Germany’s Econo-Angst

Despite record growth and prosperity, Germany’s feeling unprecedented angst. And it’s not just Greece. It’s a feeling that things are awry, from technology, to immigration, to, yes, the European Union itself. There is even a word for people feeling that way, they’re called Wutburger.

Yet it is very hard to find anyone here who is happy about this state of affairs. Unlike the great Rhineland industrial booms of the 1950s and 1970s, this one is provoking Germans to turn against their government, against Europe, against technology and growth, against outsiders. It is an inward-looking, self-questioning moment in a country that the rest of Europe very badly needs to be involved in affairs outside its borders.

If previous German booms were marked with a national mood of confidence and optimism, this is a prosperity of angst and fear: According to one survey, 80 per cent of Germans now believe that the future will be worse than the present, that “everything is getting worse.” There is an entire consulting industry devoted to analyzing the “national angst.”

More here.



  1. Gee, the high German savings rate is actually the retirement money of millions of Germans that is not balanced by spending of a coming generation of new German households. It is not some unneeded surplus. Germany has an inverted population pyramid, and so they rather need their savings.

    I can totally understand why they feel a little stressed out that their savings is being flushed down a Greek toilet.

    The world happily makes a bonfire of promissory notes to German and Japanese old people. Does that bother them?

    The moral of the story is as old as humanity itself. If you want to be taken care of in your old age, there is no substitute for having your own children.