Sunday, August 29, 2004

Speaking of proven winners

Germans become poorer, living standards drop

Poverty levels in Germany are increasing, and greater discrepancy in wealth distribution is expected in coming years, according to Data Report 2004, a survey released by the Federal Statistics Office. At the end of 2002, 11.1 percent of Germans lived in relative poverty, earning less than half of average income, against 9.4 percent a year earlier. In eastern Germany, relative poverty has doubled in the last 10 years. When it comes to living standards, Germany has also slipped into Europe's mid-field. Not surprisingly then the report also concluded that Germans were among the least satisfied people in the 15 European countries surveyed in the EU before the accession of the 10 recent entrants. The 2004 report was the 10th installment of a study first published in 1983.

Ah, the economy is almost ready; just add a 35 hour work week, don't stir, and serve at room temperature.

What contrast appears to a provincial Murkin like myself when I look at our own reporting? When our census figures even suggest an increase in poverty, whole articles full of analysis are plastered across major publications. FAZ runs a single paragraph, and the english portion of Spiegel doesn't have any article about Germany containing the word "poverty". I point this out only so that you may understand that we Murkins are uninformed, and brainwashed by our right-wing media (insert FNC reference).

Update (8-30-2004): As pointed out by reader Actus, Spiegel may not have had a fair chance to squeeze in an article on Data Report 2004's poverty revelations. Now it's official. Not only are the only articles containing "poverty" at Spiegel's English area once again about America, but a search for "Data Report 2004" comes up empty.


Blogger actus said...

"FAZ runs a single paragraph, and the english portion of Spiegel doesn't have any article about Germany containing the word "poverty"."

An odd way to find out what germans are reading. But Spiegel english only publishes every 7 days. When did the report come out?

12:46 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The press release announcing Data Report 2004 was dated Aug. 23, so I'm assuming that was also the date of its release. Spiegel was last updated on 8/23 also; it may have been too short notice to get a piece in. We'll see tomorrow (Monday) what they have to say on the matter.

If the method seems odd, it's only because that's all my curiosity, patience, and cripplingly limited German permitted. I don't claim it was exhaustive, as I didn't even check any third source.

2:40 PM  

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