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Here's a link to the article:


Note from David: Thanks. I changed the link in the posting.

Germanys political "intelligentsia" is well described here:


Americans are told over and over again how the German media does not reflect the attitudes of the German people. I think that is shown to be untrue by the fact that German politicians keep winning elections (by huge margins), by declaring loud and clear their hatred of America. The average German laps it up and votes accordingly.

Germans are easily propagandized? What a shock.

"Die nach einer Umfrage des AJC geringen Sympathiewerte, die die Deutschen den Juden sowie Israel entgegenbringen, seien ein bedenkliches Signal, sagte Berger. Die Befragung hatte ergeben, daß die Deutschen verhältnismäßig schlecht über die Geschichte der Vernichtung der europäischen Juden informiert sind.

So verbinden nur 77 Prozent die Namen Auschwitz, Dachau, Treblinka mit Konzentrationslagern. In Schweden ordnen 91 Prozent, in Österreich 88 Prozent, in Polen 79 Prozent und in Frankreich 78 Prozent der Befragten diesen Namen den ehemaligen Vernichtungslagern zu.

Darüber hinaus weiß in Deutschland nur jeder zweite (49 Prozent), daß die Anzahl der von den Nazis ermordeten Juden in Europa sechs Millionen beträgt."


It is sad that Germans are so tired of this subject, that they don't want to inform themselves.

We had this subject already many times here in this weblog and I remember that some Germans complaint about it because we hear toooooo much about it. Obviously they seem to be wrong.

@ Gabi,

The Germans who read blogs are politically interested and I'm sure a very high proportion are well informed about the Holocaust. The problem are the people who get their news from RTL2.

> We had this subject already many times here in this weblog and I remember that some Germans complained about it because we hear toooooo much about it. Obviously they seem to be wrong.

What kind of logic is this?

Your link shows that people are better informed in other countries where you hear less of it. So I would say that this is in line with my observation (not complaint!) that there can be a "tooooo much"!


So verbinden nur 77 Prozent die Namen Auschwitz, Dachau, Treblinka mit Konzentrationslagern. In Schweden ordnen 91 Prozent, in Österreich 88 Prozent, in Polen 79 Prozent und in Frankreich 78 Prozent der Befragten diesen Namen den ehemaligen Vernichtungslagern zu.

Darüber hinaus weiß in Deutschland nur jeder zweite (49 Prozent), daß die Anzahl der von den Nazis ermordeten Juden in Europa sechs Millionen beträgt."

Please don´t put too much interpretation into this again. This is a statistics / polling thing , and we know about them ,don´t we.
What is the difference between 79 % and 77 % 0r 78 % or 88 % , not much, is it ?
Again, who are they polling ?
I visited a KZ recently and expected to be there practically alone, mayby a few others walking around. The (large) parking lot was nearly full and respective the number of visitors great, much,much larger than I had expected.

Besides that the article (thread subject ) is as always, as we all know, correct.

Lots of things lead to the pessimistic conclusion :
Germany is lost. In more than one sense.

1933-45 and later the Left 1968 -2005 have ruined the country. The individual people are not bad, collectively, however, at best disappointing.

" Denk ich an Deutschland in der Nacht, werde ich um den Schalf gebracht."

agreed.. so there can also be a TOO MUCH negative exposure about the US in Germany as well then, correct?

oh my dear,

the word before last, ruined my nice post. :)

Thank goodness I didn´t write Schaf !

It is written " Schlaf " , of course.

It was Canadas fault, anyway.

It was not the last word that ruined your post. It was the dimwit who wrote that shit.

> so there can also be a TOO MUCH negative exposure about the US in Germany as well then, correct?

Well, of course! What is your point? When Germans stop listening to (or reading) negative US reports in the German media, then there will be clearly too much of it. It will no longer result in a growing or sustained rejection of american policy amongst the German people. But I don't think this is the case at the moment.
Or are you trying to say that because there is too much reporting / education / discussion of the holocaust, this proves that the current level of negative reporting on the US is also too high? That would be an example not of reverse logic, as it is the case with Gabi's way of reasoning, but of logical reasoning by semantics. You are using the different meanings of the words "too much" in order to insinuate a causal connection between two independent hypotheses. More or less like saying: "Because there is too much salt in my soup, there is also too much oxygen in the air."

Look, I respect your opinion that there is too much negative US exposure in the German media, but if you want to strengthen your position, you have to come up with facts / examples / whatever pertaining to that topic (and there should be plenty). Playing with words will not further your cause.

I live in Germany.. I can give you plenty..
1. I have often heard the comment - 'there is no Rente in America'. My parents.. middle class people.. are retired. they get 2000 dollars a month just from Social Security. Plus Betriebsrente plus private savings.
My Dad often says 'I get more money now than when I was working!'
None of my retired aunts and uncles are in dire need.. All of them own their own homes and many have a second home.
and these are typical middle class people.

yet the German media portrays it as if the elderly in America are all poor and hungry.
Are there poor retirees in America? Sure there are.. but the system here seems to be about the same.. and with the demographic crisis it will get worse. MOst Germans seem to think that all is hunky dory for retirees here in Germany but in America there is widespread poverty among seniors..
Where do they get these ideas if not from the media?
want more? Let me know.

Re : totally anonymous

A more detailed account of your views will be needed to determine if the same applies to you.

Well done, amiexpat, I see you are on the right track.

> want more? Let me know.

Sure, if David and Ray D. are okay with this (I fear it might interfere with the Comment Policy).


bitte nicht noch mehr auschwitz. mahnmal. der untergang. speer. jahrestage. ich kann es nicht mehr hören. auschwitz. auschwitz. auschwitz. es langt.


The funny thing is, if you talk to an American conservative, he´ll tell you that this kind of social security does NOT exist in the US. There is no cradle to grave security in the US, no sir! That´s socialist Europe!

I have only limited knowledge of American social security, pensions, etc. But from the things I´ve heard, the difference to Europe surprisingly seems really not to be so fundamental.

@ricardo III

Worse, you killed the rhythm ;-) !
I think correct is "...Nacht, dann bin ich um..."

social security is the name of our gesetzliche Rente.
and you are right, the differences aren't that fundamental. But enough of a difference that the US economy is more dynamic.
There is a safety net in the US, just not as much of one as Europe. In fact I would argue that the US more approaches Erhards idea of a sozialmarktwirtschaft than modern day Germany.
Unemployment benefits? I got laid off in the USA in 1995. I mentioned that in an offhand way to a German colleague and told him in an offhand way that I got a generous severance package and
unemployment benefits for six months (not as generous as here, but more than enough).
The man did not want to believe me. Severance pay? in social darwinist America?
The same conservatives you mention would be calling into talk radio in the US and complaining about how the government does TOO much in terms of welfare. I guess it depends on whom they are talking to.

@amiexpat & fuchur

Good points.

The benefit in the US over Germany are the legal facilities available to individuals and companies to provide retirement benfits.

401K, seps, IRA, roths, etc.

These things don't exist in the GY.

The US govt recognised the "social security crunch" many years ago and adapted laws to "show" individuals their path to retirment.

What I sense is that since the US govt doesn't force people to take advantage of these benfit systems, many Germans conclude that America retirees are bound for poverty. Noting could be further from the truth. Additionally, I suppose that this is due to the fact that it is up to the individual to care for himself: like in retirement, in education, health care, etc, etc... This is the "American way" and clearly not the "German Way."

My American cousine is 33 years old and lives in California, has been working since he was 21 and has, in his 401K benefit package alone, 200,000 USD already. Not to mention social security. By the time he is 65, it will have grown in value into the millions.

martina: "When Germans stop listening to (or reading) negative US reports in the German media, then there will be clearly too much of it. It will no longer result in a growing or sustained rejection of american policy amongst the German people."

History shows that it's dangerous to judge whether there is too much propaganda solely by whether or not the people being propagandized are still swayed by it. If done right, the state can apparently create an inexhaustible demand for hatred of other groups.

What's troubling about this phenomenon in Germany is not the opinions themselves (truly, it matters little to most Americans whether Germans like President Bush or not). What's chilling is the nature of the signals surrounding it; the language of the discourse, if you will:

- high unemployment and sustained economic insecurity, with German politicians distracting attention by pointing to "dangerous" elements in other quarters,

- the unanimity and energy of opinion-makers in shaping one side of the story, with no one in the media challenging the government's preferred spin,

- the incendiary imagery used to denounce the Other -- best shown by the recent magazine cover showing Americans as "bloodsuckers," a clear throw-back to the imagery used to caricature Jews, and

- the references to American "neocons" as a thinly-veiled reference to American Jews.

It's the crudeness of the way the debate is being framed in Germany that causes people to be wary. After 911, for example, in the U.S. there were no kind feelings toward fundamental Islamists, to say the least. But the idea of a major U.S. publication printing a caricature of Muslims as bloodsuckers would be unthinkable. I also saw in another thread a remark about Bush being an "uncivilized" statesman ... apparently because he doesn't speak German. That, too, has echoes of political stereotyping popular in other times.

When Germans start resorting to demonizing -- rather than simply disapproving of -- certain groups, it's not unreasonable for those who recall recent history to find it distasteful and worth keeping an eye on.

""A recent national opinion poll found that one out of five Germans believes the CIA was behind the September 11 2001 attacks on America.""

I've seen a similar (maybe the same in more detail) poll that was broken down into age groups. The youngest group (I think 30 or 35 and under) approximately 50% believed the CIA/911 connection! Interestingly, the older the group polled, the less they believed the conspiracy theory. Is it because they remember WWII? Look at the former Soviet controlled countries where Bush is celebrated. The fall of the USSR was not so long ago.

I don't remember if the poll was in Der Spiegel or Stern. The cover story was about conspiracy theories. Three 911 conspiracy books were on the best seller list here in Germany. I think there is more than sufficient evidence that the German MSM delivers an anti-American influence onto its people, especially the younger inexperienced generations.

Chris, that was well said.

Chris - the only thing I want to correct is your representation of the IG Metall Union rag as a "major publication"

Of course, it has been the major publications anti-americanism which has fostered the acceptance of such hatreds

Are there any leading figures in Germany today, political, social, celebrity - who are speaking out against the anti-americanism now in vogue?

@ Martina:

Good, well-argued comments, backed up by facts, never interfere with our comment policy, no matter what side they favor.

---Ray D.

amiexpat - you know how to counteract the view that our seniors are poor?

As them if they've ever seen any magazines geared toward retired Americans.

They're healthy, golfing, traveling, swimming, enjoying life.

Tell them they should subscribe and get back to you in a few months.

Also remind them the largest transfer of wealth this country has ever seen is just beginning because they're beginning to die off.

Interesting piece. The more interesting subtext, in my opinion, is the complete absence of positive ideas in the political discussion. That void is filled by the negative - defining policies in terms of what they are not or in terms of what they are against, the U.S. in this case.

Erik Svane had an absolutely hilarious post on No Parasan a week or so ago. He was up on the SNCF's website (French nat'l rail), developed some suggestions for improvement and politely gave them to the controller. The response:

"Oh, but that's unnecessary. That would be giving the consumer too much choice. We don't want to do it like the Americans."

So, although many on this thread are quite reasonably bemoaning the absence of diverse opinions in the cultural conversation, I suggest without actual ideas to have opinions about, it's basically a moot point.

the Stern cover 'Wild West Methode' last year came pretty close to the edge..
I agree that companies sometimes - perhaps even frequently - act irresponsibly (German companies TOO)..
but what did these morons (unions) do when Opel announced it? did they say 'lets talk, we will make concessions to keep our jobs?' No they went on a wildcat strike. MORONS.. they hastened there own demise.
and during all the Chrysler problems with Daimler, I never saw a magazine cover saying 'brownshirt methods'.

@Sandy P..
thanks for the tip.. although they would probably say.. that is just for a small portion of retirees..
I know what you are talking about though..
I have met people here that you can show them all the proof in the world.. means nothing.

heh. Get this.
>> "What amazed us most was their determined optimism, even as they showed great concern about bad things happening in the world," said Dr. Donald Louria of the Department of Preventive Medicine & Community Health at the New Jersey Medical School in Newark, which conducted the study.
>> "We found this relative lack of concern surprising, given the overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming is occurring now, and that if unchecked, could be disastrous," said Dr. Cheryl Kennedy, a psychiatrist with the school.
(Maybe because too many of us don't believe it, moron)
>> "Those in leadership positions in our society, as well as educators, should pay close attention," Dr. Louria said, adding that all this public positivity should not be taken for granted.
"We believe this personal optimism is sort of a last barricade," he said, and could prove "shaky."


Absolutely no evidence was given for that "last barricade" statement. This looks like a case of our intellectual elites being stunned that not everyone thinks as they do.

Here's the link:

@ James
I have been retired for 7 years now (age 55 on corporate pension) Now I also receive Social security.
Knowing the German system very well, I would not want to change my retirement for a German retirement.
For decades, the American corporate system has been encouraged by the lawmakers to provide benefits. i.e defined benefit plans, 401K, Keogh, etc. Private accounts range from SEP to IRA, Roth IRA,. The American worker has been inundated with all those systems for so long, it has become a way of life for most to take care of themselves in their later years. That concept has not yet been embraced by a socialist leaning populous. They still expect Government to provide for their future regardless of the fact that due to the declining and aging population, benefits can't continue at the same pace.
In 15 years 60% of Germans will be over 55 years of age. Do they really believe that 40% will take care of them?
It may provide an exit strategy (Auswanderung) that will compound the issues regarding life as we know it in Germany. After all, how much Tax, regardless of what you call it can be placed on the German citizen?
At least you can't go over 100%, or can you? :)

Martina - these commenters shouldn't have to be doing the press' homework. The never-ending repetition of exposees about an inequitable society are uninformed and silly.
It seems the existence of wealth, and the development of people from below that *into a state of comfort* seems to bother them.
Even being poor in the US is competative with being average in virtually any part of europe.

Then always comes the rebuttal - but it's easily responded to by saying simply that the concern about poverty IS A CONCERN with material things. LACK of material things is what defines poverty.

As for intellectual and emotional poverty, I still hope the government will leave that to the individual. That is, if they actually believe that there are actually thinking adults in the world.

>> have been retired for 7 years now (age 55 on corporate pension) Now I also receive Social security.
Working the numbers, I'm assuming your current age is 62. Still FYI for all non-Americans, retiring at 55 is still quite young. And good on 'ya for the corporate pension - given what United Airlines just pulled I hope things stay well for you.

My father took early retirement from General Motors in the 1970's during the first oil crisis. He was 55. He had worked for them about 25 years. Great pension, full medical. Boy, did GM get screwed. Their actuarial tables were really wrong. He lived to be 89. HA!

There has been a shift away from defined benefit plans for over a decade now. (German system is a defined benefit plan)
The administration costs of reevaluating the concept as far as Interest assumptions, mortality, work years, etc. became a monster. The 401K system does not have those problems. It is simply a money purchase plan in an individual account and no actuarial methods need to be applied.
The United Airlines situation is simply the fact that in a lower interest environment and higher longevity, it takes much more employer contribution to continue it. We do have a Pension guarantee association that will oversee the terminated plan will be administered with the funds in escrow, even though terminated. Anticipate the 401K plan to be available seperate from the Defined benefit plans. 401K don't have those problems and are safe except from the participants wrong investment choices.

That is why there has been a dramatic shift over the last decade.

(OT) My comments about the upcoming massive trade war between the US and EU.


Get out of the stock markets and fasten your seatbelts, it's gonna be NASTY.

An interesting article on what ails the Germans in the latest Spectator Magazine. (www.spectator.co.uk) They can't afford their cradle to grave hammock much longer, and are in a pissy mood. If an asteroid took out the USA tomorrow it'd only cheer them up for a day or two, and then they'd have to be mad at China and India, who truly don't give rat-shit about them.

@ amiexpat:

From the US census:

In 2003, 35.9 million people were in poverty, up 1.3 million from 2002.

For children under 18 years old, both the poverty rate and the number in poverty rose between 2002 and 2003, from 16.7 percent to 17.6 percent, and from 12.1 million to 12.9 million, respectively. The poverty rate of children under 18 remained higher than that of 18-to-64 years olds and that of seniors aged 65 and over (10.8 percent and 10.2 percent, respectively, both unchanged from 2002)

That's right, just a few million seniors, and even more children living under the poverty line. Boy, do we envy you.

DoveHunter, US moonbats attempted to drag Bush down using such numbers 5 years ago. The education scores in Texas were going down and the number of uninsured people rose while Bush was governor. (Since Clinton was president then, why wasn't this HIS fault? You'll have to ask a moonbat.)

What the moonbats didn't say was that during that period approximately 1.5 million unemployed people with no job skills and little education came from Mexico and Central American countries to make their homes in Texas. These migration patterns continue to this day.

I wonder what would happen to, say, Germany if we could magically transport a country such as Honduras and plop it down right next door, with no protected borders. What do you think would happen to German poverty rates?

--although they would probably say.. that is just for a small portion of retirees---

Ask them to show you the numbers.


Dovetail, define "poverty."

Do those numbers include SSI, TANF, Section 8, foodstamps, EITC, WIC and all the other programs available?

BTW, you just proved our point on seniors, thank you.

@ Dovehunter
Last month there was a un sponsored article regarding "Poverty".
It was interesting to note that the poverty line is determined by using 40% of the average income in the respective country.
Since the income, especially the net income in the US is much higher than other countries it would stand to reason that the US "Poverty line" in dollar amounts,would be considered in the upper echelon in some other countries.
It is all relative my friend.

I spent half the 1990s in poverty: three years in China being paid in RMB, and two years starting a business and paying myself a survival wage. Technically, I qualified for foodstamps and such...

THis isn't to say that there aren't pockets of genuine poverty in the US, but you can have lots of fun with statistics. Particularly the dreaded "child poverty" statistics: much of that is because poor, first-generation immigrants have more children than the average...

In the US, most poverty is temporary to the greater extent. People struggle, work, struggle, work and most come out of poverty. In the US opportunity is the key to our optimism. Travel the country, you will find few living with hunger unless it is by their poor choices in life. There is still help for those individuals. (I see many fat poor people in the US.) My family was poor when I was young, we had no car, we had no refrigerator, we felt no deprivation because we had jobs, food, our own humble home but no money for luxuries. We kept working, getting educated and persevering. Poverty was temporary.

I will soon retire with a generous income from SS, a defined benefit pension plan from two employers and my own 401K savings. Almost everyone I know (from all walks of life) has a more than adequate retirement income to live comfortably. I know a few elderly who have only SS but even then, they have many social programs to assist them in getting health care and medicine. A relative who suffers from Parkinsons disease and has only a small income, gets home nursing care, home housekeeping care and good health care through programs for low income individuals. America is a great country. We are taught to take responsibility for ourselves and most do. The few that suffer from adversity or make bad choices are looked after by charity and government services.

People who like this blog should have a look at the new cover of the Spectator in the UK


I just bought it five minutes ago and I'm sure it will be an interesting read.

Hi, I am a German, and have had the opportunity to live in the US and Germany, among other places. On a personal level, I have had an excellent experience with the people in America. They are warm and friendly, and often talk to strangers.

Anyways, I am a recently graduated student, and thought I would just voice my opinion. I sincerely am NOT anit-American, and I really think lots of Germans are not. Some are, sure, but then, some Germans are neo-Nazis. Anyways, it is also not that I am against Bush per se. What I am against is his policy, and way of thinking. Apart from being semi-socialists, I think it is also simply that many Germans simply cannot identify with the ideals of the Bush govt. And, in relation to a previous post, I don't think it has to do with Media Brainwashing.

Take, for example, gun control. We do not need Media to tell us that we simply believe it is safer and more sensible to have less guns out on the street. We believe, simply, it would simply make the US a safer place, and do not agree with the "right" to own a firearm. Or Homosexuality, (I am not talking about marraige, just the way the practice itself is percieved). The right typically has a view that looks down upon homosexuality, and defines it as deviant behavior. We simply do not like this discrimination, and again, it has nothing to do with media, just how we feel about treating other human beings. This further alienates us from conservative thinking.

Next, I come from a poor family, and could never have studied at one of Germanys best Universities for Engineering if prices were anything similar to what they are in the States. Lots of Americans I talked to say you should work hard, take an extra job, and not go to such an expensive University. But here, I could concentrate on my studies, had some free time, and could go to the best University and pay the same low price. If people think I am asking for a free ride, I do not think this is the case. I simply am glad I was accepted purely based on merit, and money does not play a role. Also, I am FULLY willing to "pay back" the state through higher taxes. I fully believe that in paying higher taxes, we are making the country a better place, by allowing people like me to study for very low fees. I am willing to pay higher taxes to make sure EVERYONE can go to the same doctor a millionaire goes to, even a homeless person. Because Again, this has nothing to do with Media. I simply think it IS a good thing when University fees are highly subsidised, when there doesn't have to be a single person in the country who doesn't have health insurance. And to have higher taxes to facilitate these subsidies. The Right is also for less govt involvement in these areas and lower taxes, so that further alienates me.

Of course the system does not work well when there are many people who misuse it, and that is the only negative thing I see here.

@ Kai
I need to respond to your posting. Even though you seem to be a level headed person, you need to look into several factors in your post and google for the more in depth answers. Remember, each coin has two sides.
Objecting to Bush is nothing new. In the US over 40% don't like his administration either, the rest do. Putin said something very interesting in Moskow two weeks ago: "Bush is a very good person and he says what he thinks". This is something that Germany hasn't had or has expected from their own politicians in quite a while. Here we can call our president anything we want and don't have to fear anything because of our 1st amendment rights. In Germany if you say that your Chancellor colors his hair, you may be hauled into court. :)

Your second statement regarding Gun control is also superficial. Many States have very strict gun control laws. However, any criminal can still get one,Just like in Europe. Germany and especially England where even the Bobbies don't carry guns, many people are still shot. Us wide, there is a background check on anyone aquiring a gun. Felons can't own one, but any criminal just like anywhere else can get a gun whether it is legal or not. Consider the wide open spaces here in the US where especially Ranchers need a gun to protect their lives. It is also covered under the second amendment to the constitution.
What about Switzerland for example, every adult owns a gun after they are released from the military. This is a very complex issue and can't be solved by simple statements or laws outlawing the ownership. I have never owned a gun, but would not want to prevent a law abiding citizen from aquiring one for protection.

We have anti discrimination laws that punish discrimination against homosexuality. The US has a very strict anti-discrimination law that protects everyone from discrimination against Race, religion, Age, Disability, freedom of speech, any lawful action etc. Germany has just decided not to adopt an anti-discrimination law because it is too expensive. We have had this law since 1964 and strenghtened it in 1990. Yes, it is expensive, but you have to deal with it.

As to paying for you education, investigate the following argument: In the US you can get Government, University, State and a myriad of private grants (Gifts). If you can't, you have Government backed low Interst loans that don't have to be paid back until you enter the workforce. In Germany the Government pays for it through taxation that last a lifetime. Since the main beneficiary of a higher education is the person who obtaines it (Through higher incomes), it is much cheaper for that person to pay back the loan and be done with it, rather than paying a lifetime through Taxes. One more thing: Since the Tax rates in the US are only a froction of those imposed on all sort of activities, the student in the US has much more disposable income than his/her counterpart in Europe.

Health Insurance is you last part. Did you know that officially there are over 300 000 people without Health care in Germany? Here, most Health Insurance is provided by the Employer and many people don't pay anything for themselved. That is freedom of choice. I would argue that a mandated 15.6% of a persons income, matched by the employer, is a bit steep? By the way, even though it requires a very high contribution, Germany's healthcare system as well as it's Social system (19.6% also matched by the employer) is Bankrupt.
One last thought, Have you seen that the German Government is lowering Taxes since they don't have to pay as much for Education anymore ( Studiengebuehren)? The answer is of course, NO

you don't understand the point at stake here.
It is NOT about the question: is every little thing and detail better in the U.S. or not.
It is NOT about whether you are right or wrong or it's a matter of personal liking, whatever, as regards university fees for example (I happen to disagree with you on that point BTW).

It's about
1. are Germans anti-American or not.
The answer is Yes, big time.
2. why is this the case ?
Are the German media portraying the facts correctly?
Answer: No, they are rabblerousers like the Nazis.

@ americanbychoice

there are some people in Germany who have no Health insurance. this howeever, is often the case with wealthy people who do not choose to opt for any plan. If you cannot afford to pay, the state will pay for you. Also, like I said, even if you are poor, or homeless, you can go to a dentist, or can go see a specialist, or the best doctor in the country.

Upon last checking, there were far more Americans (even by percentage) who did not have any kind of Health coverage. I happened to come across an American magazine which stated there were 1.7 million US veterans without ANY kind of health coverage. Remember, this is just taking into account the veterans. (Who seem to be the people the Republicans should have a lot of respect for)

DoveHunter: "That's right, just a few million seniors, and even more children living under the poverty line. Boy, do we envy you."

Others have already addressed the influx of illegal aliens from Mexico and South America, the relativity of "poverty" to the society it's in, and percentages, so I'm going to give you a flat number and some straight facts.

In the US, a needy woman with two children receives $32,000 worth of cash benefits and assistance programs per year.

The programs include free health care (Medicaid), housing subsidies, food stamps, tutoring if the kids fall behind in school, endless after school programs, job training, fuel oil subsidies for the winter, counciling, and a gazillion other individual items. Then there's the check... the spending money.

90% of the world would give their right arm for such "poverty"!

anyway, like I said, I am not at all Anti-American. It's like I said: it's just a difference of opinion on how things should be run. I would like to see our countries have better relations, and have great respect for many aspects of American culture. For instance the huge military effort to help with the tsunami, the large amounts of money corporations in the US donate to charitable causes, big spending on medical research (cancer cures,for example), etc. I may be a bit of an idealist, but I like to see people from all classes taken care of, whether in Germany or in the US.

Also, I don't think anybody can deny the fact that the Iraq War would eventually have to take place, and it had positive consequences, whatever the motives. I wonder myself if the Germans would have approved of the War under the same circumstances had it occured under the Clinton administration. I think people might have questioned it a little less then, but im not sure why.

sorry, dont want to carry out a conversation with myself here. Just wanted to say, by "Who seem to be the people the Republicans should have a lot of respect for" I meant that the military seems to be held in especially high esteem by the Right, so it would make sense if they were treated well. I meant no sarcasm in that phrase.

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