Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Germany still makes stuff

This New York Times photograph tells a story, or at least can have a story projected upon it. It's of two workers at a specialized valve factory in Frankfurt. The business is doing well and one reason it does well is because of the Euro -- many of its customers are abroad so it's a small business that benefits from the advantage of a common and/or "competitive" currency. But anyway, about the photo: two men, black t-shirts, one sleeveless, tattoos, earrings, tough-looking individuals. In any other country, they'd be typecast as "working class" with all those connotations. But it's Germany. They have a manual skill that's needed in a small business that's making money. So their entire life trajectory and prospects are different from what the class term implies.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is popping up next to workers in overalls claiming that he's going to make their lives better, but that Europe is not the way to do it.