Unemployment rate in Germany at 6.6%. Apparently this is because
Germany deployed a number of instruments to keep people in their jobs even during the most trying days of the financial crisis
OK, so 'democratic' government is supposed to be in the business of advancing the (medium-term, presumably) interests of 'the people' -- in the sense of, if not the 51%, then at least the 97%. Presumably, 'keeping people in their jobs' is in the interests of 'the people' in this sense. Perhaps making the 97% feel as if the state has no interest in keeping them in their jobs is in the interest of (allowing for some borderline feelings of suspended indecision in the 98th %ile) the top 1% -- shock doctrine, give up on organizing, willingly subject themselves to the market and all that. So -- we do not wish to repeat ourselves, and yet we must -- the relatively pathetic efforts toward keeping people in their jobs in the Anglophone world are evidence that government here is not 'democratic'.
Germany did not get the jump on Anglophonia because they knew something we didn't. Their strategy involved:
the government program known as “Kurzarbeit,” which allowed employers to significantly reduce workers’ hours, with the state stepping in to make up most of the shortfall in pay. Another was the so-called work-time accounts, whereby unions and companies agreed to let workers build up a bank of overtime that they could then use to take paid leave when there was a downturn in business
Clever, but not really very clever. And academics and technocrats share ideas globally. Our current predicament is not inevitable but is the product of state activity -- and not state activity directed in any significant way on behalf of 'the people'.