(I now temporarily live in Buffalo, New York, until I move back for work to the DC-Area.)
I live in a small cosmopolitan town outside Washington, D.C. Rockville, Maryland, with a population of about 60,000 people dating back to the Revolutionary War has a long German heritage, including the most “American” of them all, the hamburger. With deep cultural connections to Pinneberg, just outside of Hamburg, Germany, its sister city, the history of Rockville is steeped in the integration of Germans into America, the most controversial being World War II.
A war where German-Americans fought Germans in the trenches, including of distant familial lineage, blue-eyed, blond-haired Americans shooting blue-eyed, blond-haired Germans, has not ended yet. Ancestors can often exert greater influence and control over those carrying their heritage. And this may be a necessary war of wisdom for those across the Atlantic to win to raise the less mature of their distant kin in cities and town across America nearly 7 decades after Germany was razed to the ground by the allied forces.
The nation’s capital and Capitol agog and anxious over the future of America, a local Rockville BMW auto dealer where I, as an unemployed entrepreneur in an uncertain economy and a former owner of a BMW, went to seek a job wanted an experienced salesman who could sell the more expensive German cars. I did not get the job because I had worked for the government, after not selling industrial equipment and having never sold cars, for more than a decade. Selling cars is an uphill task for the best of salespeople in the current economy even in a relatively upscale town such as Rockville.
Selling in a downward economic spiral requires strategy which cannot happen on the floor of an auto dealer. People buy cars, homes and other durable goods when they have jobs and less employment uncertainty.
Cars, as Henry Ford well understood, must first be manufactured for them to be bought by those who make them and others in the industry who depend on those who make them. Such American investment in domestic industry has deteriorated since the end of the Cold War. The United States is expensive to make things anymore. Americans like to tell others, for a very high price, how to manufacture rather than make things themselves as Germans and Japanese, the World War II foes, still do.
Germany, the work horse of Europe, and Japan, smaller countries by population and size, having lost their preeminence in World War II, do not have as large a domestic market as the United States which consumes in periodic cycles of technical change and the life of durable goods to grow its economy, all the German and Nazi innovation, from rocketry to road-laying having migrated to America after 1945, just as it did from the United Kingdom after the Industrial Revolution, seeking exports of American natural resources from the New World, because of the common Anglo-German heritage.
Having just now escaped the infamy of a national default by the skin of its teeth, the United States could significantly benefit if that infamy is brought upon it by Germany because Japan is still stuck in the mud of economic recovery for nearly 2 decades, a fate that could also befall this country if similar economic policies continue to be pursued.
The German economy, always at the hub of Europe similar to its geographic location at the heart of Europe, is the unwavering anchor in this period of American and European distress, holding up the European common currency, the euro, for all of Europe. The inertia and intransigence of America’s global policy and political insensibilities is throwing wrenches in the works of the global economy, including the threat of breaking up the eurozone group of countries.
Germans understand full well the dysfunctional social responses to economic crises in the Old World and the causes for their loss of primacy which was attained after a long, hard slog from Martin Luther and Gutenberg in the 15th century to the BMWs of the 21st, from being seen as the barbarians of Europe to becoming its wealthiest through the dint of real and practical hard work.
Germany can, therefore, resolve the ominous possibility of European disintegration by returning the American dollar to its rightful place in the global economy. To where it was before World War II by encouraging the dumping of the overvalued and over-relied upon American debt and dollars.
A cheaper American market for advanced German auto, energy and infrastructure technologies such as rail and the smart electrical grid, together with Japan and its rising World War II occupation, China, would restructure the economy of the United States to once again make real things for real people, resetting the values of the United States, benefiting America, Europe and Asia. A win-win-win.
Only then can the Rockville, Maryland auto dealer sell more BMWs.