>On Sun, 23 Apr 2000 Apsken at aol.com wrote:
>> Korea ends up being unified on terms dictated by the powerful South, as
>> Germany was by the West, I think conditions in the North will probably
>> deteriorate for workers and women, just as they have in Eastern Germany.
>Where are you getting your information from? Per capita living standards
>have gone way up in the ex-GDR, from maybe 30% of the FRG to 67%.
As always, those are just mean values, which say little about individuals. Those per capita values include businessmen from the West that moved to the East as well ... There are areas where living standards in the East have detioarated certainly: E.g. the comprehensive child-care systen has been destroyed completely, with all consequences this has for working families. Women are forced out of the production process. Prices for housing and transportation have exploded.
>there have been positive changes for the good burghers of
>Dresden and Leipzig. This didn't happen because of capitalism, of course,
>but because of good old-fashioned social democracy and welfare handouts.
Hear, hear, Dennis has joined the ranks of our right-wing pundits who count good old Helmut Kohl and his CDU among the social democrats. Just for those ones who dont remember it: Until 1998 the SPD was the opposition party in Germany.
Actually it was not the social democracy who fought the these concessions, but the working class in East Germany itself. The key decission was the exchange rate of the East German mark to the Deutschmark in 1990. It was Kohl who pushed this decission through against (guess who?) Oskar Lafontaine, the red hero of some lbo-talkers. Kohl did so in a situation that had elements of a pre-revolutionary situation.