UK deficit spending

On 26th of November 2020, in the middle of COVID-19 health care desaster the UK is announcing a horrific budget deficit for 2020. Apparently, this is the largest for more than 100 years. The costs of bad choices in several votes (BREXIT, Parliament, Prime Minister) can be calculated in billions of pounds now. The younger generations pay a particularly high price. Cut of from Europe, job losses due to covid-19 and then the huge debt burden … and this despite the fact that they voted in a majority to stay in the EU. Very unlucky!  As Germany was the sick man of Europe with high deficit and high unemployment I continued my studies in the UK, maybe youth in the UK could take advantage of migrating in numbers to Europe. Sometimes this is the only fact stubborn governments will listen to. So,”get on your bike” across the channel this time. A famous quote from Michael Heseltine to solve the unemployment of youth in the early 1990.

deficit UK


Die technologischen Entscheidungen in der Industriepolitik sind von großer Tragweite. Die Wege der modernen Industriegesellschaften sind gepflastert mit weitreichenden Fehlentscheidungen. Fehlentscheidungen aus gesellschaftlicher Sicht reihen sich an Verluste für den blauen Planeten. Einzelinteressen sind in diesen technologischen Entscheidungsprozessen zu oft zum Vorteil von Monopolen oder Oligopolen in der Vergangenheit ausgegangen.

Elektroautos gab es lange schon Quelle Spiegel Oktober 2020

Vor 100 und vor 30 Jahren gab es elektrische Prototypen für Individuellen Straßenverkehr. Gegen große Konzerne haben Nischenprodukte wenig Marktchancen sich zu etablieren. Überraschender Weise war das bereits bei der Entwicklung des Internets schon vergleichbar. In den „Comedies françaises“ ist ein anderes französisches Beispiel plastisch beschrieben worden. Solange wir Studierenden nur die Monopolrendite erklären, brauchen wir uns nicht zu wundern. Aufpassen „Winner takes all and forever“ ist dem kommunistischen Wirtschaften vergleichbar. In zu vielen Fällen erweisen sich die Monopolkommissionen als die BaFin im Wirecardskandal. … und dann singen wieder alle: Skandal um Rosi…

LeMonde August 2020

Mehr dazu:

On Mortality in EU

It is normal business for demographers to deal with mortality and the statistics of mortality. The latest data I found from official European statistics from Eurostat refer back to 2015. They mention 571.000 potentially avoidable deaths in the Europen Union of the 1.7 Million deaths among the population younger than 75 years of age, the lower bound of average life expectancy. A look at the leading causes of preventable death shows that prevention of deaths due to alcohol, smoking and environmental causes beyond suicide could safe more than 200.000 lifes per year! Please pause a while in front of these figures.

In Germany we deplore more than 900.000 deaths each year and according to the statistical office on an average day during the year we have 2100 persons leaving us. In a severe case of influenza these death rates jumped for example in February 2018 to more than 3.100 persons in one day. Hence, keep calm and carry on with taking Covid-19 seriously, but no reason to panic.

Taking a look at our Belgian neighbors, the public health statistics on Belgian Mortality show a cycllical pattern of mortality with peaks in January for the influenza period and sometimes on hot summer days.  

Additionally, there are several severe environmental health hazards which we have gotten used to. Not much fuzz in public about these increased death rates any more. They include many preventable deaths as well. The deadly cocktail of fine particle dust in high traffic countries combined with peaks in temperature and ozone levels yield preventable peaks in death tolls across Europe not just in Belgian, different from region to region and city to city or suburbs or proximity to risky areas. No prove available yet, just coincidence data that need close monitoring. Please follow up on the web page of Epistat and the B-momo project.The EuroMoMo-project and data can be followed on the new webpage, commented by on the 23.4.2020. Late data reporting as accused for UK by the Financial times needs to be followed closely for all countries.

Students should build their statistical methods skill and get ready to use the statistical software R for further analyses useful to produce nice figures and even better advanced analyses.



E-Car Market and Sharing

2020 is supposed to bring many new E-Cars to the market. Car-Sharing with the retreat of DriveNow and ShareNow from several cities with only moderate prospects. The Brussels Motor Show, also called Auto-Salon including the #WeAreMobility hall is still going strong right at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in early 2020. Some of the established car-sharing companies like or are not even present at such events. has few visitors as relatively unknown sharing-company yet. Not many more visitors I spotted at with the attached scooter-sharing in Brussels and Antwerp.
The Auto-Salon gives a preview on E-Cars from most major companies. The E-go alternative has no presence there and competition of the big established companies from Europe and Japan take most of the space.
Most Consumers seem to want a practical solution to their mobility at a reasonable price, few seem to search for cars to show-off with. There is more “rational choice” around than in previous years. I should have done a survey to measure this, last time and this time round. This could be a worry to the industry as they are more used to sell “dream cars” than practical day-to-day mobility solutions.


Auf der internationalen Industriemesse in Hannover #HM19 wurde auf dem Pioneer Summit am 2.4.2019 wieder überraschend viel Deutsch gesprochen. Dem EU-Kommissar Öttinger auf Deutsch zuzuhören ist erfreulicher als auf Englisch. Der Vortrag von Klaus Helmrich, immerhin Mitglied des Vorstands der Siemens AG auf Deutsch zu folgen, ebenfalls bereichernd.  Der unglückliche englischsprachige Titel “Thinking industry further!” kann man sich mit Industrie weiterdenken zurecht reimen. Genauer war dann der Untertitel: “Die nächste Stufe des Digital Enterprise”. Von “Made in Germany” sind wir längst zu “engineered in Germany” übergegangen. Aber das war Industrie 3.0. Bei der Industrie 4.x spielen vernetzte Standorte der Produktion, Entwicklung und Kunden eine zentrale Rolle. Sprachpolitik kann hierbei zu einem kleinen und bescheidenem Sicherheitsvorteil werden. Übersetzungsfehler von Längenmaßen (inch in centimeter) oder anderen Details verursachen kostspielige “Engineering Disaster” wohl auch bei AIRBUS industries aufgetreten.

Einigen Diplomaten und Journalisten zufolge wird selbst in der EU Kommission seit dem Brexit-Votum bereits mehr in anderen Muttersprachen geplaudert,  zumindest in den Kaffeepausen. Willkommen in der alten, Neuen Vielfalt. Sprachen und Kulturen Verstehen lernen lohnt sich wieder.

Bild von Victor Vasarely copyright mehr Informationen zur Person
Ausstellung noch bis 6.5.2019 im  Centre Pompidou 


737 Max 8 and Science

The 346 persons who died in crashes of the fairly new airplanes of Boeing 737 Max have nothing to gain from the ex-post evaluation of the crash. The journal “Scientific American” published an interview with a former Boeing employee who puts a relationship of the two crashes into doubt. The article in the online version of the 13th of March by Mrs. Gohd is full of stereotypes rather than scientific information. This puts science or science journalism into a bad light. Please read for yourself (Link here).
Let’s wait for the black box to be read! and then judge, but not wait for further casualties please. The “precautionary principle“, to protect persons from harm for example by introducing not suffienctly testes new technology, makes a lot of sense in the aviation industry. That’s why the EU might be slower in the adoption of some innovations, but is more likely to avoid fatal accidents as a consequence of hasty innovation.

Rodin’s famous sculpture sums up the need and grief to think twice before you act. Mourning of the dead due to neglect of sufficient thought prior to action included. At least, this is  my modern interpretation of this piece of art with respect to responsibility and the precautionary principle.
(Foto taken in Stockholm, Prince Eugen’s Waldemarsudde  art museum).