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David/Ray,
Here is a nice story on an aspect of German-American relations. Did not know how else to communicate with you.

Hector


http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=519&ncid=718&e=10&u=/ap/20041115/ap_on_re_us/german_pow_graves

Lets introduce our American friends to one of those wonderful German words that sound so great and achieve so little: Arbeitsbeschaffungsmassnahmen.

Given that people subject to such get-back-to-work-measures are not counted as bveing unemployed, plus all the other oddities by which German unemployment is measured, I would hazard a guess that real unemploymnet in Germany is something more like 3-4 times the US rate.

I'll do my part in redressing the trade imbalance with Germany by never buying anything made in Germany for the rest of my life. Satisfied?

Just another smoke and mirror show to take the eyes of Germany off the problems of Germany. It is far better to hide behind a larger problem than to face up to your own problems, it is easier than to solving problems in a socialistic system.

Entitlements such as those found in Germany only inspire people to abuse the system without anyone challenging the offenders. It is human nature to take what is easily available regardless of the cost to others. It is free, the government pays out the money. I say TANSTAFL. That stands for there ain't no such thing as a free lunch, someone has to pay for it. The same is true with the overly generous entitlement system in Germany. If you want to rein in the budget deficits in Germany, then radical changes will need to take to reduce the entitlements or eliminate some of the them altogether. I haven't needed to use any entitlement, I take pride in the ability to work and provide for my family without government handouts. If I should ever need to use any entitlement, I would find a way to remove myself from it as soon as possible and not become a victim of the system.

If there were less taxation on businesses and individuals, based on less entitlements, then there would be more capital for job creation and not just these 400 € part time jobs. The current system in Germany can not sustain itself with so few payors and so many payees. I don't envy the person who will have to make the decisions about which entitlements to cut or reduce. A stronger work ethic is also needed, a good day's work for a good day's wage. The current ethic of a good day's entitlement payment for a good day sitting on my lethargic butt, has got to stop, and the sooner the better for all of Germany's taxpayers.

Don't get me wrong, if you are disabled, you should receive help. If you are not physically or mentally disabled, get of your duff and work. Do something, don't just suck off the hind teat of the government and feel sorry for yourself. If you lack training, get trained. If a job is available in another city, take it. If the job is in another country, go there. If the job is a shift job, so what, work it. If you can't find a job, then become self employed. Think outside of the pigeon hole that the German government has foisted on you. By this I mean that the system where all workers are trained to do only one job is nonsense. Let the employers hire people and do on the job training with them. The days of having a certificate to do only one job, are over. There is a sense of freedom when you release yourself from the government's hold on you when you are an entitlement payee and you get to work and can tell the government where to go.

The two taxation systems of Germany and the United States can not be compared, ever. It is like comparing apples to oranges.

@hm

Actually unemployment in Germany is slightly lower if the standardised unemployment measurement of the OECD is deployed, while the American one seems to remain at the same level.

http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/18/55/1838468.pdf

What now it is already wrong to criticize the US?
I guess the US economy is just going peachy, right?

Schlechte wirtschaftliche Aussichten produziert auch automatisch Hass. Die Rechtsextremisten sind nämlich wieder unterwegs, und die Befürchtungen, dass sie sich von nun an in der politischen Mitte Deutschlands einquartieren, sind gewaltiger als je zuvor.


Germany's far right knocks at Bundestag's door
There are growing fears that a far-right party could be elected in 2006 to Germany's Bundestag, or Parliament.
By Judy Dempsey/IHT

http://www.iht.com/articles/2004/11/15/news/germany.html

Unter diesem Gesichtspunkt muss man sehen, dass gerade Deutschland anderen Ländern ("Der Bezirk mit 139 Prozent Wahlbeteiligung" von Marc Pitzke, 11.11.2004) erzählen will, wie es Wahlen abzuhalten hat, aber mehr als genug mit sich selbst beschäftigt ist, wenn es darum geht, die "verlorene Generation" aus dem braunen Sumpf zu ziehen.

Yeah, Germany's worst economical problem is the shape of the US economy. Makes sense, doesn't it ? That's what you get when a bunch of socialists work so hard on creating paradise on earth. They haven't heard that socialism is a wonderful and just idea, as long as it is not applied.

Remember that the U.S had a budget surplus when Clinton left. The current economic growth is to a large extent powered by state expenses (military sector etc.), exactly the opposite of the liberal economic policy the U.S. are praising officially..

Note from David: And remember 9/11 as well as the imploding dotcom sector - both are factors that cannot be attributed to the policies of George W. Bush.

I agree with PacRim Jim. I'll never buy anything German, not one damn thing, nor will I ever set foot in the place, or in France or Belgium or Spain or any of the rest of Old Europe. Let then rot.

The higher the trade deficit of the US, the greater the danger of a further depreciation of the dollar. That would hit Germany's exports hard. So on the one hand this guy is articulating German interests. I don't see anything wrong with that. Similarly the US is protesting against states such as China who artificially keep the dollar overvalued so that they can export more to the US.

That being said, Koch-Weser's tone and wording is unacceptable and arrogant considering the disastrous current economic policies of the German government. The guy should look in the mirror before criticising other countries.

It's true that here in Germany we have lot's of problems ourselves and maybe our politicians are a little bet jealous, when they are looking to the US. President Bush did quite a good job with his deficit spending (47 % more into the military, but also 36% (average) more into non-military projects.). Putting taxes down seems to be the right way, too, as the US-economy is growing much more than ours for example. But this "Außenhandelsdefizit" is a real problem, that has been existing for a long time. You should really try to get rid of it. If you're standing in a swamp, dont laugh about the Germans who already start sinking, but try to get out of there. I dont think that the dollar is overvalued that much, this cant be the only reason for the problem. I dont want to play the know-all (therefor we have the Greens and the SPD in Germany), actually I'm not (yet) an economist, but not all critics from abroad are (meant to be) destructive.
By the way thanks for building up Germany after WW II and for defending the western world against sowjets and islamic terrorists.
Greetings from Germany

Distel

PS: Sorry for the bad language, all mistakes were made to entertain you ;-)

Distel, the language was not bad! Were that we could do as well in German. I agree with what you say, we are going to have to deal with the deficits, but can afford to hold off while military expenses are so high. On the other hand, watch for the right to call for cuts in domestic spending. GW may just get the line item veto-then get out of the way!

For about the 100th time, we have to make the point that the reason that the "wealthiest 1%" (who apparently have replaced terrorists as Public Enemy #1 for libs) got 1/3 of the tax cut is that THEY PAID 1/3 OF THE TAXES. (sorry about shouting)
Since the bottom 50% of wage earners paid only about 4% of the income tax, they only got their share back.
Even the stupidest person should be able to understand this.
Presumably, an economics minister should qualify.

Paul,

You miss the concept of social justice. It is all about the redistrubtion of wealth.

This is the very core of the Germany belief system.

That being said, Koch-Weser's tone and wording is unacceptable and arrogant considering the disastrous current economic policies of the German government. The guy should look in the mirror before criticising other countries.

Why, because he happens to be German? The guy also happens to be a financial expert on international financial stability, almost became the head of the IMF before Koehler (another German) became head of the IMF. That Koch-Weser is a German does not mean he is responsible for the economic problems Germany has. However, is qualifications as a financial expert certainly give his comment credibility. And not the fact that he is German. Brasilo-German to be exact.

"I guess the US economy is just going peachy, right?"

As a matter of fact, it mostly is. In the last round of statistics, it appears the US economy is presently growing 12 times faster than the German economy. If the US can trim the current accounts deficit by keeping the dollar cheap relative the Euro, thus punishing EU exporters while bolstering domestic exports, so much the better.

Next question?

3 things. First Koch-Weser is entitled to say what he did. The US economy is so large that US defict spending on the current scale is bad for everyone. That said there are greater problems with the German ecomony than US deficit spending. Second taxation is to high in europe. When the US cuts taxes the US economy grows. Third the US dollar. A weak US dollar is good for US exports. The Dollar is usually over valued. A some point it has to seek it's normal point in realtion to every other currency. It's doing that it is nothing to freak out about. A high value for the Euro is bad for France and Germany it will eat in exports. Freaking out is OK for you.

Okay, so the US has violated the terms of the Maastricht Treaty. But then the US never signed it. Germany did!

Germany and France have repeatedly violated the public debt ceiling that they agreed to honor when the euro was adopted. In fact, it was Germany that insisted on the debt ceiling provision of the "stability and growth" pact and more or less forced it on the other EU countries despite their reservations. Yet now Germany is in effect forcing other Euro-Zone countries to subsidize Germany's deficits. This surely makes Mr. Koch-Weser's indignation at U.S. profligacy somewhat disingenuous. And to my mind Germany's violation of the SGP also casts doubt on Germany's commitment to the rule of international law, since the first principle of that law is "pacta servanda sunt"--agreements must be honored.

I'll buy German. Not if there's an equivalent quality product from another country, but let's face it - Germany has some quality products. France, on the other hand...

The German deputy finance minister, Caio Koch-Weser, sharply criticized the US administration in an interview made available for showering tax breaks on the wealthy and letting deficits get out of control while failing to improve the economy.

He said it had "handsomely reduced taxes for those who earn the most money. Economically speaking, that was not good, since it hardly succeeded in reviving the economy and has accumulated huge budget deficits."

"Hardly succeeded"? After the shortest and shallowest recession ever, we've had over a year of straight job growth (about 5.6% unemployment, down from a high of 6.2%), we're on track for 4.4% GDP growth, new home starts recently hit an all-time record high and home ownership is at one of it's greatest points ever. How, exactly, does that qualify as failure? We're back, baby - sorry if the news disappoints you.

But criticizing tax cuts and concurrent defecits? Wait, where have I heard that...

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder on Wednesday defended a decision to suspend the EU’s deficit rules in order to promote euro zone growth. But he also told parliament that Germany would continue budgetary consolidation.

Addressing parliament during a debate on the 2004 budget, Schröder said Berlin needed to give priority to bringing forward planned tax cuts by one year to help get Europe’s largest economy back on track.

“We need consolidation without question,” Schröder said. “But we need to stimulate growth. We have to pull these tax cuts forward to support growth.”

So Germany can do whatever it likes about growth and the eurozone be damned, but should the US dare attempt it - the bastards!

The current economic growth is to a large extent powered by state expenses (military sector etc.), exactly the opposite of the liberal economic policy the U.S. are praising officially.

The current growth is powered by consumer spending thanks to an uptick in consumer confidence, and a surge in upgrade and material investments that businesses had been putting off for a couple years, not state expenses.

Similarly the US is protesting against states such as China who artificially keep the dollar overvalued so that they can export more to the US.

Actually, I think we're a little more concerned about the giant investments in treasury bonds at that artificial exchange rate, but I haven't really been following it.

By some estimates the US economy took a 600 billion dollar hit as a result of 9-11. We have growth and a 5.4 % unemployement rate. Futhermore we can survive a weak dollar better than Germany's export driven economy and expensive workforce can. The US economy has an organic resilience built into it. maybe we can farm out Alan Greenspan to Germany and send Koch-Weser to Argentina for a course in crisis management. You say he's part Brazilian? South Americans have fiscal irresposibility encoded in their DNA. Screwing up a continent as big and beautiful as that takes effort.

One of the more interesting things about how Americans differ from “old Europeans” and especially Germans is Americans do not have as much faith in international organizations. It does not matter if these take the form of the UN, ICC, Kyoto, or the EU. It is a very long list actually.

Much of the criticism the US has received about her efforts to bring freedom to the people of Iraq has come from the left in “old Europe”. They base this on the US having failed to gain approval from the UNSC.

Does anyone besides me note how Berlin and paris hold these organizations and treaties in such high regard until they get in the way of what they want to? When they feel an action is in their own best national interest they simply ignore them.

Today we have Germany ignoring the stabilization pact, which they demanded as part of the establishment of the euro. We have france ignoring the UN when it went off to the Ivory Coast to protect its economic interests in a former colony.

So when Americans see these actions taking place in “old Europe” we do not view these as “old Europe” having the moral high ground it likes to claim for themselves.

We see them as the hypocrites they are.

Just a few facts to set straight:
a) German tax system is definetely the worst and most complicated in Germany. That is correct. Problem is: close to that is the American tax system! I have studied both tax systems and a number of other tax systems for one year at one of the most prestigous universities of the world and I can tell you: except towards Germans there are not many countries that Americans can brag about their own tax system to. At least not from the point of view of American tax professors, tax lawyers and entrepreneurs.
b) having said the above: it does not make much sense in comparing just tax rates levied by law. If one once to compare the real taxation of a nation and its citizens and entrepneurs, one has to compare for instance the funds/income of the government generated with taxes in reference to GDP or similar figures. Otherwise you miss all those tax deductions etc. And than you must also compute into this caltulation the direct and indirect subsidies given back to people and companies if you want to see the real balance sheet. If it was only for the tax rates, nobody would invest in Germany now and nobody would have invested in Germany for the past 20 years. Still: Germany is doing very bad here in toto. But America is not doing to well here too, sorry folks.

DEvaluation of the dollar: it is certainly not "to punish" all those bad European companies who produce goods being seeked for and purchased by Americans that the dollar is so low. There are a number of reasons for that and many cannot be influenced directly by the American gov. and/or the Federal Reserve. However, America is lucky that it is the leading currency in the world and can thus always cut the value of debts to foreign lenders if the dollar devalues. This has happened in the past and crippled a number of Asian economies and it will happen again. But does that really help America? I seriously doubt that.

However: compared to Germany (and here we are coming back to Mr. Koch-Weser) is indeed in many ways in such a poor state of economic performance, that we are the least to teach anyone anything. I had a laughing riot today listening to my car radio when I heard our chief union boss Mr. Sommer react to the ongoing discussion of cutting back workers participation in the companies boards of overseers (which can amount to 50 % according to German law in companies with 2000+ workers and 30 % in companies with 500+ workers): we should be so proud of our system that we should start to import it to other countries. Sorry, Sommer: no takers!

But as I always say: only way we can protect ourselves from those cheap and good working powers in Eastern Europe is: export all our leading union bosses and their followers to them.
That'll teach them to work better and cheaper than we do?

Cheerio from old Europe

South Americans have fiscal irresposibility encoded in their DNA. Screwing up a continent as big and beautiful as that takes effort.

What you commit is a logical fallacy called guilt by association.


Pat,

Regardless of complicated tax laws, the US government’s participation in the economy (taxing/spending) is very small in comparison to overall GDP. There are only perhaps a few exceptions to the USA, like Singapore, HK and Switzerland. But by and large, the USA is, when considering it’s size, is very committed to fostering business as the bearer of wealth creation for it’s citizenry. Without looking it up, in the USA this amounts to something like 35% of GDP attributable by the Gov’t. Not so in Germany, where something like 50% of GDP comes from government. Can anyone say “Arbeitsbeschaffungsmassnahmen.“

In Germany, not a single job has been created in the private sector in the last 10 years. The government is the one who should solve all of the problems, provide the jobs, tell us what to do, be responsible, etc. Frankly, I can’t see it happening with the idiots in Berlin who can’t even create a reasonable form of bottle return bill...

But this issue drives home to the idea that in the USA, it is the individual who is largely responsible for his/her: health-care, jobs, university, etc. The government is designed to create liberal (a word which often gets abused) market mechanisms which facilitate the achievement of value (goods/services). A few of Governments responsibilities here are to enforce laws which protect the rights of employees against racism, sexism, and all forms of discrimination ( which hasn’t happened here in Germany yet – look at the “few” job postings and you can openly see age discrimination ).

Regarding the devaluation of the USD, an interesting article from this week’s Economist :

http://www.economist.com/research/articlesBySubject/displayStory.cfm?story_id=3375782&subjectID=348918&emailauth=%2527%2528%254020%2524LH730%255D4%250A


AS THE dollar hit another new low against the euro, briefly breaching $1.30 on November 10th, an increasing number of economists are asking how far the greenback might fall and how its slide will affect the world economy. One of the most alarming answers comes from Paul Volcker, Alan Greenspan's immediate predecessor as chairman of the Federal Reserve. He recently said that he thought there was a 75% chance of a currency crisis in the United States within five years.

It is easy to see how this might happen. America's current-account deficit is running at a record 6% of GDP this year, and on existing policies it will continue to widen. America's net foreign liabilities are already 23% of GDP, and economists at Goldman Sachs calculate that this figure will reach more than 60% by 2020, even if the current-account deficit stabilises at 5% of GDP (see chart). Other countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, have sustained large external deficits for long periods, but America's borrowing is much bigger in absolute terms. It is eating up around 75% of the excess saving of Japan, China, Germany and other countries with current-account surpluses. If the dollar did not have the advantage of being the world's main reserve currency, America would already be in serious trouble. Instead, the willingness of Asian central banks to lend to the United States has allowed its deficit to keep growing for longer. Nevertheless, the deficit is unsustainable: sooner or later it will need to shrink, and that will involve a cheaper dollar.

A new paper* by Maurice Obstfeld, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, and Kenneth Rogoff, of Harvard, a former head of research at the International Monetary Fund, predicts that the dollar will fall by another 20% in real trade-weighted terms even if America's external deficit unwinds gradually. If the adjustment is more abrupt, the dollar will dive by more than 40%.

Many economists try to estimate how much the dollar needs to fall in order to eliminate or at least to reduce the current-account deficit. But Mr Obstfeld and Mr Rogoff argue that such analysis is flawed. America's current-account deficit reflects inadequate domestic saving. Cutting it therefore requires that American saving rises or that demand in the rest of the world increases. A fall in the dollar would be a by-product of this adjustment. But without an increase in saving, even a big fall in the dollar would make only a small dent in America's current-account deficit.

The two economists assume that the current-account deficit shrinks as a result either of increased saving by American households (because, for instance, the country's house-price boom ends) or of a strengthening of demand in Asia and Europe. Then, using a model of the global economy, they focus on the changes in relative prices of traded and non-traded goods needed to ensure that demand matches supply in domestic product markets as the current-account deficit narrows.

According to conventional wisdom, a weaker dollar reduces the trade deficit by boosting American exports. That is true, but Mr Obstfeld and Mr Rogoff argue that the main pressure for a fall in the dollar comes instead from the need to encourage Americans to consume fewer traded goods (ie, both imports and goods that could be exported) and to buy more non-traded goods and services. If the current-account deficit is reduced through an increase in household saving, spending on non-traded as well as traded goods will drop. To maintain equilibrium in domestic markets and to prevent a rise in unemployment, the consumption of non-traded goods needs to rise relative to that of traded goods. This in turn requires a decrease in the relative price of non-traded goods. This means that the dollar's real exchange rate must fall.

From this way of viewing the likely fall in the dollar, the substitution of American for foreign traded goods is less important than of non-traded for traded goods. But because traded goods account for only around 25% of America's GDP, the current-account deficit of 5-6% of GDP amounts to an enormous 20-25% of traded-goods production. Thus closing the external deficit while maintaining domestic equilibrium requires a big change in the relative price of non-traded versus traded goods, and therefore in the exchange rate.

An echo of the seventies?
The real question is not whether the dollar needs to fall, but how drastic the economic effects of its fall will be. In the mid-1980s, the greenback's trade-weighted value declined by 40% with few ill-effects in America. The world economy absorbed the shock reasonably well. Unfortunately, the authors see more parallels today with the dollar's collapse in the 1970s, when the Bretton Woods system broke down. Like today, that was a time of large budget deficits, loose monetary policy and rising oil prices, and America faced open-ended costs to pay for a war. Today, the combined costs of fighting in Iraq and maintaining security at home could easily match the cumulative 12% of GDP that the Vietnam war cost. There is therefore a risk that the global economic consequences might be as severe as those which followed the demise of Bretton Woods, with higher interest rates and a drop in global output.

If Mr Obstfeld's and Mr Rogoff's gloomier prediction turns out to be correct and the dollar falls by 40% or more, then this would, in effect, amount to the biggest “default” in history. This would not, of course, be a conventional failure to service debt, but could be viewed as default by stealth. America borrows from others largely in its own currency, so by letting the dollar drop it would wipe trillions off the value of foreigners' dollar assets. In such circumstances, the risk of a financial crisis is not negligible. As Mr Rogoff puts it: “The world is set to jump off the top of a waterfall without knowing how deep the water is below.”

The 2003 budget deficit for Germany was 3.9% of GDP. This year, the US budget deficit is expected to rise to 3.5% vs. 3.2% of GDP for 2003. I would note also that we have no treaty obligations to maintain any particular level of budget deficit as EU countries are obliged to do. Our unemployment rate is currently 5.4%, and our average time between jobs, in the event of a job loss, is much shorter. Productivity growth is roughly 2% higher here, as usual.

And Mr. Koch-Weser deigns to instruct us in fiscal policy? If we politely ignore him, is it proof of US arrogance? Or just sanity?

If foreign investors want to preserve their investment in US assets and if foreign governments want to see the US currenct account deficit drop, then they are going to either need to buy more American goods (or pay a more for goods like drugs that are purchased by government monopsonies at low prices compared to what Americans pay for them) or they are going to need to accept restrictions on Americans buying foreign goods. I don't see any of these things being necessarily popular with foreign governments.

I don't see anything wrong with the tax rate reductions. I wish the wealthy would reduce buying imported goods though. Of course, that will only happen if the wealthy have domestically produced products would satisfy their desires. I propose a national sales tax on a variety of goods that tend to be imported, like consumer electronics and luxury cars.


Actually, I tend to agree with the position that europe is doing just fine and no changes are really needed.

I think the concept of social justice and the welfare state are worth preserving at all costs.

I think the SPD is on the right course with all the reforms they have introduced. If I were a German I would not be concerned about this at all. In fact, I might go on strike to demand more pay.

All of this looks good for the Greens and the SPD lead by Gerhart to be elected for 6 more years.

CCTV,

Standardised statistics or not, the fact of the matter remains that there are about 7-8 million unemployed in Germany, representing 15-20% of the working population, 2-3 million of who are not counted towards the unemployment statistics (whether standardised or not) because they are part of "Arbeitsbeschaffungsmassnahmen" or other such euphemistically named projects, the sole purpose of which is to hide the extent of the unemployment problem.

@ James: thanks for this article from the Economist, read that too myself. I believe thos two professors are a bit too much on the gloomy side in their predictions, but thats what you have to do as an academic if you want to sell your staff. Some of it seem plausible, nevertheless.

There was another comment in the economist about the post-election reaction of the stock markets. Here is the part of the article which tacles some of the problems of the devaluation of the dollar:
>>>>
The cloud around the silver lining
Looking ahead, the sinking dollar (see article) should be a fillip to American exporters, but it will also add to inflationary pressures. Household savings are low: if these have to rise, then consumers will spend less. Corporate earnings are still growing strongly, but the pace is fading. Profit growth of 10% next year, which many analysts expect, sounds brisk but is only half this year's rate; the year after, it may be slower still. If the job market is tightening at last, then this will push up wage costs. Worse, America has a huge government budget deficit that can only be reduced by extraordinary economic growth, higher taxes or spending cuts. Worse still, Mr Bush shows little inclination to plug it: many on Wall Street hoped for a Kerry victory if only because a split between Congress and the executive might have halted spending growth.

This caution about the economy is visible in the niggardly yields on Treasury bonds. Despite the Bush victory—possibly meaning more government borrowing than a Kerry presidency—the latest, bullish jobs report and the upward path that the Fed appears to be setting for short-term interest rates, the ten-year note still yields a mere 4.2%, the stuff of fantasy for most of the past four decades. Though this spells bliss for borrowers, it may also signal that bond markets are gloomy about growth.
<<<<<

As China and other ASian countries are holding hugh amounts of American bonds in dollars, there is the dilemma how the are going to react if the dollar further looses value. Have you ever read the Clancy novel when Japanese bank start to bring the American económy down that way?? (don't remeber the title right now, sorry) Interesting reading, considering that Clancy had the right intuition about using an airliner for suicide attack as well........

@ ATm: sorry, wrong on both counts:
a) if you read the article from James carefully, it does not help a thing if people around the world buy more American products or pay higher prices like you claim (BTW, who forces the American pharmacy to sell for low prices to the rest of the world?). It has more to do with American consumer spending and savings. American live on borrowed money and borrowed time, it would seem. But no time for Europeans to hope for disaster in order to replace the USA---- we will be deeply with them in the shitter if all goes bad to worse.
b) if I am not mistaken, than the American constitution clearly forbids such nation wide taxes for the federal gov. Only the states could levy such taxes. There are enough people who claim that the Federal Income tax from 1917 is unlawful with few to the constitution. That dog won't hunt here.......

Even Schwarzenegger manages to achieve a blanced budget for california, why can't Bush?

We have higher taxes here, but we also have a higher standart of living (recent ranking).

And whats wrong about taking tax money from those, who gain wealth from the stability, security, infrastructure and predictability of our country; the amount of money involved is such that wealthy people even will not recognize it and still have a luxury lifestyle, while less wealthy people recognize every single euro they have less in their pockets. The rich are not richer, because they are better humans who deserve a higher standard of living. Their wealth does not necessarily correspond with their achievements. Sometimes they were smarter or working harder than others, sometimes immoral and sometimes just lucky. Quit the myths.

Of course, the centeral concept of socialism is equalism. It is about taking from those who produce and giving to those who do not.

It, and this seems to be a "root cause" of so many social problems, is the individual is no longer responsible, some one else is. It might be the individual who made wise life choices and decisions or it might be the state or it might be the guy behind the bush.

In Germany they call a new employment law after one single man. Hartz. He is by the Automaker Volkswagen and made this law. His name is Peter Hartz. The government asks this guy from Volkswagen for a new law so he makes it for them.
This says a lot about lawmaking in Germany !!
Think about this. Hartz IV.

In Germany they have insurance for everthing for cars, health everything. What your new dog has no insurance ?? This insurance companys have a lot of people which sit in the biggest best houses and doing nothing than manage this the whole day. Meanwhile somebody comes to your door to sell you an insurance.

Last time I saw a TV Show in German TV called Sabine Christansen ! There was a guy from a union called Mr. Sommer. He was all the time waving with his hands and insulting everybody in the round. He was calling business owners criminals and traitors of the country.

The next day I saw him (in TV I don't have enough money) in a 5 Class restaurant and everywhere nice woman around him. Good food and champagne. Of course he was only there because its is duty !!

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