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“The eurozone is a wasteland of ‘entitlementarians’ while Germany is an industrial might” with the know-how to better manage the other European economies, the analyst said.

Managing Europe

“Start with French wine, Italian fashion, Spanish farming, and Greek tourism. They can all use huge management efficiencies,” he said. “In France, bureaucrats control half of the economy. Just privatizing government stakes can set off a productivity bonfire.”

Under German management, there also is potential for a European Silicon Valley emerging in Estonia and other parts of Eastern Europe, Mr. Kessler said.

Dieter Farwick, retired brigadier general and senior vice president of the World Security Network Foundation, also questioned whether Germany’s rise in influence will be more than transitory.

“Nowadays, the majority of Germans believe that Germany is unsinkable,” he said. “One hundred years ago, the Titanic’s passengers felt the same. … They were wrong, too.”

Mr. Farwick expects that German efforts to hold together the 17-nation eurozone will be defeated eventually by the overwhelming burden of trying to rescue the floundering nations of Southern Europe.

“For the next few decades, rich European countries like Germany and France will have to spend trillions of euros to help put the poor countries back on track,” he said. “There will be no resources left for defense, security and stability” and the “European project” will crumble, he said.

Jerry Jasinowski, former president of the U.S. National Association of Manufacturers, tips his hat to German leaders for staying focused on maintaining the strength of their awesome manufacturing machine, even as the U.S. allowed its industrial heartland to bleed jobs and sales to emerging rivals such as China.

“They recognize that manufacturing is the foundation of a modern nation’s economy,” he said. Manufacturing not only spurs the innovations that have made life better for consumers worldwide, but it also provides a steady source of good-paying factory jobs and stokes growth in an array of service and ancillary businesses that feed into manufacturing.

“For more than a decade, we have stood by while foreign competitors employing predatory trade practices have absconded with major portions of our manufacturing base,” Mr. Jasinowski said. “The persistent weakness in our economy today, and especially the stubbornly high unemployment, is the result.”

Quoting Sony founder Akio Morita, Mr. Jasinowski said: “The world power that loses its manufacturing base will cease to be a world power.”