Wednesday, April 01, 2009

"I'm All Right, Jack" Is Back

President Obama seems fated to leave the G20 meeting sadder about concerted economic stimulus but wiser about selfish European traditions immortalized half a century ago in "I'm all right, Jack."

The New York Times reports: "For all of Mr. Obama’s early optimism that the rest of the world would follow his lead on big stimulus packages, there is no clear move in that direction. By last weekend the White House was signaling that it would not confront the nations, notably Germany, that resisted more deficit spending."

For someone who has spent a lifetime getting over the genocidal Nazi era and Hitler's attempt to rule the world, this turn of events is distasteful.

“International policy is," Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned, "for all the friendship and commonality, always also about representing the interests of one’s own country,” as she resists all American overtures to stimulate the German economy or encourage the European Central Bank to emulate the Federal Reserve in pumping money into European economies.

As most of the world struggles with economic devastation, the Chancellor cites worries about inflation, going back to the 1920s when pre-Nazi German marks had to be carried around in a wheelbarrow.

The G20 will doubtless end with a meaningless communiqué about cooperation and leave even the upbeat Obama privately wondering if it all wasn't a $75 million and almost a working week's waste of time.

How do you say "I'm all right, Hans" in German?

1 comment:

Fuzzy Slippers said...

*Sigh* I feel that this trip is already a waste of time and money; he's not going to be able to convince people that more spending is a good way to alleviate crushing debt. It's not a very logical approach when you think about it . . . . Sure, to an extent that old saying "you have to spend money to make money" holds water, but spending on the things that Obama wants to spend on are not "money makers," and there's the rub.