive liquid gas is not a workable solution for our industry that depends on it, it’s just a slightly slower death than no gas at all given international competition.

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u/SomeGuyNamedPaul 2d ago

The way I'd target it is that politicians will have a long list of jobs they can never take after holding office, and they must liquidate all investments that aren't on a particular list. Jobs would be "consulting", analysts, if author then advances on sales are banned, any kind of directorship or executive role. For the investments it would be that you can hold index funds on domestic exchanges while in office, but that's about it. No indexes can be industry specific.

Yes it's restrictive but running for office is a choice and these upper positions often come with pensions anyway.

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u/squabblez 2d ago

Nah, our current Chancellor Olaf Scholz is corrupt af. It's pretty well known too, but nothing is done about it

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u/zuzg 2d ago

I still can't wrap my head around that people preferred him over Baerbock. Her biggest "scandal" was that she quoted someone in her book w/o sourcing it.

Compared to Scholz whose heavily involved in the cum-ex affair.

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u/squabblez 2d ago

The amount of hate and vitriol ACAB reveived during her campaign was truly unprecedented for German media and politics

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u/TheCaspica 2d ago

Something that is tough to recognise is that Germany's also had Russian agents within the government that actively worked against actions which would've threatened the Russian stranglehold over the German economy. Gerhard Schröder is the prime example of this. We have to acknowledge that foreign agents aren't as simply recognisable as the villains we see in spy novels.

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u/Dunkelvieh 2d ago

I'm still confused by Schröder. Was he a Putin lackey before he became chancellor? Or after? How did that even work. Ultimately, i despise this guy. When he took his Rosneft job (or whatever Russian gas company) i was shocked and appalled.

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u/_mousetache_ 2d ago

The big mistakes was to ignore the alternatives and not be prepared for the potential disaster.

It's a recurring theme of the last 40 years or so - everyone sees a problem, but the government can't be arsed to do something about it, except acknowledging something has to be done, but "sadly can't".

LNG-terminals "nah, it will be fine, Putin won't bite"

Modern internet "nah, it will be fine, the market will regulate itself"

Working military "nah, it will be fine, we are surrounded by friends!!"

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u/StartledP 2d ago

I collected some of my most downvoted comments ever, stating that NS2 was a massive strategic mistake and the US was right to request its closure.

There were a lot of Germans who naively believed that the US and Russia were equally trustworthy, I hoped they've learned their lesson.

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u/Ferdiprox 2d ago

It was a gamble that failed. Binding countries in global trade increases Security. Theoretically.

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u/1moleman 2d ago

The gamble is based on the assumption that neither side wants to destroy their own economy.

Likely Putin wagered that the Europeans would not unify, or that their response would be weak. And that Russia could ride the negative pr wave out.

Also by all accounts the original invasion was based on the false premise that Ukraine would instantly fold, the Russians would install a puppet dictator and then the borders would go back to 2014, perhaps with some "independent" puppets in donesk. The Russians never actually planned to face resistance.

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u/QuitYour 2d ago

I think he was under the impression it'd be over in 3 days, and the West would have a similar reaponse to Crimea. Either way by the end of the year he'd mostly be getting relations back to where they were.

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u/DaoFerret 2d ago

*Past performance is not a guarantee of future market direction NATO inaction.

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u/Crizbibble 2d ago

Putin thought he had MAGA power to neuter NATO and he took the UK off the EU map with Brexit. Europe came really close to having a pretty big problem just now.

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u/WeekAdministrative79 2d ago

How have i not put together the fact that putin helped trump win and brexit happen

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u/NopetrainToNopeville 2d ago

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u/WeekAdministrative79 2d ago

I love how this exists and everyone failed to take it seriously until 274 days ago

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u/Mountainbranch 2d ago

I've been warning people about Russia since before Crimea, was constantly called a Russophobe, they've all shut up since February.

A phobia is an irrational fear or aversion to something, nothing irrational about being afraid of Russia, it's just a shame it took this long for others to see it.

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u/MasterBot98 2d ago

Russian soldiers wrote books of what they did in Donbas region. I bet 50$ there are multiple crimes depicted in these books. But I am not willing to read them.

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u/WikiSummarizerBot 2d ago

Foundations of Geopolitics

The Foundations of Geopolitics: The Geopolitical Future of Russia is a geopolitical book by Aleksandr Dugin. Its publication in 1997 was well received in Russia; it has had significant influence within the Russian military, police, and foreign policy elites, and has been used as a textbook in the Academy of the General Staff of the Russian military. Powerful Russian political figures subsequently took an interest in Dugin, a Russian political analyst who espouses an ultranationalist and neo-fascist ideology based on his idea of neo-Eurasianism, who has developed a close relationship with Russia's Academy of the General Staff.

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u/WeekAdministrative79 2d ago

Ty im pretty uneducated when it comes to politics

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u/CleverName4 2d ago

Watch out for misinformation on your journey of learning. Avoid articles that tell you how to feel about something, or are clearly trying to evoke an emotional response out of you. The emotional part of your brain outweighs the logical part of your brain almost every time. That's why polarization is so strong right now. No matter how good of an argument you make, the hatred for the other side wins out. All sides of the political spectrum do this, but one specific subset of the spectrum plays on your emotions much much more than the others. I'll let you figure that one out for yourself. Happy thanksgiving.

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u/jay1891 2d ago

Its when you realise that the cold war they keep predicting has been in full effect for atleast a decade but the West was pretending like it didnt have to play as Russia waged war on a number of information fronts.

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u/Generic-Resource 2d ago

Absolutely, and it’s an idea based on Germany’s own history. The sanctions and status as a pariah placed on Germany after WW1 were a huge contributor to WW2. The solution was the ECB which eventually became the EU. Trying to do the same with Russia seemed reasonable, and probably should be the case in future - you don’t get lasting peace by constantly punishing your enemies.

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u/tcptomato 2d ago

ECB

ECB is the European Central Bank. You mean the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC)

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u/mangalore-x_x 2d ago

It is more a timing and commitment failure than a strategic failure because all the plans for more pipeline integration and LNG terminals were already there and some actually were pursued (testing of ability to reverse flow pipeline between EU countries) while others were left hanging in bureaucracy hell without much political will to accelerate it.

Germany did not have to plan any of the LNG terminals from scratch, the crisis plainly allowed the ministries to handwave the bureaucratic process by invoking an emergency

There were also several particular events that worsened the dependency temporarily for a number of years. Which is incidentally why Putin started this war winter 2022 and not later.

Also the factor is: Putin planned this war to be fast. If he had succeeded I do not think Germany in particular or EU in general would have escalated their economic measures to the current extent or broken their energy policy over it.

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u/gullman 2d ago
  1. Hindsight.

  2. Cost.

  3. These are major major decisions and politicians suck at making actual meaningful impactful decisions.

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u/rach2bach 2d ago

They HAD very good nuclear power... And succumbed to "green" activism, when nuclear is waaaaay better for the environment than most sources of power per kw/h

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u/_Sgt-Pepper_ 2d ago

It's not like Germany only imported gas from russia. before the invasion , Russian gas was about half of Germanys imports.

Also there where fallback options and alternatives. That is why Germany had no unsolvable problem to transition away from Russian gas, and why there was never a energy crisis. There only is a market crisis with prices soaring. Bad for people and businesses ... But there is no light-out-event (yet) .

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u/ChrisTchaik 2d ago

In the grand scheme of things, Germany escaped pretty much unscathed. Unlike Hungary.

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u/Warpzit 2d ago

Quite amazing actually. Russia could have used the huge sums of money to improve society. Russia has so much land area that could be used to billion of things.

With rising temperatures Russia will also get more and more fertile crop area. They would be able to feed the world and whatnot.

Stupid short sighted idiots.

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u/Oxford_Comma83 2d ago

I think about this quite often. When I see Russia, I see a country whose potential has been squandered by corrupt leaders and who future was thwarted by Putin’s terrible decisions and selfish desires.

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u/shmip 2d ago

I honestly think too many people overlook the state sponsored alcoholism. Alcohol was intentionally used for centuries by the government to suppress the citizenry.

Alcoholism is extremely bad for you in tons of ways, but the worst is mental. The depression that alcoholism feeds inside a person is like a real, personal hell.

It doesn't surprise me at all that a population oppressed by alcohol for centuries would be completely defeatist, and the rulers asshole narcissists.

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u/Oxford_Comma83 2d ago

Very solid point

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u/MrFancyPanzer 2d ago

Just seems sometimes that their energy strategies are intentional sabotage.

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u/GreenEnergyRedditor 2d ago

In retrospect this couldn’t have been more clear indeed. Complacency bit us hard

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u/cjandstuff 2d ago

The entire western world outsourcing it’s manufacturing to quite potentially hostile nations was clearly not a good idea, but we did it anyway.

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u/DogsAreGreattt 2d ago

To his credit it’s one of the few points Trump was absolutely right on. And it pains me to say that.

Over reliance on foriegn dictatorships is the Achilles heel of democracies around the world.

We need to deal with it now before we’re forced to deal with it later at an extreme disadvantage.

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u/DoubleFigure8 2d ago

Just don't let that be an excuse to foster a generation of nationalistic isolationists.

We still need to promote trade and partnership with other nations that observe human rights.

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u/DonniesAdvocate 2d ago edited 2d ago

We need to promote partnerships and trade with all other nations, within reason, not just the "good" ones. The worst thing to do with a black sheep is to ostracise them. We just shouldn't ever become reliant on the more autocratic states to the extent that it's possible.

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u/Dismal_Vehicle315 2d ago

I mean, I don't disagree but either we'll have to coup most of the undeveloped world or we'll have to trade with barbaric nations in hope for change in the future. Rather often than not, some warlord/dictator sends a couple of serfs down the mine for piss money and takes the profit for himself.

Promoting gay rights in Africa while American fundamentalists go on missionary missions is a dead cause. Promoting workers rights is a sure fire way to end the contract and for it to just fall into Chinese hands, which in my opinon is the worse option.

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u/AnchezSanchez 2d ago

100% agree. What Trump started with China was very very significant, and likely something only a guy like him could pull off.

Being in manufacturing obviously it caused me a lot of headaches at the time (100% of our product was assembled in China). I was cursing him left right and centre like many other people. Anyway, it caused about 9months of chaos as we tried to quickly switch (initially to Taiwan). As we've moved though, I've realised how significant his actions were. It spurred a wide spread growth in electronics manufacturing throughout the rest of Asia. This capacity that has (and still is) coming online has been absolutely critical in navigating Covid. Look at the issues Apple is having in China right now - they weren't impacted significantly by tariffs and left the vast majority of their assembly in China.

I might still think Trump is a dickhead, but he was bang on with regard to being over reliant on China.

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u/360_face_palm 2d ago

So many people told the German government that their reliance on Russian gas was a bad idea and they were laughed out of the room.

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u/Maeglin75 2d ago

To be fair, half of these people didn't really cared about Germany being depended on Russia or European safty etc.

Some just wanted to sell their overpriced LNG to Germany and others were upset that the pipelines ended their ability to blackmail Germany with cutting of the gas in transit.

It weren't really friendly warnings but attempts to take advantage of Germany in Russia's place.

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u/Bierfreund 2d ago

Merkel made the perfectly reasonable assumption that Putin wouldn't be as fucking stupid as he turned out to be. She explicitly said she'd rather have a Putin who has something to lose than one who doesn't have anything to lose.

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u/RedditIsPropaganda84 2d ago

Remember even Trump calling them out on it, and they laughed at him

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u/EJ877 2d ago Gold

What I've learned from the Ukraine crisis is that German leaders tend to make a lot of bold proclamations for public consumption, but will only take meaningful action when absolutely forced to by dire circumstances.

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u/ThezeeZ 2d ago

Isn't that the default for politicians anywhere? Not much of a surprise, really.

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u/Cauhs 2d ago

Almost every intelligent beings. Only at the precipice they changed.

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u/bigoomp 2d ago

All those intelligent beings, changing at the precipice, naked in the moon light

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u/Wolfmilf 2d ago

Every intelligent being that's changing the precipice are dancing in the moonlight while *moving away from the mic while I breathe

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u/EJ877 2d ago

Not a surprise usually, but this is a much more dire situation, with different circumstances for Germany & EU.

In 2014 all of EU, but especially Germany, looked the other way at the initial invasion of Ukraine because there was relatively little bloodshed. They wanted to just close their eyes and reap the benefits of economic interdependence with totalitarian regimes.

All the while, not realizing the possibility that Putin wouldn't stop at Crimea, or that China would seek to spread its influence over a democratic EU.

Worst of all, making their economy dependent on commerce with Russia & China, not preparing themselves militarily, and not fulfilling NATO financial obligations.

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u/schrodingerinthehat 2d ago

I think this applies broadly to leadership roles.

Few things get done until the impact is severe enough.

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u/CaptainMagnets 2d ago

Seems to be that way in nearly every 1st world country these days

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u/Dotwacher 2d ago

tbh, I feel like that's most nations. Are you familiar with their climate goal announcements?

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u/FiveFingerDisco 2d ago

To bad we have dismantled our solar and wind power industry. 16 years CDU in power and you have fallen back 50 years.

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u/autoreaction 2d ago

What? Over thirty percent of germanies electricity comes from wind and solar. What was dismantled?

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u/FiveFingerDisco 2d ago

The factories that produces the solar module (Solar Village) and Wind turbines.

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u/autoreaction 2d ago

Solarworld went bankrupt because of many reasons. One of them may be that they received less money from the EEG-Förderung but that is really just one of the problems. They had to pay Hemlock 793 million Dollars because they didn't delivered on their promises. It was a badly managed company, that's it.

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u/slowslownotbad 2d ago

Nobody can compete with China. They’re willing to lose money to dominate solar and chips.

Historically, airlines always lose money, but countries still support them. Having your own airline is seen as a strategic necessity, regardless of cost.

Manufacturing should be treated the same way.

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u/autoreaction 2d ago

But Solarworld was a shit company which was sued into oblivion because it didn't honored contracts. I'm all for manufacturing and giving good companies subsidies but Solarworld wasn't one of those companies. They delayed their filing of insolvency, tried to shift their debt onto another company and fucked people over. It simply was a bad run company and that's why they went down.

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u/11010110101010101010 2d ago

Also because China has been extremely aggressive with subsidizing their solar industry. On the other hand, I don’t know what kind of tariffs the EU has had.

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u/MoffKalast 2d ago

All EU customs fees can be avoided by funnelling through Dutch and Hungarian companies. Not sure how exactly they do it but I imagine it's a mix of bribery and the state not giving much of a fuck. After it gets into the EU it's free to move anywhere.

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u/StartledP 2d ago

Then fix the management but keep the capacity. Right now Germany is beholden to China for solar more than it was to Russia for Gas.

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u/icebeat 2d ago

With solar panels made in China, Germany used to be one of the bigger manufacturers of solar panels

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u/ElGnacko 2d ago

In the early 2000 years, Germany was technology leader for solar panels and wind power, and Germany was on its way to become independent from fossil fuels by 2020.

Then Merkel era begann and within a couple of years they destroyed the entire domestic solar and wind market by cutting federal subsidies for solar and wind power plants, increasing beaucracy for new plants etc.

In the early 2010 years the once booming solar industry was on the verge of bankruptcy and was sold off to China.

The wind industry didn't suffer as badly as the solar industry, but still a lot of progress was lost because of the Merkel government and the lobbying of coal, oil and gas.

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u/Zerkezhi 2d ago

I think having given up nuclear power is the greater issue at the moment.

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u/AmphibianLimp 2d ago

As usual the people running the country are the last ones to figure out something everyone has known for ages.

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u/Positive_Reserve_514 2d ago

We must be pretty bad at electing people then.

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u/FPiN9XU3K1IT 2d ago

It's usually not that they haven't figured it out early enough, but that they personally profit from it (even if only because an economy that's well-running shortterm helps a lot with getting reelected).

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u/nazgrool 2d ago

ok reddit please explain this to me for real

russia gives germany a lot of CHEAP natural resources these are essential for a lot of german industry to actually be profitable.

china also does the same but also provides cheap labor in various sectors.

how can you stop both of that once while also switching to renewables i know germans are often potrayed as tough no nonsense guys but i don't get it really.

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u/OptimisticRealist__ 2d ago

China itself is slowly transitioning from a supply side to a demand side economy. Next up will be Bangladesh and India as the global hubs for cheap labour

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u/creatine_is_a_drug 2d ago

Don't forget Africa. China is taking over Africa quietly.

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u/relet 2d ago

German industry traditionally relies on skilled work, not cheap labor. Medium sized enterprises with high specialization make up a significant part of the economy, to the point where many of the the big manufacturers are actually an ecosystem of SME providing components.

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u/FallsRandomly 2d ago

There are other south Asian countries with cheaper labour and even less laws.

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u/delegateTHIS 2d ago

Every powerhouse, given good leadership, has as many extra cards up their sleeves, redundancies, as they can afford.

It's time to be more ambitious. Make 50-year plans, go for broke or die trying.

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u/m4inbrain 2d ago

Kinda shocking to watch so many people conflate "ending reliance" with "stop trading altogether".

Those two aren't the same thing. You're stupid.

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u/John5247 2d ago

Also good for the climate to start reducing the number of enormous container ships moving mountains of often badly made chinese goods half way round the planet.

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u/FPiN9XU3K1IT 2d ago

Meh. Container ships are so incredibly efficient, it's often more environmentally friendly to import fruit from south america than from a somewhat far-away place in your own country (and I'm talking about Germany-sized countries here), especially if the fruit is out of season.

The main issue is buying goods at all, closely followed by everything from a farmhand's moped to container ships running on fossils.

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u/BrillsonHawk 2d ago

Germany sells a lot to China as well - mostly cars. Those container ships arent one way

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u/cookingboy 2d ago

China is literally German auto industry’s biggest market: https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202202/25/WS621863e9a310cdd39bc88eb4.html

Reddit is still stuck in 2000 when it comes to their impression of China. Companies love China these days not because of cheap labor, but because China has the world’s largest middle class consumer market and is still growing.

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u/Ploedman 2d ago

They already manufacture in CN, no need to ship it there. Example VW.

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u/Positive_Reserve_514 2d ago

You are the ones buying that garbage. Maybe start looking closer to home.

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u/Remarkable_Soil_6727 2d ago

As a consumer its nearly impossible to buy local, it would be nice if sites like Amazon, other online retailers and brick & mortar stores had a section for local goods, put them higher up in search results or clearly labelled them.

It will also never be cheaper for local products so good luck getting factories up and running locally when these companies can setup in cheaper countries to make more profit.

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u/CompositeBeing 2d ago

Relocating factories to either Central Europe (Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Poland) or USA seems to be a perfect solution. Any country in Asia can be blocked in one way or another by China cutting supply lines.

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u/Oxford_Comma83 2d ago

I like the idea of moving factories to Central Europe. It would bring jobs to the region that are sorely needed and it would make sense from a geopolitical stance for a stronger EU.

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u/herpaderp234 2d ago

Central Europe (Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia)

Where does eastern Europe start for you?

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u/izit23 2d ago

On eastern border of Lotharingia.

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u/stashtv 2d ago

Relocation isn't going to happen: manufacturing companies are simply going to add new places to build things. Over time, old factories will remain building "older" tech, and eventually close or get sold.

For the US, this is a prime opportunity for Texas and Mexico to get very cozy. Mexico has lower labor costs (the early advantage of China), while Texas has a lot of high tech R&D (what China has now). Shipping a nearly "completed" item from Mexico via rail is going to be significantly cheaper than any ship from overseas.

There is absolutely a future for all high tech manufacturers to have plants in major continents -- covid has demonstrated a need for this.

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u/autotldr BOT 2d ago

This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 74%. (I'm a bot)


Germany is rethinking it's foreign policy - it has now vowed to move away from its dependence on China for trade, after being burned by overreliance on Russia for gas.

On Tuesday, Robert Habeck, the country's economic minister, told a news conference in Paris that Berlin is planning to cut its dependence on China and will limit investment support for German companies doing business in China, the AFP reported.

In particular, Berlin is working on a new trade policy with China to cut dependence on Chinese raw materials, batteries, and semiconductor chips, Reuters reported in September.


Extended Summary | FAQ | Feedback | Top keywords: China#1 Germany#2 dependence#3 Russia#4 Reuters#5

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u/spooniemclovin 2d ago

To all of you saying, "I'll believe it when I see it."...

At this very high altitude view, it seems like you can flip a switch to make it happen. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

In reality, the pieces and parts of implementing such a wide reaching plan encompasses a huge scope. The scope is actually quite daunting. This will require the organization and implementation from 1000s of entities. That could take years if the people involved were well organized and similarly aligned. Being that this is a government of the world, it'll take 4x as long.

Just be happy that it's started now and doesn't wait until shit ACTUALLY hits the fan.

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u/McSorley90 2d ago

EU are capable of the dropping this kind of stuff and the UK are walking around asking for any spare change.

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u/iamtheplatypus408 2d ago

How do you exploit cheap chinese labor for goods than?

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u/Hawk13424 2d ago

You don’t. First, it’s getting more expensive. Second, there are cheaper places you can exploit (if that is your goal) that aren’t a threat.

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u/Rickylostthatnumber 2d ago

Pretty amazing. Leaders that can accept a course correction without destroying everything they touch. Learning what would work best and changing policy to try to maximize positive results.

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u/BudtenderBrendan 2d ago

We should all be doing this.

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u/Sad_Pie_3296 2d ago

Russia was a reliable supplier until Putin got older and developed grand ideas of a new empire. Looking back it is easy to say all wrong. But since Crimea incident, Germany should have slightly modified its approach on energy. The relationship with Russia was complex. Now it changed.

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u/IllustratorVisual972 2d ago

Except he never was. There is a trace of international executions of russian opposition and terrorism behind putin from outset of his presidency. And he was mob and corruptioner even before.

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u/Lemon_LostSock 2d ago

I think the Polonium incidents mark the rise of when everyone should have started pushing back. So around 2006

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u/Bestihlmyhart 2d ago

Good thing checks notes Russia blew up their own pipeline to avoid Germany being dependent on them in the future.

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u/CAP_NET_ADMIN 2d ago

Good news, great to hear this, we should create a strong economic base in Europe and reduce reliance on third-parties where possible, at least to a degree that prevents this economic blackmail we've seen with Russia.

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u/kentgoodwin 2d ago

I think in the long-run, a system of only slightly connected regional economies will be more resilient than one tightly interwoven global economy where pulling out a strand here or there can unravel the whole fabric.

Perhaps something like the world described in the Aspen Proposal. www.aspenproposal.org

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u/SplitPerspective 2d ago

Even if you could, this whole geopolitic division is nonsense. We all live on the same planet, people make it seem like China can’t survive on their own. If you push China, Russia, and then India out, that’s just creating a geopolitical fence, they’ll just trade amongst themselves.

Good luck with the rare earth metals and various other commodities, it’s not just manufacturing. Now you gotta do mining in your own countries, causing pollution, instead of outsourcing it to China currently.

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u/06210311200805012006 2d ago

deglobalizaton continues?

i'll believe it when i see it. bold statements are less good than tangible action.

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u/AK9119 2d ago

I think a lot of these big countries really should just take some time apart and focus on self improvement for a few years before getting back out there with a differing view on life.

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u/Who_even-cares 2d ago

Just buy it from anywhere else and stop supporting the worst dictators

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u/[deleted] 2d ago

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u/wulfgang 2d ago

Fuck China.

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u/theflower10 2d ago

Finally people are talking sense. China can thank Covid and now Russia for waking up the western world. Our government's reliance and corporate reliance on slave labor and authoritarian regimes for basic needs served only to better the bottom line of large corporations. It did nothing for workers lives and the betterment of our society. It's lowered our living standards, created poverty in our society, enslaved millions and lined the pockets of people like Putin, Xi, Apple, Musk and the Walton's. It's time for the Western world to come together to fight these regimes.

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u/7Zarx7 2d ago

As soon as Russia spoke of taking Kazakhstan for its uranium, Germany suddenly realised, its properly exposed. And China controls 80% if meaningful rare earth assets globally, which supports renewable energy production systems, Germany is feeling a little long term exposure to ongoing energy supply. China finds the pinch point in the supply chain best, secures, and then waits. So all Germany can do is threaten trade relation disruption. It's a game of attrition. We may see a cold war unlike any seen before in history. Time will tell... Zoom out a little here and see where you think we are at... https://www.financialsense.com/contributors/geir-solem/the-kondratieff-cycle#:~:text=According%20to%20Kondratieff%2C%20the%20capitalist,thus%20the%20process%20repeats%20itself.

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u/IBuildBusinesses 2d ago

It seems globalization has a few drawbacks.

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u/Demetre19864 2d ago

Its not so much anti china as anti reliant.

I think europe needs to frame these problems as national security issues.

It doesnt matter who or what country it is. Allowing another country to own to many assetts in your Country gives up control.

How many thinga can any country actually own in China?

There trade practices should be fully recipricated.

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u/r0botdevil 2d ago

Good.

No country should ever be too dependent on any single country for resources or trade even under the best of circumstances, but especially not when that country is an authoritarian regime with a poor record on human rights.

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u/betterwithsambal 2d ago

Good luck with that. But if it succeeds please tell the US how you did it. Thnx

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u/carpeson 2d ago

Weeks after Schotz sold parts of a highly critical infrastructure to the Chinese. Damn.

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u/Explorer335 2d ago

Can we go back to BMWs that use almost entirely German parts? Kinda irked by very cheap Chinese parts being used on very expensive German cars.

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u/innovationcynic 2d ago

Why does this remind me of Lloyd Bridges and Airplane..?

“I picked a bad week to stop buying from China…”

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u/kmvaa14 2d ago

It's a struggle, trying to buy stuff that isn't from China. We need to ween ourselves off that nation asap. :(

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u/KnuteViking 2d ago

They're not wrong to move in this direction. The entire western world should. We thought by opening up these places to trade that we could change these countries and make them more Democratic and free. Turns out all we did was handcuff ourselves to anti-democratic authoritarians, sold our souls for cheap stuff.

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u/Armanlex 2d ago

Reopen your nuclear reactors you ding dongs!

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u/BigEyeFiend 2d ago

I often think about Trump warning Germany about their reliance on Russia - and the German’s laughing.

But fr, this should be a message to everyone. Trade is important, but reliance is lethal.

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u/US_and_A_is_wierd 2d ago

He wanted to sell a dependancy of American LNG in the same breath. That and his way with words were the things that triggered that reaction.

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