Here we go – first component complete (almost). It’s the German Internal Demand Compressor. What is it used for? The name is rather self-explanatory. Germany is famously advertised as the model to imitate, a country were unions are strong (they sit in the board of directors of companies), welfare is robust, workers have high pays. Workers which are the best workers in Europe, by the way. Great.
Only, it does not grow. You don’t have to believe me, just go get some Eurostat tables or WorldBank data: Germany is one of the slowest growing countries in Europe. From 2000 to 2007 (i.e., earlier than the crisis breakout) its real GDP only grew 10.3%, compared to a 16.8% for the EU. In the same period, France had grown 13.5%, the UK 23%, not to mention the 26.4% of Spain. The whole EuroZone had managed to grow by 13.9%. Only Italy and Portugal were worse than that. By the end of 2011, Denmark had joined Italy and Portugal but Germany was still among the lower ranking. The size of the economy is no excuse per se as China has a larger economy than Germany but we all know its growth rate.
So where does all its trade surplus and export performance come from? That’s where the Internal Demand Compressor kicks in: Germany has managed (with the complicity of unions) to keep wages stagnant for over a decade, contrary to the periphery. This policy boosted its competitiveness and, with an internal demand unable to absorb its production because it couldn’t afford to, it created the surplus we hear so grandly of, to be exported to other Eurozone countries.
Here’s the hellish device:
Lighting is terrible, I know – and the painting also may change at some future step. It’s not very detailed as it will be shot from a distance, but here it is. I summarily copied it from a demo picture I found on the website of a manufacturer. Feedback, as usual, is appreciated – and you can use the picture (if you think it’s worth it) for whatever you want. For those who care about these things, it’s done in Blender 2.63 and rendered in Cycles.