After 25 Years, Germany Remains Divided Along Economic Lines

New Paper Examines Impacts Of Transformation Of Global Energy Markets
Three analysts from the Brookings Institution have released a new paper Fueling a New Order? The New Geopolitical and Security Consequences of Energy taking a look at the impact of the transformation in international energy markets and the geopolitical consequences of that transformation. The paper examines the direct geopolitical risks, as well as a separate set of risks “that arise when strong international energy markets meet weak state institutions—or weak states altogether. These run the gamut from nuclear proliferation to pipeline security to conflict in fragile states to energy poverty.

East Germany Remains Dependent On West – And Many Do Not Like That
The Berlin Wall came down and Germany is now a unified nation, but twenty five years there remains an economic disparity between East and West. And that disparity is fueling a debate over how much should be invested – and by whom – in rebuilding the former Soviet satellite.

Since reunification, almost $70 billion a year has been directed toward the former East Germany and has helped cover the heavy social costs, such as pensions for millions of Germans, but they also have fostered a culture of dependency.

“A quarter-century after Germany became whole, many feel that investment in the east was made at the expense of investment in other struggling regions. Increasingly there’s a call for a rethink of fiscal equalization, keeping in mind the constitutional necessity of enabling equal living conditions across Germany,” writes Isabelle de Pommereau in The Christian Science Monitor.

Dirty Air Is Least Of China’s Environmental Concerns
James Fallows features two insightful charts comparing air pollution in the US with the smog in China, which show that despite how bad pollution is in China, it is the least of their environmental concerns.

The Dalai Lama — A Stealth Capitalist?
Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute asks, “Is the Dalai Lama a capitalist?” In short, no. But Brooks does contend that Washington could learn from the spiritual leader’s ability to pursue practical policies based on moral empathy without abandoning core principles.

“[The Dalai Lama] insisted that while free enterprise could be a blessing, it was not guaranteed to be so. Markets are instrumental, not intrinsic, for human flourishing. As with any tool, wielding capitalism for good requires deep moral awareness. Only activities motivated by a concern for others’ well-being, he declared, could be truly ‘constructive,'” says Brooks.

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