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rlohmann
October 6th, 2005, 05:30 PM
http://tinyurl.com/cjas9 (http://)

Dan in Saint Louis
October 6th, 2005, 06:15 PM
http://tinyurl.com/cjas9 (http://)
My browser tells me "The URL is not valid and cannot be loaded".

Judy G. Russell
October 6th, 2005, 07:51 PM
My browser tells me "The URL is not valid and cannot be loaded".Try this one (http://www.bundeswahlleiter.de/bundestagswahl2005/presse/pd360211.html) instead. [Warning: it's in German.]

Dan in Saint Louis
October 6th, 2005, 09:25 PM
Try this one (http://www.bundeswahlleiter.de/bundestagswahl2005/presse/pd360211.html) instead.
I see what happened. I only tried clicking the link, never suspecting that the underlying code was not the same. That's a good way to wind up at a site you didn't want to visit!

Judy G. Russell
October 6th, 2005, 10:13 PM
I see what happened. I only tried clicking the link, never suspecting that the underlying code was not the same. That's a good way to wind up at a site you didn't want to visit!Yep, and I should probably edit the original link (which starts with http:///)...

Lindsey
October 6th, 2005, 10:29 PM
(which starts with http:///)...
In fact, that's all that's there. I suspect Ralph forgot to fill in the URL when he made it.

By the way, Ralph, there's no need to use "tinyurl" here. If you make the link on the link text itself, the vBulletin software automatically shrinks it to make it fit in a window by cutting out the middle part and substituting "...". (This doesn't affect the underlying URL.)

The thing I personally don't like about tinyurl is that you can't preview where the link leads. I always do that--I don't like clicking on a link if I don't have some idea where it is going to take me.

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
October 7th, 2005, 07:21 AM
The thing I personally don't like about tinyurl is that you can't preview where the link leads. I always do that--I don't like clicking on a link if I don't have some idea where it is going to take me.These days that's pretty much a necessity -- at least knowing what the link is supposed to be.

Lindsey
October 7th, 2005, 11:08 PM
These days that's pretty much a necessity -- at least knowing what the link is supposed to be.
Whatever software The Nation is using to allow comments to its blog posts automatically inserts the domain name (in brackets, I think) beside the link, so that you at least know what domain you're being sent to.

Unfortunately, that's about the only good thing about their blog comments. Most of the commenters are truly pathetic.

--Lindsey

Karl Semper
October 16th, 2005, 07:49 PM
How long do you think it will take to form the government. I see that Schroeder isn't going to participate at all. In the end I don't think it matters much who governs. The social system is not maintainable without a major tax increase and unfortunately the former east isn't developing.

earler
October 17th, 2005, 10:40 AM
The social system in germany is unsustainable. It isn't that taxes must be increased but that the social system has to be reformed. Taxes are already high in germany, much higher than in the usa.

-er

rlohmann
October 17th, 2005, 07:36 PM
Well, I guess that one is suddenly OBE. :)

rlohmann
October 17th, 2005, 07:39 PM
I've been scratching my head about that. The Germans, having had 40 years of "DDR" experience, should be aware that "soak the rich" doesn't work anymore.

I've always been uneasy about Angela Merkel because she always tried to duck that particular issue.

We'll see.

Karl Semper
October 23rd, 2005, 07:25 PM
Sorry I haven't answered before, but I had to go out of town and haven't had a chance to check in.

Although I only lived and worked in Germany for 5 years, I know what you mean about the taxes. I took home less than 50% of my gross pay. What I didn't say very clearly is that many Germans don't want the system to change, but they don't want to raise the taxes to able to keep the system the way it is either. I don't think that the current system is sustainable without raising the taxes. Every reform, even the current reform of the unemployment system has cost more than they have saved because of the hidden costs that haven't been included in the estimates.

My sister-in-law has been unemployed since 91. Recently due to changes in the unemployment law, she had to move (her apartment was 10 square meters too big and cost 50 Euros too much), but the government ended up paying for her move, had to supply her several other things. For the government to recover its additional outlays will take almost 3 years. I know that in her city she is not the only one going through this.

Attempts to save money in the health insurance haven't worked out too well either from what I have read, but I am not current on that. I just don't think that without either a major increase in either the value added tax or major change in the benefits paid under the various social programs that the country can be turned around no matter who is at the rudder.

Karl Semper
October 23rd, 2005, 08:14 PM
I had to go out of town and couldn't check in here sooner, sorry.

I guess I don't think that in the overall picture it will make much difference who is at the rudder. As I wrote in my reply to Earl, I believe that unless the taxes get raised significantly or a major restructure of the social system takes place, it is not going to change a thing.

With the expansion of the EU, further economic development will probably move further east to Poland, etc. That will hurt Germany, since the hoped for development of the former East Germany has not exactly been what was hoped for. As an example look at the "Solidar Zuschlag" if I remember correctly it was only supposed to last for several years, here 15 years after the reunification it is still in effect. The cost of the reunification was significantly more than anyone figured and it will continue to be so. The infrastructure stills lags significantly behind the West.

Employers have also taken advantage of the system, it is now common to go to the "Anstalt fr Arbeit" get help for 3 months and have the "Anstalt fr Arbeit" pay the workers. After three months they are found to be not suitable and then the cycle repeats after a period of time. This is called a training period, but actually it is just a way to get some free labor. Nice way to abuse the system legally.

I hope that things will get turned around, but I don't have much hope until the German mentality changes.