« March Against Terror - May 14, 2005, Washington, D.C. | Main | Henry Kissinger on American-European Relations »


Are you talking to me?

Critisism of American business by trade unions is the only legitimate critisism of America. It's not secret that American companies treat there employees much worse than German companies do. Thus it is completely appropriate for a German trade union to be upset at the prospect of Americans owning businesses in Germany.

@Del Hoeft
OK Pamela what's my reading assignment?

An English language dictionary. Look up 'collection', 'collective', 'collectivism' and while you're at it 'totalitarianism'.

@Joshua Scholar
Thus it is completely appropriate for a German trade union to be upset at the prospect of Americans owning businesses in Germany.

If I'm not mistaken, the owners of any company in Germany, be they American or Polynesian, would still have to abide by German law.

Pamela, certainly but a certain amount of what goes on in companies is custom not law. Also it's hardly rare for an employer to skirt the law or to look for grey areas in the law to exploit.

I see a new concept has been presented about the business culture of German versus American corporations.

Before one can actually discuss this topic one has to realize the attitudes of how Germans and Americans view corporations. It is very different.

For the most part Germans view corporations as a source of jobs and taxes with the idea of profit and ownership way down the list of why a corporation exists. It is a kind of pack between the government, labor and the corporation.

Americans place ownership and profits at the top of the list and from this flows jobs and taxes for the government. Again one can see the effects of socialism creeping into attitudes and points of view.

Whether the unions or the government in Germany agree with this or not has become somewhat immaterial. The world has changed and is changing. Either Germany will change or it will be changed.

As for objections by the Germans to foreign ownership, you can do two things. More Germans can invest and become owners of corporations or you can pass laws restricting foreign ownership. The first I do not see happening the second would be extremely foolish. Of course, being foolish is nothing new for the Germans of today.

Does anyone remember the 35 hour work week for 40 hours of pay. Germans only needed to think of their own lives to see this was going to fail at some point in time. Could any of them actually live the exact same life style doing the same things with a reduction in their paychecks of 9%. I don’t think so. I know I could not. Yet, the common wisdom within Germany outside of the business community was would not be a problem.

Live and learn.

Re Joe:

Actually that system might well have have kept on working, had not the Left / Greens / " Systemveränderer" succeeded in massive hinderance and public non-acceptance of modern technology ( beginning with atomic energy in the 70´s through PC / IT / to stem cell research 2005 etc ) resulting in sharp drop in creating new jobs over decades.

The Left are a disaster.


You very well may be correct.

That is also a factor which many people overlook. This has hindered development and growth in Germany. This effect is still being felt. It is difficult for any nation to overcome bad decisions made more than 30 years ago. This is especially true when they fail to undertake aggressive corrective action.

A hidden effect of this attitude can be found in lots of areas - science, R&D, technology, medical advancements, etc. The results of this can be seen in the lack of patents, and Nobel Prize winners in science and medicine.

I guess two examples which are a bit hard to square from a rational point are the decision last week to shut down a nuclear power plant in Germany and then to buy power from the french produced by a nuclear power plant to replace the lost production. I have to assume with this shut down jobs were lost, income was lost to the utility or state and somewhere in this chain costs will go up.

The second is the use of meds under the German national healthcare program. The government under a price control scheme pushes older generic drugs. By limiting drug choices this does not allow the pharmaceutical companies to recover their R&D costs, cover the investments made if drugs which do not make it to market and to provide a profit for the owners.

This works well for the government. It saves money. It passes R&D costs to other nations where price controls are no so restrictive. These are positives for Berlin. There is also a downside to this.

What it does not do is to create an environment that leads to investment in pharmaceutical and biotech companies. At one point in time, these were two areas highlighted by Germany for international growth and leadership. This is pure fantasy on the part of Berlin and just wishful thinking.

What one sees is both individuals and corporations locate where there is an environment, which is conducive for innovation and profitability. Germany as well as much of Europe is not this location.


Actually there is no contradiction when you consider the entire picture of where Germany and much of Europe is today with the European “model”.

You appear to want to make chat points.

High rates of taxation and generous benefits are but two of the reasons for not creating jobs and growing an economy. IMD focused on other issues which are frankly much more difficult to correct. I for one believe high taxes and generous benefits are major contributors to the current state of the European “model” and do hinder the creation of a competitive environment. You may feel they are not or it would appear that you do or is this just another chat point you are attempting to make. You sound more and more like a card-carrying member of the spd.

In the case of Germany, it actually fails in all these key areas.

Just as lower taxation cannot create a competitive environment, it most certainly can hinder this creation. Of course, realistically one cannot lower taxes and continue to pay generous benefits. So these two issues are linked. Any reduction in corporate tax must some how be offset or at least this is the thinking of Berlin. Berlin and much of EU view things as a zero sum game. This seems to be a trait of socialism regardless of where these ideas take hold. The demo’s in the US have long held this view. For every winner there must be a loser in their world. They do not accept the fact that all can be winners to varying degrees.


I am not sure what you mean by bad intentions. You are going to have to expand on that.

What I personally believe and whether you call this bad intentions or some other word it is a collection of policies that have been just plain stupid. When the US and the UK were facing a major decline in their economies, just as the rest of the world was, they made some hard decisions and choices. Those who clung to the European “model” chose not to make hard choices. In fact, many of these governments made the situation worse with more restrictive laws and regulations and greater social welfare benefits.

Even today those nations who chose not to address the hard issues are fighting against themselves. They do not want to make those decisions any more today than they did then. Two major differences today are, the need is more apparent and they have less choice, as the world will make many of these decisions for them.

The choices in the late 70’s and early 80’s for the US and UK were not easy ones to make and they did create pain. By delaying Germany is going to create even more pain for its citizens. The longer the delay and you eluded to maybe this taking 25 years, the worse this pain will become.

I think you have been in Germany so long you have contracted what infects so many people there. This infection is confusing words for actions. There is now a long and growing list of talk from Berlin and from the EU about improving the economy but there is little action. So each day the citizens of Germany are subjected to one more reason as to why things are bad and what is “planned” to correct this. This is then followed by a more lengthy discussion as to why the situation is the fault of someone else.

I for one cannot believe any sane person could expect to work 35 hours and get paid for 40 hours and expect the results to be greater profits and greater job creation. You have to be on drugs, stupid or very selfish to believe this. Yet this is what the majority of Germans believed. This soon became another part of European “values” and what now seems to be a central part of German democracy. This is one of the things which the spd believes is under attack.

So Rofe, let the talk continue. Let the pace slow to what makes Germans feel secure. Let the elites attack what ever target they chose as reason for the failure of the European “model”. The rest of the world will continue to change creating the need for even more change within Germany.

This is a catch up game for Germany and it is not really going very well but then not being German I should not write that.

Read the headline below..
Those goddamn blood sucking American capitalists!!! they are buying up the cheap tickets and auctioning them off on Ebay..
Oops I forgot the Amis are 'weltfremd', they never travel overseas.. so who is buying these tickets and auctioning these tickets for a profit?
Must be the Asylbewerber.. or the Turks...
or those good for nothing Ossies..

Auf eBay werden Lidl Bahntickets teuer versteigert

Berlin - Auf der Internet-Seite des Auktionshauses eBay sind mehrere hundert Tickets mit teilweise deutlich höheren Preisen im Angebot - Billigangebote werden also teuer weiterverkauft.

I have just forwarded to IG Metall and the other addresses you supply a message that I am also sending to others here in the U.S. Here it is. -- Jon Burack

To IG Metall et al, and to others here in America:

Freud speaks of the "return of the repressed," meaning that drives and fantasies only repressed, not worked through and sublimated, later return in new and even more powerfully destructive forms, often appearing first disguised as their opposites. I think these two items together prove that a return of the repressed is underway in Germany and Europe, and sane people there better get a grip on things fast.



In my own booklet on the Holocaust, I use a book cover from the Nazi era showing the Jew as a hook-nosed mushroom. Like the hook-"nosed" mosquito here, the central concept is of a world-destroying parasite draining the vital juices of other, higher cultures to increase its own power at the expense of those other, supposedly higher cultures. I believe this is the exact mental perspective of Europe's intellectual class today, based as always on envy and self-contempt, and it is why they are headed over a big cliff.

The Germans need to remember that we are still in "Krautland" because we had to go there 60 years ago to take down the "Biggest Bloodsucker" in history (Adolph Hitler and the Third Reich). Now we are in Iraq doing the same thing, to another damn clump of shit (Sadaam Hussein). Furthermore, I could no give a shit less that some soldier photographed this "human slaughtering bastard" in his jocky shorts. The "modesty" of these tea sipping despots is damn right laughable!!

Semper Fi,

Though it may not seem so, we in America are rarely offended by the adolescent politics of the Euroleft. In fact, we see it as a source of amusement. We have come to regard frequent allusions to Nazism as a last gasp desperation of a failed and decaying society. There is nothing as amusing as the spectacle of a German trying to insult an American by comparing him to a German.

Americans have very little to learn from a society incapable of keeping itself fully employed, unwilling to pay for itself, unable to defend itself, and even unlikely to replace itself through population growth. Europe's inexorable slide into bad tempered inconsequentiality and irrelevance provokes, at most, the bemused interest of a few and is actually cheered on by the majority here in the States.

Would everyone please stop and take a minute to read the article before you start berating Ray? He is NOT saying anything bad about America. Don't be so sensitive.

I know we have been the ones that everyone points their finger at when they're in trouble, but it won't bother you unless you take the blame!

Dear Ray,
I thank you for the article. I think you did a good job writing it, and I do not think you said anything bad about America. I am sorry so many are overly sensitive. I hope you understand we've been yelled at a lot! It seems as though we have caused all the problems that ever were! Funny thing...we never get credit for saving over 50 million lives...oh well. I can live with that, because that is who we are. We do not need credit. It just wouldn't hurt if once in a while, ya know, we would get a break. We are human. We make mistakes. Doesn't everyone?

Off point. Great article.
I really like your letter. I would be proud to call you friend. I just can't read German. :)

Everyone have a great day. Be kind to someone today, and it will come back to you in a blessing.

Sorry about that. I forgot to put my name and URL on that comment right above. Hehehe. Have a great day.

The comments to this entry are closed.


The Debate

Blog powered by Typepad

June 2022

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30