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Posts posted by 8420PR

  1. The days of DB being a national treasure are long gone!   DB are in it for the cash, and while I think they run a good operation (in most cases) a bit of competition should hopefully keep them more honest.


    National Express have won 2 contracts in Germany, one in NRW and the other the contract to operate Nürnberg S-Bahn.   I can't see any evidence that any customers have retracted any won bids - they have been legally challenged by DB (i.e. competitor) but not by the customer (regional transport association).   




  2. From thin air. Almost everything else (taxes included) has the ultimate aim of putting a brake on the expansion of money.


    It's was all fine for Germany to print money when they had the deutschmark, as monetary policy was owned by Germany (and the consequences of German economic decisions felt by Germans).  However now with the Euro, excessive borrowing is not compatible with euro-membership, and would have large implications (ask Greece, Portugal and Ireland!) for the entire euro area.  If Germany wants to borrow excessively, the solution is either for Germany to leave the euro, or for greater political & economic integration across the euro area (which would likely mean transfer payments to less affluent regions, rather than Germany benefiting from the ability to print more money).


    There is an economic argument for supporting migration:  In Bavaria the current going rate to work in a distribution center (picking and packing, sorting, humping and dumping) is €12 - €18 per hour, and this is still with high staff turnover and referrals of long term unemployed from the job center.  A significant increase in the number of potential employees is going to reduce the pressure on wages at this level, which represents a significant portion of the economy, and reduce inflation.  While this is a good economic argument, I am not sure if it is a good social argument for Germany as a whole.


    P.S. A friend of mine is long term unemployed (either a little freelance work or hartz4 since finishing uni 12 years ago).  The jobcenter of course pushes him to apply for jobs, but he is not stupid and knows the minimum he has to do to keep getting benefits.  2 years ago he decided he actually wanted a job, and took the offer of a job in a DC where he started the same time as an asylum seeker from the balkans (who had moved to germany 1 year before with his mum after studying in his home country).  My German friend lasted 6 weeks before quitting (and has not worked since), whereas the asylum seeker is now a team leader (earning enough to also support his mum and of course also paying taxes).


    I do believe there are strong benefits (for Germans and the immigrants) to planned immigration, and to date with strong integration it clearly hasn't been a hot political topic as it is in other countries.   However, I think 1.5+ million immigrants a year is too much too fast to argue the economic benefits to Germany, and certainly making people trek across Europe (risking their lives and spending their life savings in the process) is an inhumane business to be in.


  3. I wouldn't judge the father for proposing to give up custody of his daughter.   He is neither giving up his moral obligations as a father (which cannot really be legally defined anyway) nor the obligation to pay child support.   What he is doing is making live easier for the mother and daughter, in not requiring his permission for many of the decisions a parent must make regarding their child.



  4. http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6668/germany-migrant-crime-wave


    If this keeps going on it will be time to get out of Germany I'm afraid.

    While this looks on the surface like a fine piece of journalistic analysis (fact based and with links to sources), it is clearly one sided and designed to make the reader perceive all immigrants to be criminals.   The majority of links are from their internal analysis, the external links are not all new (dating from 2007 onward), and rely on multiple individual instances to build a picture (which in reality is substantiated by the facts presented).     It's clever, and I was initially taken in by it, but it would be equally possible to write a very similar article about Irish people in Germany to make the readers believe all Irish are drunk criminals.


    There is an argument to make that without effective integration the current migration crisis could lead to an increase in crime, but this article is definitely not it!


  5. "2,1 Millionen – so groß ist die Zahl der Wähler, die CDU und CSU laut Emnid-Umfrage seit August den Rücken gekehrt haben. Noch eine Völkerwanderung also."


    I do wonder how the refugee crisis will  impact on the 2017 national elections.


    In Austria, the far right had their most successful result ever for the election of Vienna's mayor last Sunday (though didn't win).



    In Germany, I believe public sentiment is roughly the same as exhibited on Toytown.  There are a minority vocally supporting the current immigration wave (whatever the consequences), and a minority vocally against (again, whatever the consequences).   There is a majority split between either wanting to help the less fortunate, and being concerned about their families future quality of life and safety (at the local, day to day level).  As seen here, it's easy to get labelled either as a 'fantasy leftie' or 'racist nazi' depending on your opinion, so any discussion in public is socially dangerous (but of course voting is anonymous).


    It would be a shame if immigration became such a big political issue in Germany, in the same way it is in UK, France and USA at the moment.



  6. So, it appears, there are two camps on TT:

    1. Those who are more or less certain about Islamization of Germany's future (Berlinistan, Münchenah...)

    2. Those who are hoping that there is actually a positive design behind Angie-dear's actions, to open the door wide open to the cheap labors.


    When it comes to economics, we know what the hope does.

    Or :

    3.  Those that believe the German policy is neither humanitarian or in Germany's self interest.


    The policy is not humanitarian as we are now complicit in the deaths of thousands of people trying to make the journey to Europe.  The people making the journey are those that have enough savings to pay to get to Europe, and experience an expensive, risky and miserable journey.  People smugglers are the winners here, along with the 65% of people arriving in August that were not from Syria (UNHCR figures).  Those without €10,000+ (to get to Europe) or with enough sense not to risk their own and their families lives, and those that are most in need are left with little support in Syria or the countries neighboring Syria.   The €12 billion Germany will pay this year due to the refugee crisis does not help these people.


    The policy is not in Germany's self interest because I don't believe we can effectively integrate so many people at once, and will end up with a large group of marginalized people, living in ghettos.  The Governments own numbers demonstrate that 55% of those accepted will never work.


    My proposed solution is:

    - divert a portion of the €12 billion to helping those in the Middle East.

    - use the UN's resettlement program to resettle refugees in Germany, in a planned and humane way.  I would be happy to take 800k a year, with the resources available in Germany to effectively integrate those coming (housing, german classes etc)

    - protect Europe's borders, to stop the deaths and people smugglers profiting from misery. 


    I think this solution is much more humane, and will improve many more lives than the status quo.   Also, it clearly seems to be the European plan, with progress on all 3 points being made.  However I do think part of the solution is Angie admitting she was wrong, and that message being transparently communicated to stop the pull factor in Africa, Asia and the Middle East..


  7. I believe as posted above is actually the only side of the story.


    When you booked the Drive Now car, it automatically comes with liability insurance (which covers damage to the other car, the costs of the ambulance and any injuries to other people).   It also comes with CDW for your own car, which covers the damages to the Drive Now car, but you have to pay the first €750 of any damages.


    All this assumes that you are the authorised driver, and that you were not grossly negligent (e.g. drunk or deliberately causing the accident).  You are also required to inform Drive Now at the time of the accident (which I guess you did as they organised the tow?), and provide them with the accident report.


    Fundamentally, I believe you are now going to have to pay €750.   But you can also call Drive Now and ask them for confirmation.


  8. The only advice I can give is to look on the positive side of things:

    - the Police were kind and professional throughout.

    - the Police were flexible enough to not insist on a full search once it became clear you knew the defendant.

    - the Police were actually following up on a stolen mobile phone, not just ignoring 'petty crime'.


    No damage has been done, and ultimately I think my view of the Police is positively reinforced after reading this.  There's no benefit thinking about the what ifs. 



    Except, we should keep this with realistic proportions.  100 people at the door of a house housing 100,000 people.  Or if you want to be really generous 50,000?  10,000?  Or a few instances in a single lifetime, at most.  


    Analogizing countries to homes only gets you so far.  It's a bad analogy in so many other ways. 

    What about just one person at your door.  But you still know there is a 50% chance they are in no danger and just here because they heard you are generous, a 20% chance they want to steal from you, and a 2% chance they would like to see you dead.


    I guess the point of my posts is that it is a fine and nice to say we should let everyone into Germany, give them food, housing and cash.   However we should at least admit there will be negative side effects.


  10. If it appears to my eyes that someone at my door is at risk, then I have to decide whether they are staging it theatrically or whether they are really at risk.  So far no one has ever shown up in danger literally at my door; if they ever do, I hope that I make the latter choice and let them in.  Because if I guessed wrong, kept them out, and they suffered and/or died for it, I would hope I would consider myself to have been an accomplice in their deaths.


    What if there are 100 people at your door, all saying they need help?   However, you know that 50 are not in danger, just think your house is better than theirs, 10 would like to steal from you, and 2 would be quite happy if you were dead.  Would you let them in YOUR home?


    I hope my numbers are exaggerated, but I think everyone would agree letting these 100 people into your house is a nice thing to do, but ultimately is going to reduce your quality of life.   




  11. Yes, I agree Tsipras is now theoretically in an excellent position to improve the lives of millions of Greeks.   I wanted to add something like this to my last post, but tried looking for a manifesto, but couldn't find one (just some statements about focusing on debt relief) - anyone know what he has promised the electorate in order to get re-elected?


  12. ö

    Perhaps. That to me is merely another way of saying that Greece will labour under a nonsolution in a badly-designed currency with increasing political delegitimization.

    The main message I get from the election is that the overwhelming majority of Greeks that voted want to stay part of the eurozone, and accept the reforms as the costs of doing so.  I think this is important, given the total lack of clarity about what people were voting for in the last referendum.



  13. The thread was started with the question "How will that affect society, education, economy, city v rural split, east v west split?"  Which I don't think has been answered.



    And if one would really go into details we would certainly see that the mass of immigrants in the US or UK or France or.. aren't really "well integrated" , and accepted as "first class citizens".  Despite official statements, Despite wishful thinking.



    And I think that (the examples of integration in France & UK) is what most people are scared of, and the reasoning behind a lot of posts here!



    So how will this mass immigration affect Germany?


    The worst case:

    - High unemployment & welfare (German government statistics I posted before show only 55% of accepted permanent asylum seekers actually find work)

    - shortage of housing & increased rents.

    - increased crime (driven by poverty, failed integration)

    - No go areas.

    - community tension (religious or otherwise).

    - terrorism

    - rise of far-right politics, with immigration becoming a big political issue.


    The best case:

    - everyone gets a job, pays taxes, increases the overall standard of living.

    - refugees become integrated into Germany, ideally adding some of their own culture to Germany (e.g. Donor kebab)

    - everyone lives happily ever after.


    The reality will of course be somewhere in between, and I think is more dependent on the Germans than the asylum seekers.   However, by first of all throwing open the doors and then 2 weeks later closing the borders I am not sure there is much long term planning going on to support an effective integration of asylum seekers.


    My preferred solution is still that we need to discourage people from risking their lives in getting here, and support the UN refugee resettlement program (resettling to Germany in a managed way directly from the refugee camps) as well as improving live for the millions of refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.


  14. Interview in Die Zeit succinctly summarizing the complete futility in this discussion:


    You can complain that they should stay in the "safe" camps, but they aren't going to. It just is what it is.

    The article presents one lady's view, which doesn't make sense to me.


    I stand by previous posts, that the easier it is perceived to be to get to Europe and claim asylum, the more will risk their lives (and their families lives) by trying to make the journey.  A percentage will die trying, and almost all will experience misery and criminal exploitation on the way.   We are literally forcing thousands of Syrians, Afghans, Eritreans, Pakistanis, Iraqis, Nigerians, Somalians, Bangladeshi, Gambians, Iranians and so on, to put their lives and their families lives in danger in making the journey to Europe.


    The good news is that Germany (and many other countries) have significantly increased their participation in the UN's program to safely resettle refugees.  Securing the borders, and reducing the possibility of successfully getting to the EU illegally would now be the humanitarian thing to do.


    Pleas note, I state this not out of xenophopia.  If Germany were to now to replace each illegal asylum seeker who has been deterred with a safely resettled refugee, it would be better for everyone (except the traffickers making millions out of desperate people's life savings).  If you disagree with this statement please tell me why!


  15. Yes, it's true, though your article is maybe not 100% balanced, and the news is 2 months old.  Depending on your point of view, either the headmaster was taking sensible preventative measures (given he now had a load of strangers on school grounds), or was over-reacting based on prejudices.





  16. I've never once found myself pleasantly surprised by anything from BILD, but today's back cover of the newspaper is kinda leaving me agape.


    "A Syrian child lies dead on the beach in Bodrum (Turkey), having drowned after fleeing war in his homeland, dying on the way to Europe. Images like this have become shamefully normal. We will no longer tolerate them, but we want -- we NEED to show them, because they document the historic failure of our civilization in this refugee crisis. Europe, this immeasurably wealthy continent, is making itself guilty if we continue to allow children to drown on our shores. We have too many ships, too many helicopters, too many recon aircraft to simply continue watching. This photo is a message to the entire world to finally work in unity, that not one more child dies while on the run. For who are we, what are our values really worth, if we continue to let such things happen?"


    But I think this is the reason why we need to stop forcing people to make this journey.  In the first half of 2015, an estimated 2500 people have drowned crossing the Med to Italy, and I assume more taking the route through Greece to Western Europe.   The inaction of the EU has condemned thousand to death, and over a million to misery & poverty (life savings are spent on the journey) as they try to get to Europe.  Additionally, the most vulnerable are left behind (often women & children), with predominantly young males making the journey.


    The UN refugee agency has a program to safely resettle refugees, in a safe and managed way.  





    I truly believe the humanitarian option (call it Christian or whatever) is for Europe to build their fences/turn back boats, and discourage illegal immigration to Europe, while increasing the places offered to the UN refugee agency.  Yes, in the short term (first month) there will be some deaths until the word is spread (quickly by internet), but the medium term (i.e. 1 year) death count will be much lower than the status quo.


    Life is full of difficult choices...   I don't see other options.   People opposed to this approach may get a warm fuzzy feeling inside that they are nice people, but the reality is they are complicit in the death of the young boy pictured.


  17. Yes, I totally agree with the above points.  It is not because of where they come from, more the circumstances they find themselves in now.


    The point I wanted to get across, is that I don't think Germany can successfully integrate 800k people coming this year, never mind those coming next year..  I don't consider that xenophobic, more practical (and perhaps a bit selfish as I don't think creating a country with a large un-integrated 'underclass' is something I would want to leave to my children). 


  18. Germany has now decided to let in all Syrian refugees.I


    From January to July 2015, Syrian asylum seekers represented 44,417 out of 302,415 people seeking asylum in Germany.  All but 7 Syrian's were given permission to stay.


    Personally, I think the Syrians have the strongest case to seek asylum and represent a manageable number that could be integrated into Germany.   However, the Syrians are only a small percentage of those seeking asylum.



  19. Some Facts:

    - Have a read of the below link:


    - In 2014, Syria accounted for 19.4% of asylum seekers (page 7 of the link shows where the rest came from).

    - The cost to Germany for processing the 220k open asylum applications in 2014 was €2.2 billion.

    - The estimated cost for 400k additional asylum seekers in 2015 is €5 billion  (with €1 billion paid by the federal government and the rest by the states).


    Some [difficult] questions:

    - Is it morally right to protect our borders, in order to maintain our quality of life?

    - Is it morally right that many people are killed, as they try to get to Europe in the hope of a better quality of life?

    - Is it morally right that we stay out of the conflict in Syria and Iraq that is subjecting so many people to misery?

    - Is it morally right that we all have to pay for the asylum seekers - as the states have to balance their budgets (by 2017?) there is a clear opportunity costs here?



    It's not xenophobic to ask these questions.   It may be selfish depending on the answers.  I am not sure of the answers myself - anyone else care to try answering?


  20. I am responsible for clients personal data and if i do something wrong i am accountable.

    But what are you accountable for?  What are the penalities?   EU law (95/46/EC) says  "that any person who has suffered damage as a result of an unlawful processing operation or of any act incompatible with the national provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive is entitled to receive compensation from the controller for the damage suffered."   Maybe Germany has more stricter laws in place.






  21. I think your wife is right!


    I still am not sure what she would sue the company for.  Data protection?  No loss (economic or otherwise) has been suffered by your wife, and it looks extremely unlikely to happen that a loss is incurred.  


    When the boss comes back from holiday, let him sort it out.  Or do what the company lawyer suggests and send him your wife's shift details (or previous job contract) so he can tell the client they are suing the wrong people.