Sat Nov 24, 2012, 05:36 PM
eridani (40,106 posts)
Germany's economic strengths make it like the U.S. of yesteryear
Every summer, Volkmar and Vera Kruger spend three weeks vacationing in the south of France or at a cool getaway in Denmark. For the other three weeks of their annual vacation, they garden or travel a few hours away to root for their favorite team in Germany's biggest soccer stadium.
The couple, in their early 50s, aren't retired or well off. They live in a small Tudor-style house in this middle-class town about 30 miles northwest of Frankfurt. He's a foreman at a glass factory; she works part time for a company that tracks inventories for retailers. Their combined income is a modest $40,000.
Yet the Krugers have a higher standard of living than many Americans who have twice that income.
Their secret: little debt, frugal habits and a government that is intensely focused on high production, low inflation and extensive social services.
That has given them job security and good medical care as well as well-maintained roads, trains and bike paths. Both of their adult children are out on their own, thanks in part to Germany's job-training system and heavy subsidies for university education.
For instance, Volkmar's out-of-pocket costs for stomach surgery and 10 days in a hospital totaled just $13 a day. College tuition for their son runs about $260 a semester.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! You don't know where it's been!
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Response to eridani (Original post)
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:11 AM
snot (8,597 posts)
3. K&R'd. What all our lives cd be like, if
we didn't let the 1% scrape off most of the wealth we create.
"It was too late to prevent the great Fall, but it was still possible, at least, to cut short the intermediate period of chaos." --Isaac Asimov, Second Foundation, P. 87 (ed. Bantam June, 2004; first published 1953)