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An estimated 80% of the German population was, and still is, against Bush's war. I wasn't a street fighter and I oppose the war. So I can't see any conection here David. All Fisher was doing was to execute the mandate the German voters democratically gave him and that was to keep out of this ill fortuned adventure.

BTW, Germany's foreign ministry is still home of Georg Dick, who was member of the P.U.T.Z.-Group like Koenigs and Fischer: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Putzgruppe . An estimated 80% of the clansmen from the P.U.T.Z.-Group (Proletarian Union for Terror and Destruction) are celebrities in nowadays Germany. But not only former streetfighters from Frankfurt were/are harbored for the last years in Berlin. Alexander Müller, undersecretary of the Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, a anarcho-communist and comrade-in-arms of Fischer in the 1970s, will start a new job next week in Rome/Italy at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN. Rainer Baake, a friend of Müller for many years, will be the new director of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bonn: http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/vorab/0,1518,404219,00.html

@ Fridolin Feinbein,

“..the German voters democratically gave him and that was to keep out of this ill fortuned adventure.”

Speaking of fortune. I seem to remember Germany and France crying about getting cut out of American paid rebuilding contracts. Typical socialist thinking. Let others do the work, but claim an unearned privilege. And some Europeans, the brighter sorts, wonder why American leadership treats Europeans as children.

“Unfortunately, this will just kill growth completely. Europe’s present social model is unsustainable because it is based on robbery of future generations. Keeping the system in place would jeopardize the next generation’s future with an unbearable and uncompressible tax burden, and would seriously add to the risk of a total collapse of Europe. Moreover these expansionary social policies have not worked so far. In spite of the largest debt buildup in history Europe’s growth has remained weak anyway. Europe’s social model is built largely on credit to be paid back by its own children.”

Not a pretty picture. The present Europeans drafting in the wake of Americans, falling behind the Asians, fear full of the Muslim and living off, and passing debts, to non-existing future generations.

Carl Spackler

The only Germans heared complaining about missed rebuilding contracts turned out to be those who had been the most outspoken promoters of the war, which went to prove actually where there main priorities lay. But still; The greater majority of Europeans would rather be treated as children then to see their children being sacrificed, killed and maimed in a contraproductive war.

Europes social model? Good grief, what's thst supposed to be? The French or British system? The Scandinvian model or the Mediterranian? We also have the traditionel German model that dates back to Bismark, or the newly emerging Polish construction. But generally; Social security for the population as a whole is the best investment in the future any society can make. Be it as a contract between the generations for old age pensioners or a system of solidarity ensuring that all citizens get at least standard medical care. The basis of these systems is the notin that all citizens of a wealthy western democracy have a right to a basic standard of living and help in case of need, and that it is the responsibility of all, and not of charity, to ensure this. For example; You're 43, fall ill with a serious heart complaint, need extensive surgery and will never be able to work full time again. Where would you rather be? In America or Germany? See what I mean?


I am undergoing Chemo Therapy and I am glad to be in America.
Better health care, better social security and benefits from work. The American social security system is far superior to that of Germany, which is going broke because Germans have become too lazy to breed.
Sometimes I get the impression that most Germans think we have no social security. I pay half of the Germans input and get 1 1/2 more out of it. Don't forget that there is coverage provided by most employers. In America you will see millions of millionaires because of our varied pension systems (401K, Ira, etc) You won't see that in Germany, of course we are 3 generations ahead of you in this area.

So you do have a social system after all? And I always thought that welfare was the surest way of ruining ones economy, like Mr Spacker posted above. Well, I guess you'd better get the message to all those folks I saw living in cardboard boxes in the back alleys of Miami and Dallas I saw on my last visit, because they didn't seem to be on any kind of varied pension systems to me. That was just downright poverty and neglect from a society that just doesn't care. The last time I saw the likes was in Botswana. It would seem that you and your millions of millionaers have forgotten the rest of your nation.

"The last time I saw the likes was in Botswana."

This user is quite clearly trolling. If you do not respond to these clear provocations, this user will go away.

@ Fridolin:

That's right. Germany is the only nation free of homelessness and want. And Americans are all a bunch of misers who leave their fellow men to die in the gutter. Why can't we all just see the light?

Frodolin Feinbein,

"For example; You're 43, fall ill with a serious heart complaint, need extensive surgery and will never be able to work full time again. Where would you rather be? In America or Germany? See what I mean?"

Frankly, no.

The person that you described in your hypothetical would collect as a minimum $1180 per month. How many Euro's would this same person get in Germany?

Also, his company, or perhaps his union, may have a disability plan. This usually consists of a year's salary.

If this person's injury was caused on the job, he would collect a lump sum payment from Workman's compensation that would probably equate to $100,000.

Also this person would receive free health care under medicaid.

Also this person would be eligible for an apartment in public housing or he would receive vouchers from Section 8 for his rental expenses.

Again, what would this person receive in Germany?

Frodolin Feinbein:

"I saw living in cardboard boxes in the back alleys of Miami and Dallas I saw on my last visit, because they didn't seem to be on any kind of varied pension systems to me."

Bums are not necessary poor people. I just closed the account of a bum who received a $2300 per month disability pension from the Army. He died this weekend from alcohol poisoning.

It is true that bums are more prevalent in the U.S. than in Germany. Germans would consider such behavior as "unordinlich" and "kaotisch." In Germany, such people are sent to a "Heim." Americans consider hobos and bums as part of the cost of freedom. You have the right to live the way you want, even if it is in a cardboard box.

If you want to find poverty in Germany, you need to take a walk to your local Bahnhof. Or better yet, the local IKEA:


IKEA sells a beer for one Euro. Many poor Germans hang out there for the cheap food and drink. IKEA is now the 11th biggest food retailer in Germany. And yes, they sell furniture too!

By the way, the above Spiegel article answers my question to you in my last post. A taxi driver in Hamburg with 4 children grosses 1200 Euros per month before taxes. An American on disability receives $1180 per month, and pays no taxes....go figure?

Good grief.
There seems to be far more social state in the US than in Europe. So why all the fuss?

@ Fridolin:

Your last comment was deleted and you were put on hold for approval status because you questioned the integrity of this blog. We don't provide this blog and this comments section (free of charge) so that people can come here and insult us. We will now give you ONE MORE chance to act in accordance with our rules before you are permanently suspended.


When my husband was diagnosed with melanoma, there was a chance that he would have to undergo a chemo therapy that our insurance would only partially cover, leaving us with potentially $72,000 a year in uncovered expenses.

The hospital would have covered it from funds accumulated from private charity.

I am trying to help a woman who is mentally ill and became homeless and absolutely broke. She had a heart attack while taking refuge from winter weather in a public library. She had quadruple bypass surgery and is now in a nursing home/rehap center, all paid for by private charity funds. Ultimately her group home or section 8 housing will be paid partially by the state of Maryland and partially by private charity.

I have a friend with prostate cancer who is now bankrupt due to his inability to work. His expenses are also paid by a combination of New York state funds and private charity.

Most of the homeless in the U.S. are homeless because they have intractable disability issues due to mental illness and/or substance abuse. We do not have a welfare state. We do not pay people to sit on their butts. Even if you meet an income level that puts you below a certain level and are eligible for some help from the government, YOU MUST STLL WORK. And you get those benefits for only five years over your lifetime.

The difference between our system and your system is that your system is entirely redistributative. Only a very small percentage of ours is focused on that. Your system is attuned to equality of outcome, ours to equality of opportunity. Neither works perfectly.

Yes, if you are like the daughter of my sister's friend (German), you would prefer the socialist state. After college she couldn't find a job. Her parents decided on some 'tough love' and chucked her from the family nest. It's two years later. The state pays for her housing and a monthly stipend. Still no job.


So sad to hear about your husbands illness. Of course no system is flawless, but just imagine if you could have been able to concentrate on helping him cope with his ordeal, not having to worry about the financial aspects. I'm 45 myself and have been contributing into my "Krankenkasse" since I started working at 17, and although I've never been ill up untill now knowlege that my contribution will supporting folk in situations like your husband and you and that if I fall ill, others will be supporting me , makes it worth it's while. I believe that this is the way such matters should be conducted in wealthy societys such as ours. No citizen of mighty nations such as the United States or Germany should face the humiliation of becoming a begger in times of need especialy in a land of plenty. What example would we be giving to the rest of the world if we don't take care of our own.

I don't believe that charity repeals a States responsibility for the welfare of it's citizens. Unequality relys on charity. But in my experience, charity is more often a benefit to the conscience of the donator rather than to the well being of the reciever. Equality of opportunity is a gamble, and gambling should be no part of state affairs.

@ Ray D

It's your Blog Ray and I respect that. I'll do my best to keep in line, but if I do get carried away now and then please bear with me. Thanks.

You mentioned welfare. Our social security system is not welfare, it is similar to yours, only without the expensive bureaucrasy.
As for medical care, I prefer the US where my own doctor of my choosing can treat me in the hospital. I don't have to be seen by a complete strange new doctor who will duplicate all the tests my doctor did at an incredible expense. There is so much waste in the system, it is laughable.

You're right there americanbychoice. There is a lot of waste. And like any system, health systems need to be under continuous scrutiny and reform. But you seem to have a wrong impression concerning the German health support. I,as a free enterpriser for example, am free to choose from a wide variety of insurances. I am also free not to insure myself if I want to take a gamble on my health. But if I choose to take coverage, the State will contribute. If I were to be an employee,( employees are abliged to take coverage), my Firm would also support my coverage. This ensures that the burden is shoulderd by as many as possible. The pension funds work along the same basis.

The problem Germany is facing at the moment is the integration of 16 Million new citizens since reunion. This is giving the systems a tough ride, but given a few more years, things will be back to usual. Germany rose from rubbels after the war. That was a far task and but it was acommplished in due time, and with the help of you Americans of course.

Note from David: I don't know which German health system you refer to, FF. The "state" contributes to the health insurance premiums of entrepreneurs? Definitely not. There may be options for income tax deductions if your limit for deductions isn't already exhausted. In any case, you first need to produce a profit in order to gain from tax deductions...

As to your claim, that for employees the employer "would also support my coverage" - this is based on a typical German misunderstanding of economic facts. It is true that on wage statements of employees in Germany there is a split between social contributions to be paid by the employee and social contributions to be paid by the employer. But this difference is completely artificial. Both contributions are in fact labor costs, not part labor costs, part capital costs. Check the annual financial statements of any company, large or small. All social contributions are shown as part of the cost of labor, and that's what they are.

Nice to hear that "in a few more years things will be back to usual" in Germany. I keep hearing this mantra now since quite a number of years - even in this blog. Read "Waiting for Godot" for further details.

Problem : Demographics. The German Penionsystem is almost bankrupt already with worse times ahead. Soon you will have a 1:1 ratio worker/pensioner.
16 million new citizens happened in 11989, now it is only an excuse for the mismanagement of your Government. It was only a Euro/mark number. Had the economy grown this would not have been a problem. Your Government "hat das ganze runtergewirtschaftet". The future does look very bleak for Germany. There is almost no foreign investment into the country because of Government restrictions poor productivity and high cost of production. The trend lines look dim. There is more outflow into cheaper countries and all the Germans think about is strike, just like in France.

How do you think Health Insurance works in America?

Reunion is an excuse for mismanagement? That's nonsense. Let's take a fictive union between the USA and Mexico in comparison because the population figures and social development are similar. Do you really believe that the USA could have coped better in such a situation? I don't. In fact, I believe a social upheavel of this nagnitude would have led to widespread violence, murder and a breakdown in public order, such as we regularly witness during flooding, power failiures or ghettoe uprisings in the USA. Things like this do not occur in Germany. It's a matter of discipline.

Ours was the first attempt at rejoining two societys of different social background and devolopment.And I think we are doing a great job at it. The progress that has been made in the Eastern states is breathtaking. It also serves as an example to the newly emerging democracies of Eastern Europe as to what can be achieved with a little solidarity. So this is where our European future lays. We've got a whole continent to be rebuilt and reorganizen after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Europe is back in it's teens and rearing to go. And we've got all that is necessary. The British businessman and the German engineer. The Polish farmer and the Italian Cook. Not to forget French wine and those beautiful Spanish Senoritas. So anyone who wants to join in on the fun is welcome. But what we really have no time for at the moment are doomsday prophets.

"Things like this do not occur in Germany. It's a matter of discipline."

How ironic that you'd choose this post as the place to leave that comment.


Now I'm not fooled for one second by your purpose here, and quite frankly, I'd be surprised if you turned out to be who you claim to be (your English seems suspiciously idiomatic for someone who has not lived in the United States for quite some time). You are here to troll the comments section, which is evident in the superior tone which you've adopted, and was even more blatantly obvious when you compared the standard of living in the United States with that of Botswana. Nonetheless, I felt that was a particularly sophomoric comment which belies many of your claims thus far, and thus, merited comment.

We have 11% of the mexican population living illegally in the US. Where are the uprisings you are talking about? Ghetto uprisings, never heard of them. You must be dreaming when you talk about civil unrest in Natural catastrophes. I just saw where a little tornado cut electricity in Hamburg and the mayhem that followed. In the US we have natural disasters all the time, Flooding, tornados Hurricanes the size of Germany,etc. We cope with it without the dramatices of the German media.
As for Europe being in it's teenage years and thriving, sorry. I was European director for my company and lived in Germany for 16 years. I do know something about busines and economics. I am not a "doomsday prophet", but the trendlines for "Old Europe" are very poor for the reasons stted previously. The new countries of the Union fare much better. Germany is on the decline whether you want to realize it or not. Just take a look at the unemployment numbers and compare it to the US. We have 4.7% unemployment and of course that has it's own problems when it reaches 4.6%. Already companies are outbidding each other for qualified workers and that will cause some inflation. 5% is the right number of unemployment. Above you have problems and below you will have a different set of problems. Enjoy living in Germany, if the Taxes don't take most of your earnings away.

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