Why Germans Work Fewer Hours But Produce More: A Study in Culture


When many Americans think of Germany, images of WWII soldiers and Hitler often come to mind. But what many people don’t realize is that Germany is the industrial powerhouse of Europe, and is a leading manufacturer of goods for export to developing Asian nations. We don’t hear about the superiority of German engineering in Volkswagen commercials for nothing!

The economic engine of the EU, Germany single-handedly saved the Eurozone from collapse in 2012. At the same time, German workers enjoy unparalleled worker protections and shorter working hours than most of their global counterparts. How can a country that works an average of 35 hours per week (with an average 24 paid vacation days to boot) maintain such a high level of productivity?

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Working Hours Mean Working Hours

In German business culture, when an employee is at work, they should not be doing anything other than their work. Facebook, office gossip with co-workers, trolling Reddit for hours, and pulling up a fake spreadsheet when your boss walks by are socially unacceptable behaviors. Obviously, in the United States these behaviors are frowned up on by management. But in Germany, there is zero tolerance among peers for such frivolous activities.

In the BBC documentary “Make Me A German“,  a young German woman explained her culture shock while on a working exchange to the UK.

“I was in England for an exchange… I was in the office and the people are talking all the time about their private things… ‘What’s the plan for tonight?’, and all the time drinking coffee…”

She was quite surprised by the casual nature of British workers. Upon further discussion, the Germans reveal that Facebook is not allowed in the office whatsoever, and no private email is permitted.


Goal-Oriented, Direct Communication Is Valued

German business culture is one of intense focus and direct communication. While Americans tend to value small talk and maintaining an upbeat atmosphere, Germans rarely beat around the bush. German workers will directly speak to a manager about performance reviews, launch into a business meeting without any ‘icebreakers’, and use commanding language without softening the directives with polite phrases.Whereas an American would say, “It would be great if you could get this to me by 3pm,” a German would say, “I need this by 3pm”.

When a German is at work, they are focused and diligent, which in turn leads to higher productivity in a shorter period of time.

Germans Have a Life Outside Work

Germans work hard and play hard. Since the working day is focused on delivering efficient productivity, the off hours are truly off hours. Because of the focused atmosphere and formal environment of German businesses, employees don’t necessarily hang out together after work. Germans generally value a separation between private life and working life.

The German government is currently considering a ban on work-related emails after 6pm, to counter the accessibility that smartphones and constant connectivity give employers to their employees. Can you imagine President Obama enacting such a policy in the United States?

To occupy their plentiful Freizeit, most Germans are involved in Verein (clubs); regularly meeting others with shared interests in their community. Common interests in Germany include Sportvereine (sports clubs), Gesangvereine (choirs or singing clubs), Musikvereine (music clubs), Wandervereine (hiking clubs), Tierzuchtvereine (animal breeding clubs – generally rabbits/pigeons) and collectors’ clubs of all stripes. Even the smallest village in Germany will have several active Vereinen to accommodate residents’ interests. Rather than settling in for a night of TV after work, most Germans socialize with others in their community and cultivate themselves as people.

Germans also enjoy a high number of paid vacation days, with many salaried employees receiving 25-30 paid days (the law requires 20). Extended holidays mean families can enjoy up to a month together, renting an apartment by the seaside or taking a long trip to a new, exciting city.

Business Respects Parenthood

Germany’s system of Elternzeit (“parent time” or parental leave) is the stuff of fantasy for most working Americans. The United States does not currently have laws requiring maternity leave, while Germany has some of the most extensive parental protection policies in the developed world. The downside of these maternity leave benefits is that employers may avoid hiring women (with the fear that they will take advantage of the extensive benefits), and German boardrooms are consistently male-dominated at a higher rate than other developed nations, although the government is working to eradicate this trend. The financial benefits of staying home (from both Elternzeit and Elterngeld or parents’ money programs) are often too good to pass up for German mothers, and can lead to stagnant or non-existent careers.

Since “at will” employment does not exist in Germany, all employees have contracts with their employer. Parents who have been gainfully employed for the previous 12 months are eligible for Elternzeit benefits, which include up to three years of unpaid leave with a “sleeping” contract. The employee is eligible to work part-time up to 30 hours while on leave, and must be offered full-time employment at the conclusion of the parental leave. Parents may also choose to postpone up to one year of their leave until the child’s 8th birthday. Either parent is eligible for parental leave, and many couples make the choice based on financial considerations.

In addition to the preservation of the employee’s contract, the state will pay up 67% of the employee’s salary (with a cap of 1800 Euros per month) for 14 months. Parents may split the 14 months however they choose. These benefits apply equally to same-sex couples.

Have you picked your jaw up off the floor yet?


Put Some German In Your Office

The German work culture is very different from the average American office, but there are certainly lessons to be learned from our German counterparts. The diligent focus Germans bring to their working life is to be admired. Separating work from play can help us lead a more balanced life; putting the phone down after hours gives us a mental break from stressing about work, and we can return to the office refreshed in the morning. When it’s time to get something done, closing Facebook and turning off push notifications helps keep our minds quiet and the flow steady. Direct conversation can lead to increased efficiency, and more clarity of communication among team members.

Americans often equate longer hours with increased production and superior work ethic, but examining the German model makes one wonder: When it comes to time at work, maybe less really is more!

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  • Oh Germany. A study in contradictions.

    • James Santagata

      Are these really contradictions of German values and beliefs? Or do they only seem to be contradictions based on our non-German values and beliefs?

  • Barbara Nuffer

    This article states the truth. I can’t imagine ever living in the US again. Life is too good here in Germany. The Germans work hard and play hard. They know how to live. Conditions are even better in the Scandinavian countries.

    I have a permanent contract. I’d have to do something very serious or illegal to get fired. First they would have to give me two written warnings. Our health insurance policies cover 100% of our health care; we do, though, have to pay a little bit for prescription drugs.

    • wissam

      Barbara I liked what you mentioned, and to be realistic I wish I can live and work in Germany and in a environment like that… this kind of procedures and people make me feel at home, but unfortunately I am not.

    • “a little” is a very relative term – also, never try to get a replacement tooth, that can freaking kill your bank account in no time.

      • Naunet

        Although, like in my native Sweden, it may “kill” your bank account, I’m guessing it won’t cause you to go bankrupt like in the US where medical bills are the #1 reason for personal bankruptcy where “killing” your bank account then becomes a reality.

      • Rat_Fink_Forever

        Ha! My employer’s health insurance plan for my family costs the company about 20K and I pay a portion of that. Additionally, we have a $5,000 deductible (per person), drug co-pay, and zero dental and vision coverage. The big thing introduced here in the USA years ago was “co-pay” with the thinking that if people had to pay a little, they would not visit the doctor for frivolous things. With these high-deductible plans, “co-pay” has evolved to “NO-pay”. The insurance company rakes in 30K per year before they need to start paying real money. But wait! Make sure you are lucid and conscious in the ambulance so they take you to the correct hospital in your network, not the closest one to save your life. End up at the wrong one and “sorry, you have to pay the ridiculous, unpublished, inflated prices because that hospital is not in our network”!

        • Barbara Nuffer

          Here in Germany, we have no deductible and no co-pay. The government passed a quarterly co-pay of 10 euro ($12.50) but had to rescind it because of the uproar it caused.

      • Barbara Nuffer

        I agree with you on this point. I’m looking at high costs for a crown right now. On the other hand, Germans are allowed to get dental care anywhere in the EU and the health insurance companies are obligated to pay for it. Since it’s much cheaper for the same quality, many Germans are doing this now. So, there are alternatives. I’m going across the border to Czech Repubic and will pay approx. half price. We’re not prisoners here, for goodness sake. 🙂

    • Robin

      Not everything is that great in Germany. I am German and I visited many other countries. The ones that I liked best were Switzerland and the USA. When you are a talented and hard working professional in Germany, you hardly get any benefits for it in return. Remember, that you can easily pay 50% of your income for taxes, social assurance and retirement plans. But you won’t see this money anymore. You are only working for people who do not have to work as much as you do, which means that everything goes into a single pot which everybody is served by. Since we have more old people in G and less young working people, we can already assume, that less and less young people work for more and more old. All in all you will never be able to have a solid financial background, even with a high paying job (100k is considered to be a very high paying job, but you end up with 50k after taxes etc). And now tell me how to finance a house, a car and two children in such an environment anymore?
      So from my point of view, there is no benefit to work any harder in order to be better off. Many of the people I know leave the country for these reasons and go to countries where you are still rewarded e.g. for having a college degree. All others keep calm, do their 35h work (if any) or can benefit from social welfare. The question is only: who pays for it all? And why would they still do it?

      • TimpiTombi

        Robin, with 50K you can afford a car. Just calculate again… th 50% tax applies for high salaries. I am entrepreneur and paying all this taxes at the end – if it’s so bad, go to Spain, Italy or the US and try to get a job same qualification and equally paid as in Germany, and then write your complaint again, please.

        • Christian Kunert

          Academic Positions in Germany pay 80K EUR for a full professor. Starting salary for an assistant professor in the US are about $120k at the top universities…..

          If you do exelent work in Germany you get a present basket for Christmas and a warm handshake. In the US you get a promotion stock options and a $10k……

          Yes you can live ok with 50k but what car can you drive? What house can you buy? A new Golf and a two bedroom apartment. That is hardly the luxurious live you dreamed of when you heard of a $100k job….

          • Mauricio Lopez

            you’re not taking in account that if in the us if you get sick, your insurance must be really good and you have to pay anyway. If you want to continue studying you still have to pay, and in germany education and health is free until some extent.

          • That’s not quite correct. I had a very basic insurance, got cancer, and aside from having to pay to have a room for myself I didn’t pay one cent. Compare to Germany where the non-copay version is a six person room, no home care, no payment for transport to and from the appointments, etc. All that was covered by my $90/month insurance.

            Dental? Germany will rob you blind. US you can afford it.

            Education? Yes, costs money. Money most people get through stipends, scholarships, whatnot. Better than BAFÖG any day.

          • Andrea

            Excuse me? Where in US are you living? Fantasy Island maybe?

          • Fremont, CA and then Dallas, TX during that time. Switched from Kaiser Permanente in CA to Blue Shield Advantage HMO.

          • törzsmókus

            Dental? in Germany you can afford to get on a train or plane and go to Hungary to see a dentist 😀

          • Yes, and that’s a different story that has nothing to do with this “Germany is a paradise” fluff piece.

          • Gudrun Carius

            Try getting HIV in the US. There are many who don’t get treatment because they can’t afford it. That means there are more viruses in their blood and the probability of others catching their disease will go up. But perhaps YOU will never be in contact with THEM, because YOU are a winner.

          • Jutta Becker

            Jonas, please get your facts right. There are no 6-person rooms in German hospitals! Regular German health care pays for a standard 3-person room in hospitals. For 40 Euros/month insurance you get a single bedroom with the medical director attending you personally. There is excellent home care in Germany for your basic insurance. And there´s no exclusion whatsoever on any sickness you may need to have treated. Additionally, if you have to move into an old-people´s home 60% is paid through your health care and local community. Dental is not nearly as expensive as you state. And the health care regularly covers everything; you only pay 40% yourself in case of implants, ect. AND: Our education system is free. BaföG pays for the student`s cost of living only (rent, etc.).

          • Phil Ford

            I see that Jutta is that breed of German who can’t accept any criticism of her country regardless of how true it might be. Jutta there are still hospitals in Germany with “mehrbettzimmer” and yes that means as many as six bed per room with the toilet and shower located in the hall somewhere. I have pretty extensive experience with cancer care in Germany. There are good clinics, but some very bad. Some don’t seem to care at all if you live or die and the budgetary restraints inherent in a national healthcare system mean that despite everyone being “covered”, when it comes to Stage III or Stage IV cancer, the docs simply pick and choose who’s going to get a really decent shot at being saved and who is simply going to be left to die (unless you can afford to go to the US, Israel, Switzerland, etc.) The system simply can’t afford to attempt to save everyone.

          • Susan

            You are not being honest about “very basic insurance.” I’ve worked for extremely large companies most of my life. The situation you described (having cancer and having to pay for very little yourself) is ONLY true for people like myself and ONLY WHILE WORKING FOR THOSE HUGE CORPORATIONS. Heaven forbid if you get cancer after you retire, choose to go to a small company or are temporarily unemployed. Then you are screwed.

          • Hate to disappoint you. I am a cook. I worked a basic, $2 over minimum, job at the time. Since very few cooks get workplace health insurance I was lucky to have negotiated at least the low rent one they were willing to give us.

          • thelogicalamerican

            Health care is not free in Germany, its 12% of your income for your insurance. Primary care is great in Germany not so great in Secondary care. Are we so uneducated or so indoctrinated in a system that we actually believe that its free? So you telling me the German Government somehow produces health insurance through will and determination and not taxes?

          • Mauricio Lopez

            I pay almost 10% of my salary as a tax for healthcare insurance, and a 7% for the retirement fund to private companies (both compulsory by law when you have a contract) but that covers only a little fraction of my healthcare, I still have to pay for doctors, hospitalization and exams if I end on a hospital, and the bills are super expensive. Also I can’t go to any medic, only the ones my health insurance has listed, and to the hospitals they sponsor. If i choose to use a different hospital or medic they don’t cover my expenses, or they cover less from what my plan offers.

            Healthcare and retirement funds were privatized here a long time ago and they made a mess with the system. Every 4 or 6 months this tax has a re-adjustment, while my salary doesn’t. So basically I’m telling you that from my viewpoint you have free healthcare, and a very good one.

          • thelogicalamerican

            So from your viewpoint, 12% tax on your salary equals free? No wonder the world is in economic melt down.

          • Mauricio Lopez

            No, but they don’t have to pay extra and you can tell healthcare is a right in germany, not a business. :/

          • thelogicalamerican

            Except you forget that your 12% is higher than my Health insurance plan and out pocket exspence by about 5% and that is worse case scenario on my part that is with illness and maxed out deductibles and co pays. You do understand that in the United States they can not refuse service to you, even if you have no way to pay. The United States also does not have debtor prison and getting rid of medical bills is not difficult.

          • Mauricio Lopez

            I don’t live in the US. 😛

          • Thomas Graber

            You are so wrong.. I have great medical insurance PPO plan with deductible.. Sure, It cost me after insurance to via ambulance and treated for injury caused by assault over $6000 and my portion to pay is about 3,000 with insurance..You are not the knowledgeable.

          • Calvin

            And you get to live in the most hated, the most fear-filled, barbaric nation in the world…..filled with constant insecurity and anxiety.

            Beyond money is the idea of quality of life…..something difficult to explain to an American

          • thelogicalamerican

            Thats your OP there Calvin, I find Europe to be much more hate filled then the US. Have non-whites exceed 10% of the population in any european country and watch them become animals. If you are hated your doing something right, human nature is one of jealousy and hatred. Barbaric, I think the very nature of Socialism is Barbaric and cruel. See different opions, and the world still turns.

          • Jeff Blanks

            Universal health care that works better and is cheaper per person is “barbaric and cruel”??

          • Jean Claude

            “I find Europe to be much more hate filled then the US” – sorry but I had to pick myself up after falling off the chair because I was laughing so hard. You have either not seen anything of EUROPE, a fair amount of countries with very different cultural approaches, or you have lived in a box in the US. That is the only way you could have possibly reached your stated conclusion.

          • BlattversusBlüte

            That’s true. I am german, lifed and worked for about 4 years in the US and i would never do it again. I really love the americans (even thou in some staates they still convinced it is 1938 and think it is funny to greet germans with a “sieg heil”)
            and the country …. but no, thankls never again.

          • thelogicalamerican

            As a expat living in Germany, I can attest the Germans weakness is conformity and never looking to become anything better than average. Security outweighs personal gain, I can admire this quality but can not for the life of me live this way.

          • Angele Uwitonze

            Are we talking about Germany which is Europe’s biggest, World’s 4th biggest and best performing economy?
            That doesn’t sound like average to me in a World of 200+ countries!!

          • Phil Ford

            Dude, you’re delusional. And you think the quality of life is so grand in Germany vs the US? Really?

          • David Scarpitta

            Money in America is worthless if you are too stressed to do anything with it, and you are “just getting by” with your big’ol paycheck. Quality of pay does not equal quality of life.

          • Nicodemus

            It wasn’t that way when I traveled around Germany in the 1980’s…..food was cheap, it was pristine…peaceful…then came that evil witch Merkel and the invasion of the Muzzies….how much fun it must be to be re-living the Crusades and not be allowed to fight back!

          • Steve_In_Chicago

            The key words here are Assistant professor. That’s a tenured position in the US, and there are a whole bunch of Adjunct professors waiting for any of those tenured slots to open up. I’m not sure that the positions are entirely equal. Also, 80K EUR is about $110,000 US, so that’s not a huge difference.

          • thelogicalamerican

            Once again you can’t convert exchange rate into salary. A euro in europe has less purchasing power than a dollar in the states.

          • AnnoyedKitty

            “What car can you drive?” Are you serious? That is your problem?
            If you get ill – you don’t have to worry about your life or your job, because it is granted that you’ll be back in your position even after one year of illness.
            80k for a full professor (equals 100k USD) is a nice BASIC salary. You are free to gain as much money as you want in addition. Open an own business for example.
            As a worker in one of the “Mittelstand” businesses it is quite normal to get provision at the end of projects. In addition, you get have a months salary for christmas and sometimes even for holidays in july.
            Rents are considerably low if you don’t want to live in downton munich. You can rent a decent house with a garden in the suburbs for 1000€/month (with 50k to spend, there is quite a bit you can save for the 30 days of holiday) Oh – or you just buy that house with a monthly pay of around that much money.

            Stop whining.

          • Christian Kunert

            You did not get the point but exactly emphasized it. A average worker lives as good as a top of the top engineers. Great when all you want to do is work from 9-5 and live your life after that. Not so good if you are a 10 times engineer. Most other countries reward knowledge and outstanding achievements. In Germany you get punished for over achieving things. The point about being the best is that you can live in Downtown Munich, have a nice car, get to a nicer vacation, don’t have to worry if your kids or unexpected expenses……
            Germany is great in providing basic needs and this is a good thing. But Germany takes it from the people that really carry the load of the German wealth. People complain about the top 1%. As a matter of fact the problems come from the 0.1%. The 9.9% (the top 10% minus the 0.1%) Live a live that is incremental better than the middle 80%.

            And BASIC salary means maximum salary and minimum salary in the same word. There is no incentive what so ever in Germany to achieve anything*. The only reason it works is because the work ethic of the Germans is play hard party hard and you would feel bad if you don’t do whatever is possible.

            *disclaimer: It is not true that there is no insensitive or bonus etc. but any of those are rather a small extra than justifying the effort and talent.

          • AnnoyedKitty

            I still can’t follow your problem.
            For example: An engineer with a university degree and a not-so-badly-paid job in a big company. He has a life many people would dream about. Normally, he gets bonuses depending on the projects (and the risks that have been taken and so on) and a business car. The salary is enough to live a nice life with 2 holidays a year wherever he could want to go to. In addition he is able to pay for more than 2 cars with that salary (I don’t mean “buy” but “pay taxes, fuel and insurance”). When he works over hours he can convert (most of) them into even more holidays.
            That is something every average worker can have? I bet not.
            Let’s take the average worker.
            Someone who went to school for, let’s say, construction and metal working. That worker wants a family, a car, maybe a house on their own. If so, that house needs to be a bit off the city or maybe inherited. (Inheriting a house is possible because we build houses that actually last over 100 years) That worker wants to have a holiday a year with the kids. That works, he can do that. But he can’t afford much more than that.

            And now, where do you want to get more money from? That “average” worker? No. He deserves free time and a struggle-free life just as much as anybody else. How come that some people are never satisfied?

            Is it just not fair, that that person gets more percentage of their money as someone better paid? Or is it because they aren’t as “smart” as the ones who went to university?

            I work as an engineer. I am the one who takes the risk, I am the one who makes the plan. And I get paid for it. The workers that follow my plans and instructions do their best to contribute to the project – they can do things I can’t! And I am happy that they are there. I could not do ANYTHING without them. My salary is higher because of the risk and whatever. But that does not mean that they are second class people. They are great and I would hate to cut their salaries just to afford a third car.

            Maybe the question should be: I pay 40% taxes. Where does all that money go to? This, that, church.. and the social system. Oh, we could cut that. (wait, that wouldn’t be a smwart idea) We could cut it for at least the one who don’t deserve it. The one who just never want to get their asses out of bed to go and look for a job (Wait. better idea, but how to tell? Still no way to go)

          • onetinkerbell

            Not to mention public transportation in Europe is far superior to that of the US, so a car isn’t always a must.

          • Nina Tröster

            Thats just what I thought while reading all these comments by Germans. Compared to other nations we do live in paradise when it comes to social matters. If you (as a German) talk to anyone from the US or other European countries they just won’t believe we have general free education (someone said “yes, it costs money” – okay, we pay like $350 per semestre for books and university facilities), a working healthcare programme you don’t have to be rich for in order to afford it.
            Sure, our system is not perfect. But how can you possibly complain about not being able to buy the most expensive Mercedes because taxes are too high? While anywhere else in the world people are envying us for having everything we want without too much struggle. But I guess that’s our German attitude, never appreciating what we have, always complaining about everything. If all the Germans could finally value our achievements we would recognize the (almost) perfect conditions we enjoy in Germany.

          • Phil Ford

            I’m not complaining about not being able to afford the most expensive Mercedes (and it’s amusing that you think of it in those terms… very German). I’m complaining about the ability to retire and enjoy life when I’m maybe in my mid-50’s in the US vs working until I’m 65 or 70 in Germany just to get my kids through college. There are those of us for whom this is a very real argument when you compare the two systems.

          • Tina

            Dear Phil, I agree with you that D is not being nice to the better off. Maybe you should get your head around Steuerhinterziehung….that’s what the rich germans do at least…but honestly: if D frustrates you so much – correct me if I’m wrong – why do you live there?

          • Phil Ford

            Because the alternative would have been watching my kids grow up on skype. Actually D doesn’t frustrate me that much. II’m just tired of people like the author and Jutta selling the Koolaid to people who might not know better. Germany’s fine but it’s not some kind of Nirvana as some would preach. It has its drawbacks for sure.

          • thelogicalamerican

            AnnoyedKitty, converting exchange rate is a inefficient model. Value of a currency is only valuable when doing international business or traveling from one perspective country to another. The Dollar in the US on its own home soil has 7% more value of purchase parity than the Euro does on its own soil. This is currency speculation at its finest.

          • AnnoyedKitty

            That wasn’t my point, I was just answering to Christian Kunert

          • WilErz

            Your claim is very far away from reality. According to OECD data for 2013, the purchasing power of 1 euro in Germany is equivalent to the purchasing power of 1.28 dollars in the US. 80k euro is therefore worth a bit more than 100k US dollars. (Of course, taxes are higher in Germany, but public services are much better, and I think most Germans consider this a good exchange.)
            Not only is the euro worth more than the dollar, but because average inflation is lower in Germany than in the US, the value of the euro relative to the dollar increases over time (as the value of the mark did before the euro). If you go back to 1995/6, the purchasing power of one euro (converted to marks) was roughly equal to the purchasing power of one US dollar. Since then, however, the euro has had greater purchasing power than the dollar, and the gap steadily increases year after year. For your strange claim that a dollar buys as much as 1.07 euro to be true, you would have to go all the way back to 1980!

          • thelogicalamerican

            You don’t understand basic principles of currency than or economics, and the Euro currency wasn’t around in 1980. A currency strength doesn’t directly correspond with purchasing power in a currencies home market or Foreighn markets as well. What exchange rates do is the exchange of one currency to another, based upon the worlds reserve currency the US dollar. Let me make it simple for you to understand, in Germany you use the Euro the United States the Dollar. In todays market in both the US and Germany, one dollar in the United States will purchase you more goods than one Euro will in Germany.

            Also what public services are better exactly? Im confused at this one, as both a American and German, who has lived in both countries. I don’t find public services superior in either country, there both adequate and fees for things seem to be the same and delivery of services both run like clock work in both countries. Just wondering exactly what you are talking about.

          • Average college tuition fees per year are:

            Germany – US$6,285

            USA – US$28,500.

            It is 4.5 times more expensive in the USA. Say you want to provide for two children, that is $12,570 vs $57,000? An $100k job won’t cut it if you also want a luxurious live.

          • jetjin

            Average tuiton fees per year in Germany must be near to 0 by now (at least in the public universities whic are the common ones). The last State abolished tuiton fees the next semesters. You still have to pay something around 50-100€ per semester for administrative costs and student organization + depending on the university you are attending something around 200€ for the Semesterticket which allows you to use public transportation in your town.

          • Paolo Lim

            It’s not just more money. Let’s say for the sake of argument you get more money in the US for doing a similar job to the one you did in Germany. The question is will you have TIME to enjoy what you earned?

          • thelogicalamerican

            And the US degree is a much better value overall, in international business a US degree will get you much more salary compesation.

          • Barbara Nuffer

            Nonsense. Where do you come up with these inaccurate assertions you’re posting on this site? I’ve taught at a German university and I work in the education field in Germany. I can tell you that the level of education is much higher here and that a German university degree has much more value than one from most US universities. A German university degree is highly respected throughout the world.

          • thelogicalamerican

            Yeah so does my family, the system is not a good system, fluff on your part. German education is confusing and follows a outdated model not recognized by most of the world. Don’t post BS for the sake of BS. Germany has many problems, but your blind allegiance and fanaticism for ignoring problems in Germany reminds me of National Socialism.

          • Karlheinz Temmes

            I read this discussion with a lot of interest… my opinion is- you are all right 🙂 why? Most of the different “high potentials” have visited an American college. okay. I think this is from my personal view -sorry!- only due to the rankings not to the value of the education itself.
            But more important- the average(!) education in Germany is very high. Not only for engineers also for the “normal” worker. And this is exactly the reason where the power of the German industry comes from. Germany has too few engineers, that is right- but one reason is, that a lot of other nations give their “engineers” their title for free. Not free in terms of money, but in terms of qualification.

          • thelogicalamerican

            For a professor in the German education system, you know very little about higher education and the standing that these schools hold. There are is not one German University in the top 100 while 72 of the top schools are from the United States. The rest are from around the world and non are German.

          • Gudrun Carius

            The Ivy League is certainly better than the german universities. But the normal University or even Fachhochschule provides education that can give you a 50-80kEu job in Germany, Japan, China, USA or wherever you like. That is what my brother, my cousin and my brother-in-law with their engineering degrees got -without having debts to pay, as their education was at FH Regensburg, TU Kaiserslautern, TU Braunschweig.

          • thelogicalamerican

            And Gudrun you are correct, you can get a job with these degrees, no doubt. As I believe that most universities teach fluff in Germany, France, Canada and the US. There is a major problem though with German degrees in the international arena, they don’t follow international protocol, there not flexible in this regard. Do German Univeristys teach there students excellent skills no doubt, to say they tesch above there American counterparts is absurd, no college ranking system supports this. All I am saying is don’t act like Germany is the holy grail, because it isn’t.

          • thelogicalamerican

            Barbara you sound like a National Socialist, than can you explain the phenomenon of 80% of the top 500 universities in the world being in the US? Why Germany has a poor showing in Higher education rankings done by third parties with no national affiliation? I would expect somebody from academia to come up with such absurd statements. You have probably very limited experience in the Private sector, I have both lived and worked in Germany and the US. And a college degree from the States is much more preferred internationally. Most of Germanys most powerful people in Buisness was educated outside of Germany. Your arguments are shallow. There is this thing called google you can research anything you need. Just cause the answers are not convent for you does not make them true or relevant. I am sure that since my screen name is Thelogicalamerican that I must be 100% American. I hold both American and German citizenships, married to a German national and live and work in Germany. Sorry I don’t just follow blind statements, I actually research things. Opions are irrelevant, numbers produce fact. And the Numbers don’t support your position on anything. Does Germany do well for itself, YES it does! Is Germany a first rate nation, Yes it is! Is Germany a nice place to live, Yes it is! Is Germany superior economical or education wise to the United States, no it isn’t! Once again the numbers don’t lie. I get it you like Germany, you think its better, great for you. I actually like Germany as well, but do I recognize that we as a country have some major problems and flaws and like to pretend to think we don’t, absolutely.

          • Thomas Graber

            Well, I might add that German’s graduates will most likely find jobs and not be over their heads in student loan debt, like today’s graduate students in the U.S. You sound like an arrogant person. You may want to check your grammar and spelling, as well.

          • Duygu Altinok

            Here’s a real German speaking?!?

            I’m PhD student and you’re dead wrong about educational reputation.

            An MIT, Caltech, Stanford or any Ivy League degree has no equivalent in German academia.

            I don’t how you concluded that average German college education is better than American counterpart.

            However all of my German PhD student friends are after finding a position in USA. Opportunities and positions are better for academics in USA definitely.

          • Tobi

            yeah 20 years ago

          • Thomas Graber

            Wrong here…

          • Barbara Nuffer

            You’re posting inaccurate information. They tried to introduce higher tuition fees in Germany, but there was so much resistance from the general population that the government rescinded the law. The customary fee at most universities is 50-100 euros per semester plus maybe a 200 euro student organization fee.

          • So, it is actually even cheaper? The gist of the argument remains valid right?

          • Christy

            Or in Australia with that kind of money you’d be a renter for the rest of your life with an ’02 Ford.Germany sounds pretty good, especially since there’s still a pension when you hit 70 and get around to retiring

          • Werner Walt

            Dear Christian,
            I don’t share your thoughts about the 50% burden. If you take in account what benefits you get as an individual and society in common – this definitely pays off.
            Three thoughts I would like you to think about:
            1. The more money you make, the less social costs you pay.
            2. Money makes more money. That means, that people who earn a lot and save a lot have the privilige to pay little tax (25% + social cost) for the profit.
            3. Socially well off countries are stable societies. While you may see people on wellfare in Germany amongst us you might not be able to see the same “set of” people in the US – cause many of them are locked away in prisons.

            And yes, I pay those 50%+. And I’m happy to be able to share, to pay for the old who built up this country after being smashed, to give others the opportunity to study and getting a chance, to drive a Golf though I could afford big.

            What you relate to is something else. Being rewarded for hard work, being recognized for doing great things, going the extra mile. Money is not the greatest motivator. Money doesn’t buy respect. Neither does it buy happiness. So there might be another way.

          • TimpiTombi

            The scientist compares average scientific positions (80k) with academic positions at top universities in the US (120k). What’s not obejctive here?

          • Christian Kunert

            I am comparing an end senior position at a top German University to an entry level position. And it is not about averages but about what you can achieve.

            That the 80k is the minimum and the maximum and your “Bonus”. Germany is great if you are average or below average but there is no point in being exceptional good and that is the whole point. And Germans kind of ruin them selfs right now by telling them selfs you should be frugal and you don’t need that money …

          • TimpiTombi

            Yes, but it’s not obejctive neither. As you should compare the number of available positions. Guess Harvard is hiring not as many scientist as persons interested. The median would be a more accurate measure. So from an academic point of view neither top salaries nor average salaries say everything.

            What is the message behind this numbers? It seems that in Germany the availability to good (but not as top as Ivy league) universities is broader. The smaller the gap the more equal the chances for both: students and academic staff.

            If you belong to the top 5% group: my honest congratulations. But it doesn’t say anything about general career chances, as chances are weighted with probability 🙂

          • Christian Kunert

            Well in this case Germany looses even more for multiple reasons. 1st German Professors start at about 45, assistant Professors with tenure track at 35 in the US. Then there is no backup in Germany. In the US you can become an associate Prof at a liberal arts collage and still make a living. And it is not only the Ivy league. All top state schools pay in that range Plus all named private research Universities. So when it comes to Professors we talk about are you in the top 25% not just the top 5%. But if you are a Professor in Germany you are on the level of the top 25% making the number of available positions way bigger in the US.

            In academia the chances in the US are way better than in Germany. The good thing is that in Germany you don’t have to compete for grants in order to do top research and you always have a decent chance of getting brilliant students. And yes once you are a Professor your live is quiet and safe and decent.

        • thelogicalamerican

          Salaries in the United States are actually higher, so whats your point again? Here is the Oecd rankings http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_average_wage
          The US is number 1 overall, Germany 16th, there is actually a huge gap between 1 and 16th. My wife paid 46% in taxes last year as a elementary teacher and the pay is not that great, so I don’t understand how you can say that the average German doesn’t pay taxes. Take in consideration that I paid under the US tax system last year and paid a total tax liability of about 16%.

      • TimpiTombi

        oh, and another remark: “there is no benefit to work any harder in order to be better off.” Yes, there is. You keep your job and you are valued person in the company. Those who only pretend are gone faster than they ever imagine. Also in Germany.

        • Adele

          True that. Robin’s complains sound like the typical bored-employee’s ones.

        • OttoMaddox

          You can’t eat “valued person.” Talk is cheap. Perhaps a few “attaboys” instead?

          After what they did in WWII, why would anyone want to emulate the Germans?

          • that was 70 years ago, get over it and dont be such an asshole.

          • OttoMaddox

            If only the Left would think the same about this country, knucklehead.

          • carolineredbrook

            Your statement is harsh. My uncle didn’t ‘get over” being killed by the Germans. He’s still dead. Although, 70 years later his siblings are still alive and well!

          • this has nothing to do with the argument we’re having. NOTHING. if you want to blame a country for something it had to endure more than half a century ago, then fine. be my guest. but dont give me this bullshit. pretty much everyone who wore a nazi uniform back in the day is DEAD. and most certainly not a single one of those people are in any capacity responsible for any kind of legislation in germany NOW.

          • Kaja Braun-Jacobs

            I’m sure that the native americans, the black americans, the vietnamese and the japanese also don’t get over being killed ny the Americans.

          • nikhil

            well the culture and values continue for generations….they are the same a$$ holes

          • Niklas Persson

            I’m going to take your argument and use it against something else. Perhaps this will make you realise how silly it is.

            70 years ago, America forbade people entry into cinemas and forced people so sit in the back of the bus based soley on the colour of their skin.

            Why would anyone want to emulate Americans?

            Countries can change a lot in two-three generations.

          • Georg F B

            @OttoMad… a reply to mirror the nonsense you state in your WWII statement: After what the USA did to… hmm, nearly everyone in the world, during the last 200 years… starting with slavery and native american… who would like to have any contact to Americans?

            Now to be serious again:
            There is a reason why the percentage of german technology or cars in the USA is higher than the percentage of US vehicles in Germany. And the Germans have not the “buy german” attitude like the americans with their “buy american” behaviour. And be assured, US vehicles are quite reasonable in Germany.
            Bottomline: Succes beats all discussions

            Final advise: Germany as well as the USA consider themselves as free countries. So, go wherever you feel good and stop making things mad.

          • Ghida Traboulsi

            They have done their deeds, fixed it, they are paying taxes to make it up. They have Jewish museums all over the country. They pee in their pants and become insecure if Israel is criticized. They do not dare research the topic more as they are scared of their past. Give them some credit. The victims however, went to another country, got help from the US, invaded it systematically, did a few mass killings here and there, and stole it. Now the Palestinians (usually referred to as Arab animals by extreme Zionists) live in apartheid. In this case, the victims are treating other people in the same manner they were treated. Oppressing because they were oppressed and still, Europeans would rather pee in their pants instead of having an opinion and disagreeing with this modern age oppression. Only the Brits have showed courage.

      • Archangel.357

        Yes, there IS a benefit.
        It’s called “a functioning society”. Of course, if you want to be a selfish git, America with its legions of idiotic Ayn Rand worshippers is perfect for you.

        • donlpowers

          You asshole socialists can never deal with people having a different outlook on government than you.

          • FrankenPC .

            You should really think hard on what America would look like with no socialism embedded in its policies. It would be a hellish poverty stricken landscape without police, fire, roads, and rational insurance and utility costs of any kind. The poor, sick, and elderly would be starving and dying on the side of the street.

            And that would eventually lead to revolution conditions. Which is bad for all of us. Socialism is much more than entitlement. It’s a critical form of social balance. And if you are a philosophical person, it’s the expression of human compassion which is what basically separates us from being animals.


          • donlpowers

            FrankenPC, you’re just another brainwashed, useful idiot for the socialist/statist scum that wants to control every aspect our lives. You’re pathetic and the enemy.

          • FrankenPC .

            You’re not normal.

            You’ve gone too far.

            People can see that there is something wrong with you.

            You’re not normal.

            Come back to center.

            You’re not normal.

          • Ghida Traboulsi

            hahaha! I love the part about Fox News, my goodness, these people should read more. There are clones of such individuals in certain areas in the US. Where should he start, definitely not Wikipedia, I do not know what to recommend.

          • Ghida Traboulsi

            Okay, another Fox News brainwashed individual. Please, read read read, for your own sanity read and travel more. If you are happy the way you are nonetheless, there is nothing one can do, you’re happy. But you’re voting to get these people into Congress, you’re bombing other countries under a fabricated good/evil pretense and somehow, I feel it concerns me that you do so because US policy is all about expansion and amassing resources.

          • Ghida Traboulsi

            He doesn’t know what you’re talking about, don’t explain, it is futile.

          • Grégoire Denis

            “socialists” I bet you are afraid of this word since you heard it for the first time in Fox news but never even gave it a tought

        • Smarter

          What is so non functional about the US? I have a degree, I live in a major city, I bought my first home (5 bed 2000 sq ft) when i was 21, it’s now paid off completely and I have no mortgage. I have a high paying job and work about 40-45 hours a week, my husband the same (same age as me within 2 months, but he has no degree). I get 3 weeks of vacation, my husband gets 5 (no fair right?!). We enjoy traveling the world, going on exotic vacations, and coming home to our perfectly remodeled home that has been customized for us. We can choose to retire around age 40 or we can choose to have kids and try out that lifestyle. Are you telling me it can be better than that in Germany?

          • Römus

            Truly, a very inspiring story. Thank you for sharing.

          • Nazım Adaklı

            Yes of course, because a single case where USA system functioned means there is nothing worse about it compared to Germany.

            USA has a few millions of homeless people. It is forbidden to be homeless in Germany.

            In USA the culture and economy makes you have to compete for every achievement to the point you get so selfish to ever care about others’ well being (explains why people also want low taxes to gun rights and object to Obamacare etc. OR the lousy parents that send their children away when they don’t have financial self sufficiency), Germans do their jobs just as perfect without the uber competetive athmosphere, which contributes making North EU countries top on any list that measures happiness by country or .

            Even with far more amount of poor people, USA manages to make their citizens consume so much to the point to screws the planet’s sustainability more, hurting anybody in the world. For example, Danes have 4/5 of Americans’ GDP/capita, yet consume 1/2 of the energy that Americans do. If the whole world consumed like Americans did, we were already facing billions people dying to climate change and other environmental disasters. Here is another thing wrong with USA.

            This list can go on.

          • Guest

            That’s actually a really good point. It is highly competitive and only the “best” survive. I know many people who failed to succeed from much better situations that my own. I think here you have the “ability” to achieve greatness and everyone has the chance, but if you can’t compete or lack business skills you’ll likely end up in poverty. As a country we then turn around and see some groups of people as “inhuman”, right up until I read your post this seemed totally normal to me.. but I think that opportunity isn’t everything and you are right in America we don’t really do anything for those we think of as “American failures”.

          • Smarter

            Great point. America is place where we all have the opportunity to succeed, but only the most competitive and business savvy people achieve a good life. We tend to think of the poor as self-inflicted damaged people and there is little tolerance or aid given to those who can’t “help themselves”. There are many temporary programs but if after X months if you aren’t a productive member of society it’s welfare and little else. I was just lucky enough to figure it out within that time frame so some of my schooling was paid for. The successful fight to not have to pay for the poor and the poor who lack business ability really don’t have many options. It’s survival of the fittest in many ways- money, power, even physical beauty for women. The rich don’t associate with middle class and middle class don’t associate with the poor. The same goes for beauty (often associated with wealth), you wouldn’t see a group of beautiful women who are friends with less attractive ones. I’ll agree it’s a sad way to live, but doesn’t this exist everywhere to some degree?

            As far as consumption I wonder if that’s broken down to individual citizens or if it includes corporations. I’d imagine our high consumption rate comes from business waste more so than families. In my travels I see most families in countries like Japan, Brazil, Canada, and Australia live basically the same as I do. However we all know how irresponsible American companies are toward people and the environment.

          • Nazım Adaklı

            For consumption the picture is the same when you look at the waste produced per household or any such indicator.

            You are right that the energy consumption is also about both private and public companies. Both households and companies contribute to it. It is known that US households consume more energy overall than EU households. On the other hand, companies are also made of people. If a German company is sensitive about the planet, it is because of the education and culture their top people have received plus the strict environmental rules implemented by state. Just check photos of Berlin and NY at night and you’ll notice the difference. USA has to not to implement the Kyoto protocol to be able to sustain its citizens’ consumption. Or increase coal power plants’ share in power production to %40 in the year 2014. Because the richest %0.01 propagated and established this selfish consumption culture since the end of WW2. Because they have been so successful in getting richer at the expense of everyone else’s welfare.

            I am not saying that there shouldn’t be rich people. I am saying that (a) there shouldn’t be poverty to the extent of homelessness, and (b) no amount of any kind of freedom can justify the immense income inequality of income between top %0.01 and bottom %50 in US. The question whether this %0.01 deserve this money is a philosophical, complicated question. But if another million $ doesn’t mean much to someone besides another figure in their bank account, that is where we should think about taxing it to help the poor which in the end will also benefit to the rich in the ways they don’t yet know, in the various forms of living in a health society.

          • Smarter

            I read an article once from some wealthy .01%ers. It talked about how some of them want to be taxed more, but others don’t. It said that if the USA didn’t keep the taxes low for the wealthy they’d shelter their money in corporations. If the corporation taxes were raised then all the corporations would relocate to other countries and leave America jobless.

            I have to agree by the intense violations of human rights and destruction of the environment we see here I doubt these companies have any loyalty to the USA aside from the tax benefits we offer. I think the US might be holding onto those companies as our only way to maintain our “superpower” status, afraid that somehow we’ll be invaded or fail without them. I personally could do without living in a country labeled as the “watchdog” of the world. Unfortunately I am so inept at language I don’t think relocation is much of an option for me.

          • Asa kaye

            All I can say is travel around a bit. You have no idea how good you have it here!

          • Cecilia Watt

            Corporate greed in the US is ruining the country.

          • mjayace

            Some of the taxes issues come down to distrust with US Govt. Why would we want to pay more into a system that wastes incredible amounts of money and is far LESS efficient than the private side? This article is about efficiency, the US Govt is the model of inefficiency.

          • Guest

            Robin, come to India. Here most people don’t pay any taxes. Those who feel like working work. The rest relax. Heaven?

          • Arvind G Balasubramaniam

            That is so true. I could probably retire by 40 with my pathetic (by western denomination) salary. It’s even worse in the south in Tamil Nadu. The average guy here gets almost everything for free via govt. handouts, so it’s really hard to find labour. Go to any construction site and you’ll find 75% of north indian immigrants. We used to have a hard working culture in TN but our pseudo-socialist govt. is spoiling a generation.

          • Marshover

            Most people dont pay taxes, where did you get that from ? Tax laws are strict in India for those who have proper official bank accounts. The only loop hole is when you have a business in which you deal in cash. But then thats true for all countries I believe. However in India, if you are an educated person with a degree, then I assume you will be working in a proper company ( an MNC or even an SME), where the owner or the partners themselves operate legally. If thats the case then there is no chance that you will be getting your salary in cash. Your salary goes directly into your bank account and if thats the case then there is no way you can get away with taxes. You HAVE to pay them. Also, in most of the developed cities like Mumbai, Delhi, etc even local businesses are now transforming into dealing only through proper accounts since their clients are doing the same and tax inquiries are getting strict.
            Coming to your second point, I wouldnt disagree completely. Yes, those who feel like working, work and the rest relax. I think thats true but then that doesnt depict the entire picture. In India, the competition for everything is very very extreme, like that in China. But then China I think has better institutions than India. So if you are smart and are willing to work hard, then India can give you the same lifestyle that you can get anywhere on earth. However if you are lazy and not willing to work hard, then you’ll suffocate in India, thats because although you will live a decent life, but your lifestyle will suck big time and you will be able to see your peers and friends living a way better lifestyle right in front of you, and be assured, that sucks big time.

          • Mukkavilli Srinivasa Rao

            I completely agree, but the point is what is Indian govt is doing with the tax payers money? is it properly spending? and second q is how a tax payer is benefitted by paying his due tax? any advantage during his old age, free orphanage, or free medicals?? thats what we are all pained about.
            we pay taxes as per the rule book. but what is that we get in the end. Even ambani has to pay for his medicals, govt wont provide a free MRI scan for him though
            he paid crores to indian economy.

          • Cecilia Watt

            How does that work? How do they live and eat?

          • Nazım Adaklı

            And by the way, you would be amazed to the extent that the “competition and ignorance for the worse off” culture you explained, doesn’t exist, let’s say, in Denmark. I lived in there for 6 months. You’d be surprised how people cared for each other, bosses have their room doors always open, competition and selfishness is frowned upon etc.

            You don’t have to be a communist, low gdp country to tax the rich, beat homelessness, provide for the young, or abolish competetion from culture. It is just fine you establish a functioning political system, educated population and middle-sized company based economy so that all of these would keep the richest %0.01 in check to not to cheat.

          • Wolford Billy Frank

            That is put right. I lived in Norway and always visited Danemark it’s peaceful and no one cares who has more. And everyone is happy. American leadership will make people belive such countries don’t exist. They tell people its communism. .

          • Priszilla

            Or try Hong Kong. 66% of the population does not pay any tax. There isn’t even VAT in HK. Yet every citizen can get free health care. Only need to pay $12 for an A&E visit to keep A&E free from from paper cuts and drunks. Maximum tax rate 15%. On the other hand 2 years jail for the employer of illegal immigrants.

          • mjayace

            Denmark is the size of Dallas- Fort Worth, and about 90% White Danish people. Great comparison.

          • Cecilia Watt

            Still sounds great!

          • Grégoire Denis

            I moved to USA with my 2 bags and a PhD.
            I make 135k, pays 32% tax
            (which 20% of it goes to the drones and other seals warriors), and I can
            afford only a 1 bedroom in the area I am living in (Silicon Valley)
            while the landlord is likely enjoying a 10-15% tax overall. It took me 4
            years to get a green card and the great USA consider I am not worth to
            be loan money compared to a great american that has been taking credit
            cards all over his life. I have 15 days vacations.
            Now if I had been
            buying 2 years ago (with a visa and no credit record), banks would have
            make me won 5 times what I can save in a year working hard – just using
            their virtual lending money power.
            America is quite like Las Vegas.
            Gambling. Some are lucky, some not, depending on their choices and when they did their choices. It does not seem to me to have anything to do with being
            smarter or competitive.
            I did my PhD in France, earning 40k, with similar
            downpaiement than what I have in USA, I bought a 1 bedroom in downtown
            of the 7th city of France in a 1700 historic building. I was just 25. I
            had 40 days vacations. I am son of a plumber. I did not have to take a
            loan for my master and PhD.

            Pick your poison.

          • Asa kaye

            Agree. Vote with your feet. Leave..just don’t try to bring the old cultural dogmas we left in our home countries to this and expect the country to adjust to us than vice versa…

          • Grégoire Denis

            “Love it or quit it”, really ? so much for the freedom of expression. Disagree. If I go back to France I would be happy to keep in me and propagate the good things I learn by being in the USA. Does that mean I want France to become USA ? of course not, and vice-versa, I am not asking USA to adjust to me. But simply I pay taxes in the USA and contribute to the economy, I cannot vote but at least I can give an opinion. I think there are a lot of Americans that would benefit of some of these “dogmas” and lot of Americans think so as well. Also, American companies have no problems to impose their own dogmas to others (example: google do not pay any taxes to european countries despite making tons of money there), of course it is “legal” but this is disgusting, and clearly a big danger for all democracies as it is significantly empowering just a few persons and groups in the world.

          • Asa kaye

            No. I did t mean it that starkly. Apologies for that. I am with you as far as looking at new ideas. But this idea of reducing work hours, having a more “socialistic” system is in my opinion against the very core of American experience. The focus on individuality, self independence, extreme hard work, big bets are what made the USA what it is. ..

          • Wolford Billy Frank

            And it’s jails are full , the poor work harder and get less, people work 40 hrs a week for years but are still poor , you definitely need a gun for protection and people including children are homeless. That’s what America is. You will be hard pressed to find problems with Germany. American veterans can’t even access medical care …. most of them can’t pay their rent..
            But you continue to tell the world a different story. Americans are not even concerned about their problems.

          • Asa kaye

            Sure, you can pick that stats as that plays up. I do see some real problems because of diversity of our population and the systemic challenges some have over others. Germany is fairly homogeneous comoared to us and not the immigrant history…p. Tell me though at what time post WWII and Marshall plan we had those stats you claim better than Germany ? I think, we do plenty about our and rest of the worlds problems…we just have a different system and the left wants us to copy a system that has failed before. The demographics in Germany is pretty bad and this system will collapse. See France as an example.

            Any projections into next decade and beyond shows only how much better it will be compared to Europe. Of course, we also have to carry the additional burden of protecting Europe for itself and assuming, we have not changed to become a ersatz Europe…

          • Jakob

            Actualy, Germany is way more heterogeneous than you would think. As of 2013, 11% of Germany´s population are foreigners (not having a german passport). In comparison, in the U.S., 13% of its citizens are born outside of the U.S. So there is no big difference in that regard.

          • Asa kaye

            That’s just one statistic. Take races and cultural diversity and US is much more diverse unimaginably. When I walk in Berlin or Munich, I am typically the non white and stand out. Less so in France I would say or UK. Nordic countries are similarly much more homogenous…

          • Jakob

            Ok, but this is only in regard to races. There is actualy a huge turkish, arabic and east european population in Germany. Only because it isnt as obvious as in the U.S. (due to similar skin colour in Germany) doesnt mean there is a lot less cultural diversity.

          • philhiatt

            There IS a LOT LESS cultural diversity in Germany, which is why I love it. It is uniquely, distinctly GERMAN…until Sunday night when the Turks are the only ones that open bars/restaurants. Germany is far more unified…America is havong its struggles with Liberals vs Conservatives, Christians vs Atheists, Blacks/Whites/Hispanics, and Liberty-lovers vs. Statists are engaged in Class warfare. Not everything melts in the Melting Pot…

          • Jeff Blanks

            Get a haircut.

          • philhiatt


          • Jeff Blanks

            Hey, just letting you know what you sound like.

          • philhiatt

            No, you just let me know what I look like. Any other pearls of wisdom?

          • ErichBonnert

            I am sure you can find a statistic to prove anything you want. But if you have ever been to those two countries and walked through the streets of any major city with your eyes open, you will KNOW there is a clear difference.

          • mjayace

            He’s not talking just born in/ out of the country, he’s talking culturally diverse. You take a Black culture, Hispanic culture, white culture, Asian culture, Arab culture etc throw itall in the same pot and try to make them all get along—then you have America. Oh yeah, that’s kind of how hard working Germany and other Northern EU countries feel about supporting/getting along with the “lazy” Southern EU countries.

          • Grégoire Denis

            Hey guys, there are things you cannot scale up just like that. If you look at diversity do not compare a country of 300M people to a country of 80M people, that is absurd. Take USA vs Europe. Which one is the most diverse now ?

          • Grégoire Denis

            Hum, Internet Bubble crash (2000), Huge war to find non-exesting mass destruction weapons which nobody else supported (2002), and the Gigantic subprime crash (2008). In terms of collapsing, USA does pretty well too.

          • onetinkerbell

            “people including children are homeless.”

            Bingo. I haven’t seen homeless children in Germany.

          • Wolford Billy Frank

            If you see people acting to be homeless don’t think they are. They actually think it’s cool to come to the streets and beg. However they have homes. Every one in Germany has a home. Before a child is born there’s a room ready. It’s a law. If you can’t afford it the state pays. So not only people have a right to a home , it’s one child one bedroom. For every tax money I pay in Germany is worth it. Again its not only Germany. There are plenty of countries where everyone is entitled to a home.

          • Smarter

            I’ve never seen a homeless child in the USA either, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

          • philhiatt

            Utter nonsense, all of that. It’s all stereotypical hyperbole.

          • Barbara Nuffer

            You’re looking at America through rose-colored glasses. The America I grew up in has disappeared. I was shocked to see the how dilapidated my hometown looks. The place looks run-down, the people are overweight, unhealthy and poorly educated. And this is the capital of a major state. Yes, there are pockets of lower-income areas like that here in Germany but nothing on the scale of what you see in America. Watching the US sink socially, economically and politically used to be heart-renching for those of us who remember a better time. But now we just thank our lucky stars that we chose the right place to emigrate to. Germany has it’s weaknesses, but it is by far a better place to live in than the US is nowadays.

          • Asa kaye

            No, I am not. You may have seen America from inside and it’s relative decline over the decade esp..but as I was considering scores of countries to emigrate to a decade or so back, there was nothing close to America on factors of eductation, financial we’ll being, cultural inclusion and work ethic..you may have seen a relative decline but think about what’s happened in last 10 years..I still think Americas best years are ahead..so as I said somewhere else, people can vote with their feet..and you see that every year, America gets the best talent and the most hard working immigrants..I agree we have poverty but in any number if statistics, America has Improved..Crime stats included, all major countries in Europe have had the same climb in inequality, so it’s not just America ..don’t let the media fool you…

          • Angele Uwitonze

            Definitely not “extreme hard work” as the Germans are the hard working ones with high productivity! Efficiency leaves them with quality social life remember?

          • Wolford Billy Frank

            It’s good you figured this out just right. It’s Vegas many gamble and a handful hit the jackpot. That’s not how society works. Not everyone should be a high profile business entrepreneur or an American big dreamer.
            It’s fascinating how everything in this part of the world is about class. Typical jungle where a few have abundance financial freedom and millions are always on the edge. Society needs bakers , teachers and nurses. I have noticed that in Germany you are who you are. No one cares if you sale vegetables in the local market. That’s what you want to do but in USA you will be classified and you will feel less of a human.
            My point is America can still give equal opportunity to every child. In the end it pays back to have citizens who are in charge of their lives. They make better decisions with their lives and families. However the last part is what the system won’t let happen. They just need people where they are in order for the few to benefit.
            As for you may go and live meaningful life with family and friends.

          • Smarter

            I wouldn’t say Vegas, because you can be at rock bottom and make it very well. The problem is that you must be mentally agile and business savvy to do so, most people are not. America is where the “fittest” survive and succeed, the system works if you are capable. However, I do agree that those who are not are treated like criminals, scum of the earth, and beneath human. I myself was once treated that way, it’s not pleasant. We basically treat the poor, ugly, and disabled this way. It’s the American way.

          • Guest

            America is survival of the fittest. I can say that without a doubt. I was successful, lived in CA, worked my way up from receptionist to Escrow Manager. The market had it’s ups and downs and I was laid off but managed form selling my home and living off of that. I got a job as an escrow manager at a place where I had to work almost 66 hours one way, pick up heavy boxes of files, etc. I was injured at work. I filed a workers comp claim, I didn’t know it but the HR Mgr. at the behest of the owner of the company told the workers comp insurance carrier that I was not hurt at work (that was a flat out lie). I was sent to a physical therapist who began intentional maiming my back. Then I got an attorney. I was then sent to a ortho surgeon who, long story short, gave me a series of 3 lumbar steroid epidural injections but also, gave me shots throughout my body that were not a part of the procedure. I was forced under anesthesia against my advance directives twice, the 3rd epidural, I was BRUTALLY forced under anesthesia and awakened with injuries from my skull down to my tailbone. Go to my FB page for more information on what is happening in America to injured workers to save insurance carriers and employers money. I am now permanently disabled, I can’t work and have filed for disability. I can’t get disability because the workers comp insurance carrier has had their medical providers falsify my medical records. I even tried getting medical treatment OUTSIDE of workers comp and they are interfering in that. The insurance investigator showed up at one of my Doctor’s appts. outside of workers comp.
            America is run by corporations that have bought our elected officials whether they are democrats or republicans. Smarter is correct to say that we treat the poor, ugly and disable with disdain. NEVER did I ever think that I would be disabled much less to a corrupt system that maims and batters a human beings body to “create the look of several conditions” so that the workers comp claim can be litigated and other strategic reasons.
            America has turned into a barbaric nation. The difference between those in the middle east and those in the corporations in our country is money and suits.
            I was very young when I left home to go out on my own. I have always been an independent woman, I love the work that I was doing, I was involved in escrow associations, speaking engagements, etc. Now, I am treated with disdain, my credibility is being called into question due to the maliciousness of the crimes that I have made public. I have tried time and time again to file charges against those involved in battering my body including the Doctors and medical staff, I have called the district attorney’s office 3 times if not 4. The FBI just hangs up on me, I assume they don’t believe me either. My first attorney told me that insurance carrier’s can be heartless. My second WC attorney told me, “the legislators have been bought!”. I have learned that crimes against injured workers have been going on for 20 plus years and our government DOES NOTHING to protect those who were once considered valuable employees.
            If I could, I would move the hell out of the USA knowing what I know now about our elected government. Knowing that the money & favors that they receive from BIG corporations is of more value to them than the very people who vote for them.

          • Cecilia Watt

            America is survival of the fittest. I can say that without a doubt. I was a successful independent woman, living in CA, worked my way up from receptionist to Escrow Manager with a few college courses along the way. 4.0 GPA. The market had it’s ups and downs and I was laid off but managed from selling my home and living off of that. I got a job as an escrow manager at a place where I had to work almost 66 hours one week, picked up heavy boxes of files, etc. I was injured at work. I filed a workers comp claim, I didn’t know it but the HR Mgr. at the behest of the owner of the company told the workers comp insurance carrier that I was not hurt at work (that was a flat out lie). I was sent to a physical therapist who began intentional maiming my back. Then I got an attorney. I was then sent to a ortho surgeon who, long story short, gave me a series of 3 lumbar steroid epidural injections but also, gave me shots throughout my body that were not a part of the procedure. I was forced under anesthesia against my advance directives twice, the 3rd epidural, I was BRUTALLY forced under anesthesia and awakened with injuries from my skull down to my tailbone and the shots throughout my back, neck, shoulders etc, burned and corroded the ligaments in my spinal column, tendons, muscles, nerves, and much more. Go to my FB page for more information on what is happening in America to injured workers to save insurance carriers and employers money. I am now permanently disabled, I can’t work, my attorney told me to file for disability. I can’t get disability because the workers comp insurance carrier has had their medical providers falsify my medical records. I even tried getting medical treatment OUTSIDE of workers comp and they are interfering in that. The insurance investigator showed up at one of my Doctor’s appt. outside of workers comp.

            America is run by corporations that have bought our elected officials whether they are democrats or republicans. “Smarter” is correct to say that we treat the poor, ugly and disabled with disdain. NEVER did I ever think that I would be disabled much less maimed and battered by a corrupt system. Maiming human beings bodies is done to “create the look of several conditions” so that the workers comp claim can be litigated and likely for other strategic reasons.

            America has turned into a barbaric nation. The difference between those in the middle east and those in the corporations in our country is money and suits.

            I was very young (17) when I left home to go out on my own. I have always been an independent woman, I love the work that I was doing, I was involved in escrow associations, speaking engagements, etc. Now, I am treated with disdain, my credibility is being called into question due to the maliciousness of the crimes that I have made public. I have tried time and time again to file charges against those involved in battering my body including the Doctors and medical staff, I have called the district attorney’s office 3 times if not 4. The FBI just hangs up on me now, I assume they don’t believe me either. My first attorney told me that insurance carrier’s can be heartless. My second WC attorney told me, “the legislators have been bought!”. I have learned that crimes against injured workers have been going on for 20 plus years and our government DOES NOTHING to protect those who were once considered valuable employees.

            If I could, I would move the hell out of the USA knowing what I know now about our elected government. Knowing that the money & favors that they receive from BIG corporations is of more value to them than the very people who vote for them.

          • imageWIS

            “America is quite like Las Vegas. Gambling. Some are lucky, some not”

            Utterly terrible.

          • maz2331

            Silicon Valley is one of the most expensive places to live in the entire USA. 70k in Pittsburgh will give you a far better standard of living than 135k will there.

          • > America is quite like Las Vegas.
            USA is quite like Las Vegas.

          • philhiatt

            Why do you still endure such hardship? Waiting around for “life’s lottery” to deliver you the winning Scratcher’s Ticket is a fool’s game…but you already knew that since you have a PhD.

          • Grégoire Denis

            Haha, it is not a hardship. I moved in USA to build myself up (could have been Germany or Japan as well).

          • Korleone

            I think what you and others like fail to realize is the “money for nothing” attitude in the USA. We have about 12% of the population (probably more and going up) who really doesn’t want to work and wants to either a) get their whole living from the government, or b) make it in a medical malpractice/personal injury/employment discrimination lawsuit or the like. The Germany economy functions because, speaking for at least the homogenous population in Germany, they have a work ethic like no other. They are proud to work! They do not want a handout! Not saying that there is a not a lot of that going on Germany, in Berlin and with all of the Russian and Turkish and other immigrants and now the Syrian refugees that they take in from every-f-ing-where to soak up the Hartz welfare reforms (Social Security) because they are afraid of being called intolerant Nazis for saying NO, but not in the majority of their lands where traditional Germans and German values are imbued. Now, superimpose the German Democratic Socialist system onto our U.S. landscape and you will have a slowdown in productivity. People who make over $100K (ie. not 0.01% – doctors, lawyers, etc. who own their own firms, etc.), if you told them that they would have to pay 45% in taxes if they worked over $100K, they would work just enough not to put themselves in that higher tax bracket, etc. You would have a massive amount of people who wouldn’t want to work at all if they could get all of the welfare money that Germans get. The system would collapse in the U.S. I’m sorry, but advocating for a European style system for the U.S would be a huge failure – because, bottom line, we have some lazy muthas in the U.S.

          • Grégoire Denis

            It is not about paying more or less Taxes. It is about what you do with the Taxes. Start to transfer taxes money to the education system from the very early stage and your muthas will transform in great hard working people. But likely some groups of people in USA have a problem with seeing that happening, as they would lose their power.

          • Human-Stupidity.com

            Unfortunately, intelligence, impulsiveness, criminality are largely genetic. It is totally uncontestable that US Blacks have an IQ of 85, as opposed to 100 for US and German whites. Jews have about 110 to 115. Of course, political correctness will lie to you, or deny that IQ is the most researched and scientific concept in all of psychology.
            So, unfortunately US Blacks will never have the mental capacity nor the work ethos of Germans. Education, training, cultural influence can help a little, but they never will become like Germans. Or like Koreans. It is not physically possible. Just as Blacks are dominating the 100 m sprint, and Whites don’t have a chance.

          • ziziphus

            Tell me you are being sarcastic. I will finish my coffee only after I get your response.

            You see, if you are not being sarcastic, I will need a beer or two in order to forget that racists like you exist. And I thought the world was done with your type by the last ice age. Duh!

          • RonskiBonski

            hahaha thats the most stupid thing I’ve read today… xD intelligence, impulsiveness and criminality have nothing to do with genetic, ist all about education dude.
            The US blacks (political incorrect) are just treated like shit by american and they are just socially at disadvantage from the beginning. it would never mind which baby u adopt, it could be anywhere from the world, if they just get the same education their intelligence, impulsiveness and criminality would be about the same. It all about their parents and the environment they live in…

          • google “transracial adoption study” to prove you wrong. Unfortunately, you are citing the politically correct myth that stems from wishful thinking and is vehemently defended by the PC press. Scientific research proved it wrong.

          • Orca

            Bullshit, genetics may steer you slightly in certain directions mentally if you are somebody that lives on autopilot and not bat a mindful thought ever.

            Genetics plays a larger role in physical form only.

            Also you speak as if IQ cannot be changed.. its generally a result of ones past environment.
            If there is no stimulation to the mind its “IQ” cannot possibly grow, and i think blacks are generally prone to this at a young age for a number of reasons.
            If you understood brain plasticity i think you would agree.

          • Ghida Traboulsi

            My goodness, people like you exist in the world and I am reminded every so often that some do think this way. But who are you?
            – Are you a black person with an inferiority complex ?
            – Are you a brainwashed white American who thinks that all others are trash and that every US citizen acts like Tom Cruise in Hollywood movies and nothing exists in the world but good or bad and that Americans are always good because Hollywood said so?
            – Are you a Jew who thinks Jews are superior people, God’s chosen people who can steal another country because their book said so?

            Which type of religious extremist or Bigot are you?

            Please choose.

          • Wolford Billy Frank

            You see the biggest problem in USA is unskilled population.skilled Labour is the back borne of Germany. The government with Germany companies make this possible. That’s a society that cares. So for USA with lots of people living pay cheque to pay cheque. People breaking their back for 8 dollars an hour can not afford European benefits. However they can start slowly improving their middle class and providing equal opportunity in education and skills empowerment. If people had something gainful to do they will never run to social help. Subsidize education and create strong partnership between universities and companies. A few years ago Germany women were fighting to reduced maternity leave period. That shows you that when people have something to do they will not depend on the government.
            It’s not only Germany , there are more countries where people are happy . At least majority. And yes you are right the foreigners without skills will not work as long as they have food and shelter. The question is who is gonna pay for them?
            The only good side is they will give the nation more kids and those kids will be highly skilled professionals because kids have equal shot at life. But with USA I’m afraid the poor families produce poorer unskilled children. .

          • Priszilla

            Soldiers and the whole military industrial complex are tax-financed.
            At least $5, 000, 000, 000, 000 tax went into the pockets of “security” companies for the war against terror.

          • RonskiBonski

            hahaha. the war against terror,,, like the war against ebola? mmh so terror exist just in 4-5 countrys, like ebola?… they playing war just for benefit and resource. They actually provide the terrorist with weapon… ur goverment is telling u nonsense to play world police for benefit.

          • Army Tank Crewmember

            You lost me at Obamacare and climate change.

          • Kailash Prasad

            why do lots of Germans migrate 2 the USA then ?

          • Sascha Mecking

            At present there are more people immigrating from the US to Germany than from Germany to the USA.

          • Carsten Schöder

            They buy the hype? 😉

          • Priszilla

            Now it’s also illegal to be homeless in America. There are even cities prohibiting feeding the poor.

          • Cecilia Watt

            Yes, but our country isn’t doing what it can to house these people. They are just denying them food handouts from fellow Americans and telling them they can’t sleep in their city on the benches. We don’t provide for these unfortunate circumstances. Most Americans don’t want to be in poverty. They are impoverished do to the greed that many corporations are responsible for. 2008 real estate mark crash still has many lives impoverished. Those who committed crimes on wall street, banking, etc. were never punished for their deeds. That is America. What is wrong is right and what is right is wrong.

          • Brian Hinton
          • UncleGandalf

            5 bedroom 2000 sq feet? In which city? just curious.. San Francisco (where I am) a 5 bedroom with 2000 sq feet will go for a couple of million.

          • Smarter

            Minneapolis, but house prices are very reasonable in most of the country, there are some outliers. I’ve lived in Seattle, Portland, and I am planning on Houston soon. They are all very reasonable in comparison to California or NY.

          • Arvind G Balasubramaniam

            That’s an great story. Had parents kicked their children out at 17 to live on the streets in India they’d pretty much be socially ostracised for the rest of their lives.

          • Marshover

            Woah, why did they kick you out ?

          • Smarter

            My parents are divorced and my mother hasn’t worked and has been on welfare/disability for the last 30 years. She is capable of working but took the hypochondriac approach to life and considers herself too sick to work, but plenty healthy to get drunk singing kareoke and dancing every weekend. My father never wanted children and only married her because she was pregnant. By the 17th year he was done with the whole experience and just wanted me gone. In the scope of their lives they should have just gotten an abortion considering how disinterested either of them were with childcare.

          • Cecilia Watt

            Smarter, I left my parents home to go out on my own at 17. That is why you are doing so well. I’m happy for you, you are doing well.

          • Smarter

            I read your other post. I agree, I am just a survivor in this case, likely due to youth and some luck. Were I to get into a car accident or in your case have a work accident all tables would be turned against me and it would be me vs. 700 corporate lawyers as they try to find a way to discredit me. I was in a car accident a few years ago where I was pretty seriously injured and spent about 6 months recuperating. The insurance “independent” doctor told me I was never injured and it was a mental fixation due to my vehicle appearing to be so damaged. He said I suffered nothing but a few scratches and should have healed fully within 7 days…. seven days?! AAA refused to pay my medical bills and I’ve been fighting them over $5000 for 3 years. I can only imagine what would have happened if I was permanently or more seriously injured.

          • Asa kaye

            I agree. If one works, anything g is possible. Just have to see the leading icons in culture, economy and business…as an immigrant I am deeply appreciative I and my kids can do that. A safety net though has to be made more effecient in the USA, that I agree but it can be done without additional taxation..

          • nikhil

            @disqus_wRwMiJ1Kwy:disqus somehow european economies (having a more socialist structure) makes people feel comfortable ……atleast the healthcare is 100% free 😛 ……

          • Wolford Billy Frank

            And anyone can afford education, no companies taking advantage of workers and no crime . Because everyone is happy

          • Archangel.357

            You have Fox News, a state with 1 abortion clinic, Wal-Mart slave wages, elected representatives talking about gays causing hurricanes, Ferguson, and 30,000 gun deaths a year.
            Yeah, if one jerks off to Ayn Rand, America is brilliant. If one reads actual political philosophers, less so.

          • Umrath

            Look at your second and almost all following sentences and there you’ll see what’s wrong with your society: “I” is all that counts.
            As long as “I” counts more than “we” your society will be troubled.

          • Smarter

            That’s a great point. There is no we in America only me me me. It’s true the system did work for me but even my own mother has been homeless most of her life. The culture of competition runs deep and even though I realize it’s wrong I deep down feel my mother deserves her situation and I am angry I have to give her money.

          • Cecilia Watt

            I’m glad that you help her financially. She has made mistakes and you are doing for her what she could have done for you if she was “smart”. However, you’re having left at 17 made you who you are today.

          • Your comment reads as:

            – I figured it out and found success.
            – If I did it anybody can do it.
            – Thus, the system is great.

            But, the actual numbers about poverty, crime, education say otherwise.

          • Indian Joker

            Seems not only your vacations, but even your profession must be pretty exotic! 😛

          • Smarter

            Not really? My husband works at best buy which is somewhat known for bad benefits. He just started when he was 15 and is now 28. Sure he doesn’t have a degree but his seniority gets him great vacation time and he has a respectable position. I also work at a fortune 500 company but only 4 years seniority I am a business analyst and I an paid a bit on the low end for my job.

        • Paul Griggs

          Such intolerance for people with different beliefs is unproductive. I’ve lived in Germany and the USA and a few other countries and I prefer the USA. I preferred the USA better 20 years ago but the Germans do many things very well and much can be learned from them.

          • imageWIS

            ” I preferred the USA better 20 years ago”

            Bingo. It has gotten increasingly worse, less equal and more violent, not to mention less intelligent.

          • mjayace

            Actually violent crime has gone down significantly by all measurable stats since the 1970s. There have also been significant measurable gains in feminine, racial, and economic equality across the board. I blame a lot of attitudes (on both sides) to the rise of 24hr news and the internet where each and every bad thing (dirty laundry) that happens everywhere can be in your home in an instant to be judged.

          • Jeff Blanks

            20 years before your post Bill Clinton was President and both houses of Congress were Democratic.

        • Asa kaye

          And the USA is not or? As an immigrant,I have seen people for generations and even now voting with their feet to enter the USA. Don’t try to make the USA what we have left our socialist leaning countries for. We left precisely for that, where our work is rewarded and not taxed for the redistribution that atleast in the USA has worked horribly..

          • Archangel.357

            That is my point: America is great for the selfish. Germany is better for those who care about society at large.

          • Asa kaye

            And yet, Americans donate and volunteer more per capita than Germany and others despite working more hours…tell me what do Germans and rest of Europeans typically do? Aren’t more of the American billionaires and even the government he greatest source of economic development through their philanthropy or is that also not enough. Heck, what about the Marshall plan? We digress…My point being saying selfish is not is not a true statement….not to forget the blood Americans have spent to keep the shipping lines and trade open to all..and don’t tell me French didn’t do anything like this for the world when they were a power…let’s keep Germany aside for obvious reasons..

          • imageWIS

            “And yet, Americans donate and volunteer more per capita than Germany”

            Take out religious volunteering (which is useless) and see how badly the numbers look for the USA.

            “Aren’t more of the American billionaires and even the government he greatest source of economic development through their philanthropy”

            Are you really pushing for trickle-down charity, really?!? Also, look at the Waltons and how they give basically nothing, and then look at the life of one of their average workers.

            Your post is full of propaganda falsehoods and inability to see demonstrable reality.

          • Asa kaye

            You made such great points. I am all convinced!!!
            Have you ever been to America or are you basing this off the American media or RT? And I am not a Muslim or Christian but why is religious volunteering bad if it is good for the people receiving it? Why are the Bill Gates and scores of individual volunteering in the US or globally shams? Why the US army go to Indinesia or Haiti or Philippines in case of calamity bad.I Am sure you would say there is oil there!!. This is not propaganda my friends…Just facts. Pls don’t bury your head and vent out your hate on the usa since it’s an easy target nowadays.

          • mjayace

            Great points. Why did he bag on religious giving? That comes from the heart vs. Government giving which comes from motive (I.E to get reelected, to make nice, to gain favor). This whole argument comes again down to the American inherent distrust of govt and our desire to put as many barriers in between the people and govt vs Europeans generally being more accepting of government generally knowing what’s best for them. It’s hard for many Europeans to understand this (although you figure after two World Wars that destroyed much of the continent they might start to be a bit more skeptical about where they place power) since it’s so bred into who we are as Americans. And the I vs WE argument is not true it’s just Americans would rather have the WE be on the private side!

          • Ghida Traboulsi

            Very emotional Asa Kaye, but it is perhaps best for a nation to not be ruled this way. The more people are involved with community work through systems the better. Individuals who are not reprimanded usually become mini dictators and create their own models of corruption. Why should anyone be better than another? If a system takes care of such spending this lowers favoritism and it becomes much more fair.

          • Asa kaye

            And whose system? Who controls the system?

          • Cecilia Watt

            Corporations are running the USA.

          • Cecilia Watt

            The Waltons was a perfect point. Spot on. They need to share the wealth with their employees but giving them a better wage!

          • Jakob

            About the donations: The U.S. has a strong private sector, while Germany has a strong governmental sector. So while in Germany the state is giving out welfare, it is the private sector in the U.S. that covers up the lack of welfare by the state. Also, there are way more superrich in the U.S. which have a lot more ressourses to spend, while in Germany there is only a few superrich. The question now is, what do you think is the better way to give out welfare. Having a few superrich donate money to causes they think are important, or have an elected government to give out benefits? I personally think its more democratic to have an elected government do that instead of a few superrich who can decied on their own for what causes they wanna donate their money. Of course this is just my opinion and its up for debate.

            About the marshal plan: This is true. Without the marshal plan Germany would be nowhere near where it is now. Its quite remarkable how the U.S. helped its former enemy to rebuild its country. The fact that the reason for it was to have a strong partner against the Soviet Union doesnt belittle it.

          • Asa kaye

            Thanks for the discussion. I diasagree on both but truly Appreciate your point of view! Cheers!

          • mjayace

            You need to look at what the government spends money on in the US if you think the private sector “makes up” for lack of govt spending in the US.

          • Jakob

            I just had a look at the OECD ´Government Expenditures as Percentage of GDP´ statistics from 2009. Excluding military expenditures, governmental expenditures in Germany account for 44.4% while in the U.S. for only 32.4%. What I wanted to express in regard to Asa´s comment about american civil society donating more money, is that civil society has to do so in order to fill-up the lack of governmental expenditures. For example, if the government doesnt spend enough money for schools or shelter for homepless people or whatever, the private sector (or civil society) has to fill the gap.

          • Ghida Traboulsi

            I agree with you fully. Thank you for the insight.

          • mjayace

            Hahahaha! You are kidding right?

          • Cecilia Watt

            I don’t think that, taxes were the only reason. Privacy and oppressive government were other reasons. The right to bear arms, etc. Now, we don’t have privacy. If anyone in the USA thinks they have privacy, you’re wrong.

        • Brian Hinton

          I believe that you don’t understand Ayn Rand’s writings.

          I quote:
          “What Rand advocates is an approach to life that’s unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. Selfishness, in her philosophy, means:

          Follow reason, not whims or faith.

          Work hard to achieve a life of purpose and productiveness.

          Earn genuine self-esteem.

          Pursue your own happiness as your highest moral aim.

          Prosper by treating others as individuals, trading value for value.

          At the dawn of our lives, writes Rand, we “seek a noble vision of man’s nature and of life’s potential.” Rand’s philosophy is that vision. Explore it for yourself.”

      • Kadous

        trust me as much as you were talented and u didnt get your chance in germany !! it will not be like in lebanon !! i worked hardly beside my university and sometimes i hadnt time to see my parents while i live in the same house with them !! but i got nothing but buying my food and clothes . I’m in germany now and im preparing myself to the market , i know its hard to start all over again !! to learn a new hard language and to start career but at least in the end you know if you work hard u will get your chance ” the right chance ” 🙂

      • Nazım Adaklı

        I don’t get the logic how Germans taxes go to old people. I guess people think they pay the retirement funds for the elders. If they worked in their youth (they should have to get a solid fund), they saved those funds and its just the these funds plus years of interest they get as retirement pension. Of course it can be subsidized by government, but this is not a huge burden on it.

        The real ‘burden’ is that most of those taxes are spent on young people instead. A German worker that is jealous about how low the taxes in US doesn’t get that his children gets free and qualified education including higher education too. Plus healthcare and other social benefits. In US, you’d have to pay to a private school. Most people even can’t fund their children’s university tuition, where in the end these young people have to get education loans, so they have to pay a significant portion of their salary to pay for the education which is supposed to make them earn money in the first place. A fucking credit society. You can’t just leave your job and travel for 5 years.

        If you don’t have children, you at least have a well functioning society with high literacy, low crime rates, social security, creativity. Not a unhappy society with just some %0.01 uber rich people where there countless homeless people, yet even more deserted houses due to mortgage failure. And guess what? You will never be able to rise into those %0.01 unless you are another Larry Page. They never share, and they get increasingly richer.

        If you live in a North European welfare state, stop whining about the taxes you pay. You live in the most fucking livable part of the world, and life is not solely about your the size of bank account.

        • Asa kaye

          Sure you might be living in a country with even more taxes and a government that doesn’t make use of it effecientlly, the USA is not great in socialistic governance and hence our taxes are badly used. I prefer us paying market prices and not be shielded by this amorphous concept of “taxes”. That takes care of us from birth to death. Sorry as an immigrant in a nation made of such,I am ready to work hard, why do you think so many vote with their feet…I do get the strangeness of this as I grew up in a socialist country and it’s a hard for one from there to be completely dependent on one selves…

        • cayce

          it goes to their retirement. my german aunt just travels anytime and everywhere she wants. when my uncle died, all medical expenses are paid and the widow gets a portion of the taxes the dead citizen paid throughout his working years until my aunt marries another man or the german government finds out that she’s dating another man. imo, that’s what retirement should be.

          also, when her kids were younger, education was free and their college is subsidized.

          i don’t mind the government taking away 50% of my salary if i will have a good life in my old age and provide for my kids. from where i am, i am deducted 30% tax but i don’t feel where the 30% went.

          • Nazım Adaklı

            That is exactly what I said in the paragraph you replied. Current workers don’t pay for the benefits of old people, old people have already paid their retirement benefits. At least this is what it should be in a functioning economy, but if there is such one Germany must be it.

          • Christian Kunert

            you are wrong. The German retirement system is based on a “Generatiosn Contract” not on a fund based plan. The reason is that after WW2 all money was worthless and most houses had been destroyed. In order to pay for some pensions the current working class has to pay for the old people. And while the 50% tax rate is the one thing you have to pay a shit load on other social wealth fare. Therefore you need to make a lot more in order to get “more than you need”. Most Germans are wealthy but not rich and the whole political class tries to make being pour ok but forgets how to make wealty people rich. However rich people are super well off because once you really have a plus you have tons of ways to avoid more taxes …

          • winston smith

            Everybody seems vexed that Germany (the Fatherland) have refused to declare war on its old people (fathers and mothers). Apparently some nations like Germany enshrines the Fifth Commandment….. Honor they father and thy mother…. so that thy economy can remain strong… so you don’t have to rob and destroy then indict via the ICC the leaders of mineral-rich or oil-rich un-armed African nations (like Libya and Mali) to balance your national budget like how France, England, and United States (the Axis of International Loot and Plunder) frequently do it!

          • Josua

            Thats right Christian

          • thelogicalamerican

            For all the great grandstanding of the German pension system, most people don’t understand that the Average German pension is less than the Average Social Security check of Social Security by about $400 bucks a month and that living cost are about 30% higher in Germany than the US. Inconvient truths.

          • Furor Teutonicus

            The pension is DEFFINATELY lower than the “welfer” for unemployed. The pensioner also has to pay ALL their own rent out of that. The unemployed do not.

          • winston smith

            You are a liar… living costs in Germany are heavily regulated by the state…… yours is owned and pimped out by Wall Street…. with impunity. When it crashes, Wall Street gets ALL the bailout money (tax payers money)… while families (the taxpayers) are put out on the street…. to be laughed at by the banks.

          • Seriously, don’t call people liars if you perpetuate the same. “Regulated living costs” is a myth. Don’t believe me? Ask the good people of the Ostend in Frankfurt what placing the EZB in their neighborhood has done to rent and property taxes. Ask the seniors living in parts of Berlin, Schwabing, Köln-Deutz, or Rheine. Just ask anyone what an artificially elevated Mietspiegel is doing.

            No, German living costs, from public transit, food, medical, rent, and clothing to luxury goods, leisure, or technology, are not regulated. In fact, if you consider the difference in pricing for almost necessary technology such as a computer, Internet, smartphone, and LTE, German “regulations” make it more expensive to be connected and work in the new knowledge economy than America ever did.

          • Mischa Thompson

            Not all of what you said is right !!

            Food is way cheaper in Germany !!! Bell pepper in the U.S. 2-3 $ each 1$ for 3 in Germany just for an example!

            Cell Contract is way more expensive here in the U.S. !
            Contract with phone and 6 GB internet plan is 70-80$ in Germany you can have that for 20-40$ !

            Internet and TV 100-140$ a month in the U.S. In Germany you get that for 19-39$ .

            Just saying

          • Klaus Stoertebecker

            food prices are actually the lowest in Europe and probably compared to most of the developed countries. But this is not due to regulations – it is about the toughest retail market with discounters like Aldi or Lidl. You might have a look to UK where both are busting the local players. Even Walmart did fail in Germany a couple of years ago. And these players are driving prices down. For a long time at the expenses of food quality which was much better in other countries but this did change

          • Mainlander

            And electricity is 5 or 6 times more expensive than the US.

          • The only current actual LTE plan over 5GB in Germany is sold by Vodafone and costs (Red Premium) 200€, $230. It’s capped and it’s throttled. Nothing like Project Fi exists.

          • realeasygoing

            Not a liar I lived in Germany for years just about everything is more expensive there. All those taxes find a way to working them selves back in to the price of goods. Get online and compare the price of goods in germany to the states, don’t be lazy and call people names.

          • Marion

            Exactly right! …and I’m German…and lived there until the end of 2013, left because I couldn’t get a job, as I was over 45!

          • yobubba

            You don’t have a clue. But, you are funny.

          • Matthias Kihr

            Simply not true

          • onetinkerbell

            Widows in the US get benefits from their deceased spouse’s social security, as I well know. My father died about 10 years ago and he was his wife’s 4th husband (she was not my mother). She had been divorced twice and widowed once. She already got benefits from her deceased husband’s social security and was happy to take the benefits from my deceased father, including his life insurance while my brothers and I got stuck with his bills.

          • Truthteller

            You can only collect benefits from one party. If she’s collecting more than one Social Security benefit that’s fraud and you can report her.

          • onetinkerbell

            Honestly, I don’t know the details so maybe she’s not collecting more than one. But it happens that when my parents divorced my mom was given the pension benefits from a job my dad had while they were married; his second wife got the benefits from the job he had when he married her. But she tried like hell to get all the benefits that were his, including those my mom was entitled to. I have no desire to see the woman ever again – she gave me back every picture of my dad and my daughter that I’d given them. She only wanted to keep photos that didn’t have me or my brothers or my child in them, to make it seem as though we’d never existed. She’s a piece of work; my brothers call her the Black Widow.

          • winston smith

            Leave the old lady alone. Every young person these days wants their father or mother to die alone… so that they alone get their will.

          • Andrew Sindler

            Back off buddy. Not all parents are stable, normal. Some are crazy and do not know or want to know how to have a family…this applies especially for certain types within the professional class.

            Your hatred of children and the young generations does not make you wise…quite the opposite.

          • David Hussey

            Likely that you are just projecting your own selfish way of thinking upon everyone else

          • Guest

            That’s because you don’t have a very good relationship with your deceased father and more probably dropped out of school rhinking that High School Diploma was already. Stop whining and livecwithin your means. Cut and drop your 10 credit cards.

          • winston smith

            Some of it goes to ISIS and other murderous Syrian rebels…… Obama and his Israeli-bought-out-with-American-money US Senate recently voted to give US$500Million to Syrian rebels. Oh yeah, ISIS drives American Humvees in the deserts of Syria and Iraq. So, in short, your tax dollars is well spent! Stop worrying, you are too selfish!

        • Philipp P.

          The pensions in Germany work in a very different way. Most people don’t save for their pensions, although it is encouraged to do this in addition to the state insurance. The basic system is redistributing, which means the money that the younger generation pay into the system goes to the older people pretty much directly. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pensions_in_Germany

        • Jochen Träm

          People think they pay old folks pensions because they in fact do pay those pensions; this is by design. It’s also why pensions are directly tied to wages, i. e. when (if) wages increase by a certain percentage, pensions go up by the same percentage.

          It’s a system that will remain sustainable only so long as the currently working generations can generate sufficient money to pay those pensions.

          • Patrick Jasper

            The German state for long was not allowed to save money in order to provide the pensions for the elderly. The assessment works in fact in a way that the current workforce pays for the current retired people. Income from working people = Spending on retired people. One’s pension is calculated as a percentage of what one self has contributed to the elderly during one’s own work life. Though, the system has recently been changed a lot such that one has the right to give an amount of the wage to a workplace linked pension funds. With a lot of benefits the state tries in this way to create a more sustainable system.

        • Priszilla

          No. In Germany pension is paid in and goes out. If you have a traditional population growth with many children, then lots of wars and work place accidents and only a few seniors everything works fine.

          • Katharina von Roy

            Yes, people don’t have 3-4 childrens anymore, but 1-2. The sytem is o.k. because of the increase in productivity.

        • Brian Hinton

          Not entirely true about the US education system. It’s actually fairly easy to get grants, and scholarships with a reasonable amount of effort. In many cases States offer automatic grants (covering 75% – 100% of tuition) for higher education, if you have held a certain GPA, and some states offer a check to cover sending your student to a private school if you’d like. Additionally, a lot of States have complex home school based systems with online courses, and a very flexible learning experience. Worth remembering though that the education systems vary from State to State, and some are worse than others. (something that I feel needs to change)

        • Phil Ford

          “A German worker that is jealous about how low the taxes in US doesn’t get that his children gets free and qualified education including higher education too”

          Let’s do the math. We assume my kids stay in Germany and take 4.5 years to graduate college. I earn a pretty good banking salary so my MANDATORY support payments to my kids throughout their college years come to c.a. $182,000. If we move to North Carolina the same education will cost me c.a. 307,000. A lot more, right?

          Now let’s look at just three factors. Let’s forget the high cost of living in D. Let’s forget the high income taxes and the ridiculous cost of real estate and paying !!! 19% !!! sales tax on every darned thing I buy. Let’s just look at the 23 years I’ve lived here at thre factors: gas, healthcare and Solisteuer.

          I’ve got at 38 kilometer commute plus incidental driving = 25km a year (conservative). Difference between $9 a gallon gas vs $3 a gallon gas over that time means I’d have $5000 a year extra in my pocket. Healthcare and Solisteuer in Germany cost me over $8000 a year right out of my paycheck. In the States my employer pays healthcare, but let’s conservatively assume I pay $5,000 out of pocket yearly. That’s another $3000 or more I’d get to keep.

          Now, let’s invest all that extra money in an index fund tracking the S&P500 over 23 years. Suddenly I’ve got $395,000 in my account right now to pay that “expensive” $307K college bill vs zero extra savings to pay the $181K German college bill. That’s a total swing of $269,000 I’d have right now for retirement.

          Again, I’me not even beginning to calculate 19% sales tax, high income tax bracket, high cost of living due to the social welfare state, and $500,000 for a three bedroom apartment with noisy neighbors on all sides.

          • Jutta Becker

            Phil, you got some facts wrong. First, you pay taxes according to your income. The highest tax rate at the moment is 45%, payable only if you earn more than 250.700,- Euros/year, the lowest is 14% on incomes of 8.400 Euros/year. The 19% VAT does not apply to everything related to food, here the VAT is 7%. At the beginning of each year you have to do a “tax declaration” giving you the opportunity to reduce the amount of taxes you have paid the year before, e.g. the driving distance to your office will be calculated with 0.3 ct/km, you´ll be able to deduct all VAT that were paid to invest in rented-out property, you´ll deduct extra cost for life insurance, etc. and then you get the money back. The “solidarity-tax” established to fund the re-unification of Germany is currently 5.5% and should be abolished in 2019 according to the “Reconstruction-of-Germany-Plan”. It has been used to fund infrastructure and create jobs in east Germany; in the end it benefits all Germans. The cost of living isn´t nearly as high as you state (in fact I´ve noticed that food is more expensive in the US). In Germany we mostly rent apartments, the average cost of a 3-bedroom apartment in Berlin is 940 Euros/month, in smaller cities it´s lower. The regular purchase price for a nice house in an average town is approximately 350.000,- Euros. A 3-bedroom apartment will cost you approximately 150.000,- Euros. Our “social-welfare”state (that sounds really negative, we call it “social economy” state has worked pretty well all these years, hasn´t created extreme gaps between poor and rich, and is currently creating high employment rates which, in turn, add to the circle by paying taxes that benefit all.

          • Phil Ford

            Actually Jutta you’ve failed to pint out a single thing that is factually incorrect in what I wrote. But lets just go point by point. You point out that Germany has progressive tax rates. So what? Every country on Earth has that. What was your point? Next up food. Yes just like in the US Germany has reduced sales tax on food. The reason food is so cheap in Germany is that discounters have nearly 50% market share i.e. the food is pretty much crap. As for tax write-offs, again, what is your point? We have those in the US too.

            The Soli steuer is a farking abomination. It was supposed to go a year or so and we’re still paying it over 20 years later because the politicians in Berlin are liars and crooks. I could have bought a couple of nice Porsches with the Solisteuer I’ve paid.

            As for real estate you’re using “wish” numbers. If you have a 3 bedroom in Berlin that’s about 125qm x Mietspiegel 9.47 or €1140 a month. Your numbers for buying a house are also ridiculous. A three bedroom wohnung has at least 125qm. You’re suggesting a price per square meter of c.a. €1200. We haven’t seen those prices in Germany for nearly 20 years. In Munich it’s 6000. In Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt it’s 4000. I mean seriously… you can maybe find something in the Harz for 150,000 but the only job around there would be farmer. Apartments like that anywhere near where actual jobs are go for €250 – 400K with qm prices of 2000-3000.

            I will reiterate my comments for anyone with a brain. Germany is a great place for low-flyers because they redistribute wealth aggressively so that everyone has a similar lifestyle. It’s an awesome place to be poor. But for those who plan to have high-flying careers, pay heed to my numbers. The appeal of “free education” and “free medical” is illusory. People who earn more than average pay a ****-load of taxes to pay for everyone else. Read my numbers again. If you simply take the tax savings of living in the US, invest them in a bog standard S&P tracking fund over the years, you end up with enough money to pay for your kids college and maybe buy a vacation home or a really nice boat or take several round the world luxury vacations.

          • Jutta Becker

            O.k. Phil, let´s go point by point. Let me quote you: “Let´s forget the high cost of living in D. Let´s forget the high income taxes and the ridiculous cost of real estate and !!! paying 19% sales tax on every darn thing I buy..” So, you said yourself that we have tax-payoffs (like the US) which makes the actual tax you pay a lot LOWER. Plus the incentive: The more you invest, the more you are able to lower your tax rate, which pretty much contradicts your definition of “low-flyers”. As for the food discounters in Germany your opinion of German food being sold mostly in discounters and mostly being “crap”is pretty interesting coming from a citizen of the home of Walmart, Safeway, Target, etc. I rather eat Aldi food than genetically manipulated corn or chlorine chicken. Quote from a recent study with respect to the recent EU-USA trade agreement: “This is because the EU and the US have completely different policies and practices on how to achieve food safety, and a history of fighting like bulldogs over it. The stakes for public health are high.5 In the US, each year, 48 million people (that’s 1 out of every 6 people!) get sick from eating contaminated food and 3,000 die from it.6 In the EU, in 2011, 70,000 people got sick from eating contaminated food and 93 died from it.”
            As for housing: You mention Berlin, Düsseldorf, Munich, Frankfurt. Of course housing is expensive in those big cities (I bet living in New York, San Francisco or Boston is more expensive than living in Newcastle, WY. And THERE the only thing you can do is being a farmer). If you add Cologne and Hamburg you speak of 9 million people. And let´s add the Ruhrgebiet for good measure…then you have approximately 15 million people. The rest of the 80 million Germans live in small to medium sized towns or cities, pretty much evenly distributed in a country that is fairly small – and I don´t see 73 million farmers, but lots and lots of small and medium sized business, mostly in technology and engineering…creating the majority of jobs in Germany. And the housing here is exactly as I said: The average 3-bedroom apartment in an average German city has 90 square meters. And it would roughly cost 190.000,- Euros, given an average price of 2.100,-€/square meters. Germany ranks forth place with respect to billionaires…not bad for a country of farmers 🙂 I am sorry you had to pay “Solidaritätssteuer” which was never said to be abolished after one year and therefore have contributed to the rebuilding of East Germany. As laid down in the contract in 1990 it should go until 2019. When earning 300.000 Euros and considering it is a 5,5% tax on your income you need to pay it for 10 years in order to get the equivalent amount of just one Porsche…not “a couple” of them… When I drive around I see lots and lots of BMW´s, Mercedes, Audis and – yes – Porsches in my average town. I don´t think they are driven by low-flyers though. And I also see poorer people who can get the medical attention they need in a good quality, I see my kids going to good public schools and universities and I see old people being take care of in old peoples´homes that are 50% paid for by health insurance thanks to our system based on solidarity.

          • Phil Ford

            Jutta, I’m not sure where to start so I’ll just dive in. You seem too think the “mere existence” of tax write-offs in Germany means that one’s tax bill will be a “lot LOWER” (AllCaps yours). This is nonsensical. You have to examine the actual SCOPE (AllCaps mine) of such write-offs along with the associated tax rates. You don’t bother with this since, I gather, numbers aren’t your thing.

            Your comment that “The more you invest, the more you are able to lower your tax rate” is perplexing. Sure if you invest (and make profits) then your capital gains tax is lower than your income tax rate and hence your overall tax ****RATE**** is lower. But that doesn’t lower your tax ****BILL**** which is the main thing for most people. Also I might add the capital gains tax in Germany is 66% higher than in the US, another important factor in how much easier it is to build wealth in the US.

            I won’t bother ranting too much about how crap German food is (at least you’re better than the Dutch). Suffice it to say that Aldi and Co are king for a reason. In the US we do have chlorinated chicken. We also have Whole Foods and Fresh Market i.e. excellent chains for high end organic foods which Germans can only dream of. But I’ll give you that a food basket in Germany is cheaper… it’s just that all those other things so important in life are more expensive. Why does the same BMW 3 series cost over 20% more in D than in the USA? It’s not all sales tax. What are clothes… 30-40% more expensive? And there’s all the intangibles… like paying $3000 to get a drivers license. Or $400 to get a fishing license. I could name scores more.

            In terms of real estate you’re still all washed up. First you pull a number (150k) out of some dark place and now you’re revising it up by over 25% !! I’m glad I’m not married to you, what with a house being the single most expensive and important thing anyone buys and you’re missing the valuation by over 25%. Tsk, tsk. For the record €190K average is $234KUSD vs the US average of $189K.

            So cars cost 20% more, houses cost 23.8% more, food (Hello Aldi) is cheaper but a pair of frickin Levis costs over a hundred bucks. And you’re still trying to convince me that Germany’s a cheaper place. Sorry sweetheart, but I know the numbers all too well. Your comments on the Solisteuer are bollocks. It was, indeed meant to be short term and it disappeared after ’92 only to be cooked back up by the crooks in Berlin in ’95 at 7.5%.

            In any case you’re only interested in crowing about your country (tja, typisch Deutsch). I’m only trying to educate people who have not lived over here a long time as to the pitfalls of life and careers in Germany, particularly for those like me who will earn a lot more money than the average Joe. And the reality that remains is that Germany will ttax your balls to death to provide a very comfy existence for people you will never personally meet. If you’re happy with that, then Germany’s the place for you. But don’t complain that no one told you that all that “free” stuff is going to make a gigantic hole in your paycheck.

          • Jutta Becker

            Phil, capital gains tax in Germany is 27,99%, payable only after the amount of 801 Euros/year in capital gains is surpassed. In the US the capital gains tax varies with income and ranges from 0% in the lowest 10% income range to 39% for short term capital gain and 28% for long-term capital gain in the highest income range. So, please don´t generalize…..And food: Have you ever been to the fresh food markets that are held in EVERY town and city? Or to all the Organic Food supermarkets? Or bought fresh food directly from the farmers wich are literally in or around every town/city? So we don´t have to dream of high-end food, we get it everywhere. Clothes: Yes, Levi´s is more expensive here…(American Brand, made in Asia, imported to Germany) but there are tons of clothes which are actually cheaper (also made in Asia, like all the rest, even the designer brands). But – there can be life without a Levi´s! Housing: Actually, I have just bought a new 3-bedroom apartment for 150K…. (no dark place here, I´m afraid). Solisteuer: Is actually 5,5% not 7,5%. Why a BMW is cheaper in the US? Because your labour cost are lower, which brings us back to the one thing with which our discussion started and which is important for me and our society: Solidarity. And yes – I also like to educate people about what to expect – and I´m far from saying that everything is oh-so-wonderful in Germany. I have lived and worked in many countries and I think that I´m able to compare…. I like the US too, but I prefer to live in a society which tries to put the social aspect in the balance.

          • marianne miller

            I cannot believe that Phil actually mentioned food being crap, lol. We always ate cheaper and healthier in Europe period. The veggies do not have to be bought at high end stores, for the farms are around every town and city. And since they do not buy Monsanto and GM food it is more natural anyhow, lol.
            The clean food is what I miss most. Here everything is highly refined and paying much more for organic foods is just nuts.

          • marianne miller

            I certainly agree with you. I have lived in Germany for many years ( grew up there as well) and have been in the Us off and on since the late sixties( my husband was in the US military. We finally settled in America in 1990. What an eye opener that was. The only thing better here is the sizer, the room and space. Other than that the quality of everything is lower and most of the food sucks ( excuse my language). I buy mostly at Aldi, where I can still get chocolate w.o. a certain percentage of rodent hair or feces. The same with nut butters, lol. So yes, over here Aldi and Traders Joe’s (Aldi as well) are my main choices and I am very grateful to have them in America.
            Do I regret my move here? Somewhat. My children might have been happier there.
            I abhor the obnoxious gun culture where death of others is unimportant compared to the freedom to use killing machines. At the very least guns should be insured to cover any damages they may cause. That means responsibility for the owners actions, period. I do not see that as of now.
            Family values?????????????? Not much of that in America. Only money is of value.

          • Barbara Lebar

            Very true Ms. Jutta, unfortunately Mr. Phil ranks too high in his mind so he cannot cope with normal ranked people. A question appears, why he is at all spending time on Germany, he should enjoy the States and shouldn’t bother with “farmers” from Germany. At the end successful farmer is a very strong entrepreneur with strong common sense, that might get missing in some parts of the world.

          • Susan

            You assumption and calculation of investing is wrong. You have assumed a LIFETIME of savings could be invested early in life as a lump sum investment. When in reality, all of those things you cited trickle in over time. The reality is that you wouldn’t have a large lump sum. The reality is that most would not invest the small amounts each month and would instead either live larger or use it for some catastrophic medical emergency. In America we know that a simple trip in an ambulance to discover that it actually wasn’t a heart attack afterall can still cost $70,000 as it has in fact cost at least one person (I cannot imagine that she is the lone person in the country that has happened to). You also ignore that investments come with risks and in no way are guaranteed as you assume in your math.

          • Phil Ford

            I calculated that using a stream of payments model, not a lump sum. I do understand how investments work having spent nearly three decades in the industry.

          • plack

            and that is the thing – you could have bought some nice porsches, but you paid for society. nobody needs a couple of fucking cars, but everybody needs a society it’s worth to live in, even the rich. so stop whining, you’re doin well. prig.

          • George Llewellyn

            Thats true what you are saying, some People dont seems to know how it works

        • Simon M

          Nazim, you are speaking generally enough for expert economists to have difficulty verifying your claims – let alone you yourself. The planet we live on has developed and industrialized countries (e.g. USA, Canada, Japan, France, UK, Germany, etc.) – and undeveloped countries (i.e. those where education seldom has value because it can hardly be applied). In the countries we call “developed”, different models are in place, but all of them similar in the fact that individuals with relatively high motivation stand a moderate chance at financial well-being, somewhat proportional to where they started from. The problem, I think, lies with education’s apparently universal inability to cultivate unnatural reasoning so far. For as long as this is the case, Americans will live in misery over contemplating how good the Germans have it, and vice versa. I respect your opinion, and that of others below; however, they seem to be mostly based on our own quite-limited world perspective, and consequently are of no use unless they are FACTUAL. Besides your mom (or in my case – my mom), very few people care about your view if they are hard-pressed in time.

        • K sharma

          I have lived 5 years in Finland, have seen some other Scandinavian countries, briefly seen Germany and then 2 years in the UK. Finland had a mixture of German culture with a little bit of informality in the sense of a coffee morning (folks around the coffee table) and then at lunch. Otherwise it was focus at work and a great time outside of it.
          If you live in India, like I do, then you will regret leaving mainland Europe. Only God knows where my tax money lands up, certainly not for anything that will benefit me in my old age or anyone else. Education is *bloody* expensive, and you have to pay a fortune to study at any level. Mortgages eat up a major portion of your pay. Jobs are not secure. And of course, most employers expect you to work your bottoms off, and life is equal to work.

          Western mainland Europe especially Germany and Scandinavia rock. Paradise, folks, paradise.

        • cjleete

          Instead of our social security program funds going strictly to retirement and to people that are too sick or injured to work, much goes to supporting generations of families that have never worked, and supporting young adults with phony illnesses such as ADHD, who are perfectly healthy.

        • Chandrasekhar

          Yes in my nearly 6 years work experience there I just don’t understand and never got a rational theory!

        • Josua

          The problem is, that there are more and more old people while the amount of young people is extremly decreasing. So that at least the system doesnt work that way. The workers have to pay more and more from their wages. That idea of the retire system WAS a nice one but it wont work in future anymore.

        • Katie

          Totally agree with you. Robin seems to think very small. I’m German, and I don’t mind paying my taxes considering I got free education at a really good public school, then free university and the same is happening for my children.
          It’s also good to live in a country where people who lose their job don’t have to go to the food pantry, as some of my American friends with expensive college degrees have had to.
          And wow – to complain if you “only” have 50.000 Euros after taxes, saying you can’t make a living? Get a grip.
          I have half of that and I live very, very well and travel etc. None of my American friends have the chance to travel even half as much as I do.

      • m rajivlochan

        Robin, come to India. Here most people pay no taxes. Only those who feel like working work.

      • Marshover

        I think what you are saying is true for Japan as well. When I had been in Japan for 2 months on an internship, my Japanese colleagues told me that during elections the younger generation politicians try to run an awareness program so that more and more younger people would vote, because the older population is large and was voting for parties whose proposed biased policies favored the old age people to gain votes.

      • Mohit Choudhary

        Think about when u will becum weak and old then u will prefer to die or use money of young hardworking people

      • Barbara Nuffer

        Well, Robin, as a German, your command of the English language is outstanding. I’m an English teacher/trainer with 23 years experience here, and I’ve never encountered a German whose English is as perfect as yours. Not one mistake, not even a comma mistake. That is truly phenomenal for a non-native speaker of English.

        You paint a harsh picture of Germany. I don’t have nearly the high salary you used (100 thousand), but I have a good life here. I have a second job that adds to my income, and I don’t have to pay taxes on the sum ($250.00), thanks to the German government. I’m co-financing a small house, have paid off my used car after four years, and have raised two children. I raised one son as a single-mother alone for five years on my salary. I was even able to send him to the US for one year of high school. I cancelled a private pension plan, which I had paid into for several years, to finance it. That still leaves me with Social Security and my other private pension plan through my employer.

        I broke my arm a year ago and was out of work for five months. Almost my entire salary was paid by my health insurance company; plus I didn’t have to pay any income tax on that amount since I had a reduced income (not reduced much, though). My employer was obligated to give me the recuperation time off, and accepted it without issues. My boss insisted I stay home long enough to fully heal my injury. Since my insurance company was paying my salary, my employer didn’t lose anything and, therefore, wasn’t put out by my absence.

        I do believe that the economic situation is changing for the worse here. It seems that businesses and big industry are adopting the America way of doing business, which means to consider employees as enemies. This didn’t use to be the case here, though. It’s sad to see the American way of doing business come here. Germany has always had a high standard of living, but soon we may be suffering as the Americans are.

        But all of the Americans I know here, about 20, say they don’t want to live in American any more, especially when we here the moaning and groaning from our families and friends in the US. And we’ve had family members tell us to stay in Germany because the situation is so dire in the States.

        We obviously have had different experiences in Germany.

        • Well, add another German with above average command of your language who believes that the above article isn’t really painting a true picture of Germany.

          Let’s start with the basics, shall we?

          You might have noticed that many of the items above contain references to laws. What makes Germany strong, here, laws designed to protect, also makes it weak. Laws govern who gets to work as what. Laws govern if you can get promoted. Laws establish an upper (glass) ceiling for your career at any juncture.

          Laws protect, yes. But let’s take an example that might illustrate this: journalism. Consider the United States where most journalists enter the business via a number of pitch articles sent out to papers, work their way up from junior copywriter, and enjoy the protections (much as they’re being eroded at this point) of a working fifth estate. Germany? Unless you’ve gone and studied journalism, are in full time employ (you MUST be able to live off it) with a media company, and pay your dues every year, you aren’t a “journalist.” And that means you do not enjoy any of the protections afforded to a free press. Worse, you can’t even photograph someone or something or write about someone or something without violating the laws that ostensibly protect individuals. Only “real” journalists get to do that.

          So here we have a law that defines who a journalist is, officially designed to “ensure quality journalism,” which in reality is one to protect an old boys club of press members fearful that blogs, new media, online, whatever, will outperform them.

          The same laws exist almost everywhere. Try opening a restaurant without having a Master certificate in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Try opening a garage. Try anything.

          “No Facebook” sounds good until you realize that that’s the climate (clocking in, forced work hours, no socializing, regulated promotion plans) that keeps modern technology and knowledge firms out of the country. Meaning we get our lunch taken by Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Samsung, Apple, Microsoft, Canonical, FitBit, Basis, and more. What works for car assembly lines doesn’t work for modern technology. We produce sub-par TV and movies, we never had and will never have a Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, or Aretha Franklin. Opportunity. If it knocks we’ll knock it down. And then pass a law that supports our sub par sleepy mediocrity by protecting it from competition.

          Schneider made amazing computers but the company’s internal “vibe” and the laws in this country made sure the winner were US companies that now employ tens of thousands of people, pay billions in taxes, and enrich the economy in many more ways. Half of Google’s “X” team is German, left the country because there were no jobs for people who wanted to design moon landers, self-driving cars, the world’s most used phone OS, or create an ad platform. Today the US earns many more billions on a low investment from those guys.

          In manual labor, yeah, America could learn a thing or two from Germany. Likewise, Germany treats everything, from coal mining to the space program, from selling bread to creating a social platform online, as if its employees are stupid, need micro management, fixed lunch hours, and no social contact. You have happy car assemblers … and no modern technology to speak of unless you are SAP and act like you’re Siemens.

          • Caz Blush

            a lot of nonsense here…..no idea if you ever lived in both places……I guess you have not. what has the brain drain of academics and smart entrepreneurs from all over the world to do with the bleak situation in Germany you draw here?

          • Caz Blush

            But in some points you I t make I totally agree….. There is lots we could improve in Germany……lots of ideas and concepts which work great in other countries could be simply copied!!!

          • mjayace

            Brilliant comments.

      • Wolford Billy Frank

        Being in a country that gives you a luxury of not living a life being afraid what may happen to you tomorrow is satisfying. The you can make it big mentality is just achieved by 18%. So clearly it not for majority of Americans. For me a child should grow up to be what they want and the german govt provides that. I went in for surgery and shared a room with a millionaire. In USA it would be possible only if the rich man needs my kidney. Your rich class make the laws , they make you believe you are a strong nation that works hard. But that’s not true. They just need you to keep working hard and get nothing back. That’s how it works. I say it’s a nation with jails full to capacity, homeless children , high crime to an extent of everyone needing a gun for protection, it’s a nation with highest number of suicide , terrible medical care , credit and inflation. the list will never end.
        In Germany you have all the time for family , your job is secure and yes your parents don’t have to be rich for you to become a scientist. But you can’t prey on other people to get super rich in 2 weeks.

        • mjayace

          “And the German govt provides”… That statement there is the big difference and why America will never be like Germany, and we don’t want to. Oh and isn’t Nationalism on the rise again in the EU? Hmm….

          • zombiecide.

            I think you don’t understand what ‘government’ means to us. It means people who we elected into positions where their job is to achieve the best possible balance between the needs and desires of all the different parts of the population. It doesn’t work perfectly, but that is the thing about balance, you have to work to restore whenever some influences change.

          • Cecilia Watt

            Our government provides welfare to huge corporations and denys help to the poor who are struggling and ignores the plight of injured workers who are being maimed and battered by the insurance carrier’s “network of medical providers”.

        • Cecilia Watt

          Wish I could move there.

      • Carmen Boitin

        How old are you Robin ???? maybe 20 or 25 ???
        Have you ever lived in the USA ? Have you ever talked with american people what living in the US means ?
        especially when you get older….
        Do you like capitalism ????
        TRY IT to live here…..GOOD LUCK
        After 9 years living here in the US, I’m more than happy that I can go back to my birth country…..
        I will be back maybe for vacation, but living here ?????
        NEVER AGAIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Christian Kunert

        This is very true. Germany is great for the average person but it is not rewarding above average effort/skill. In Germany you are blamed for having a better car than average or having more money in general. The average person has a good live but the benefits of being above average has little benefits. And as well it is true that there is little luxury left from a normal job. Two kids one house one car and one vacation a year is possible but just so.

      • cflove

        I guess “what country is better to work” is highly circumstantial. You seems to be slightly unhappy about 50% taxes, but here in US, I pay almost 50% taxes when everything, federal tax, state tax and city tax combine. And there is sales tax and property tax (that is around 30% of the mortgage value on my 2 bedroom house), forget about them. Then the (unsatisfactory) health insurance that I spent closer to 25% of my salary. If I use my health insurance there is co-payment. If I seriously get sick, I lost my health insurance all together since I won’t be able to work. I would pay 50% tax any day, if I would get a decent heath insurance, that I do not have to live in content fear of been denied the payment every time i use it. (Don’t misunderstand me, US have great healthcare system even Saudi King come here to get treated.)

        Most people have not seen a raise in years, even though productivity gone up the roof. When life happens in U.S, it happens very hard, for some people. But I do agree, people who have traditional values, such as marry to a rich father in law, U.S is a great economy to be participated in. Or if you have money making money for you. But most of us admire U.S.A not just because of the financial benefits.

      • Uwe

        This is a stupid statement. If you are not satisfied with German habits move from East Germany to Switzerland…guess you are somewhere from the east right?

      • bryan duke

        House prices in Germany are regulated unlike the ridiculous Australia which has turned property into a gambling market. You can afford it because you dont have absurd taxes after your salary like US states and cities nor their outrageous medical expenses . For a German you’re not too bright.

      • onetinkerbell

        Having lived in Germany for 5 years and known many German families, I have to say that life in the USA is much worse for families. I was lucky enough to send my daughter to a German kindergarten for 3 years and found it to be the best, most caring, nurturing environment for children that I have ever come across. Emphasis was always placed on children learning organically, mixed age-levels meant that kids learned to help each other, etc. I also saw how amazing it was in terms of maternity leave and job security. At the kindergarten my daughter’s first year she had 2 teachers: 1 who had been there a few years and one who was newer because the regular teacher was on maternity leave. The newer teacher left to go to a different kindergarten the following year and was replaced by a young woman who had been a student teacher in another classroom the year prior and was now fully certified. The following year the newer teacher stayed but the older teacher moved to a different classroom to take the place of a teacher who had left to have a baby; she was replaced by the regular teacher who was done with maternity leave (but who was also pregnant again). The original teacher went on maternity leave again halfway through the year and was replaced by someone who had been a student teacher in a different classroom the previous year and who had stayed on with the knowledge that she would go into the class to replace the regular teacher on her maternity leave. I don’t know where you get the idea that there are fewer young people; maybe fewer young people in the work force at the present time but I know that in my time there I had a second child and I can assure you that the waiting room was FULL of women having their 2nd, 3rd, and sometimes 4th child. So perhaps you’re experiencing what was a trend in a lower birth rate. The cost for German kindergarten was subsidized by the government, so it was practically free in comparison with what I would have paid in the US. Example: Less than 200 euros (exchange rate was roughly 1 to 1 at that time) for 1 month of kindergarten, from 8 am until 4:30 pm, with a 1-hour break at noon for lunch, 5 days a week. If you left your child for lunch it cost an extra couple of euros per day and they had to bring a lunch or you could have them on a program that included a hot lunch at noontime that was brought in. Compare that to almost $400 for 1 month of American pre-school, for only 9 am until noon, 3 days a week. Huge difference in cost and value. Huge difference in benefit for parents who work. I personally found that if I were to work in the US the majority of my salary would go to pay for child care. For an American parent to be a single parent and work full-time one MUST have a job that pays very well or have childcare that is provided by family members who do not require compensation in order to afford to work. In Germany this is not the case.

        If you think that older people are better off in the US because we pay fewer taxes, you are not aware of the whole picture. We have more people in the US living on government food programs such as SNAP than any modern western country should have. It’s ridiculous that a country which is supposedly so rich allows its elders to fend for themselves. Social security income is directly linked to what you put into the system. So many of our elders die in debt due to medical bills and languish in nursing homes that it’s embarrassing. My father was from Amsterdam and both of his parents lived in their home until they died. My grandfather was riding his bicycle to the market well into his 80’s despite his age and diabetes while my American grandparents were ill far more frequently and barely walked more than around the block. Healthcare should be a guarantee for all older persons and it is in Europe. Only in the US do we neglect our elderly population, only in the US do senior citizens have to choose between paying for a medication that is necessary to keep them alive and paying for food. I’d take higher taxes any day if I knew that it meant that my and everyone else’s mother was going to be cared for adequately and not have to worry about whether or not she could afford her medicine if she bought groceries. Welcome to the 99%.

        • Cecilia Watt

          Agreed. But in the USA, our government for many years, has failed to hear the voices of the injured worker as well. Many injured workers are denied treatment and some are intentionally maimed and battered out of retaliation for filing a claim and/or to “create the look of a condition” so that the insurance carrier and litigate the file and site the “condition” that they created as a contributing factor thereby reducing if not eliminating their monetary liability and medical treatment obligations to the injured worker. It is commonly referred to as corporate fraud and corruption within the government and court systems as they tend to lien toward the corporation rather than the injured worker who just wanted medical treatment. Evil, our country has much evil & greed laden aspects.

      • Viorica Ababii

        Oh great!!! Now I feel so lucky to be living in Moldova! We have the same conditions for parental leave, free education, free healthcare (OK, you still have to pay some, because corruption, but it’s cheaper). Right, salaries are 1k times smaller, but also the indispensable goods are cheaper (food and alcohol). We also have 28 paid vacation days, but no money to go on holidays, so we’ll just do some agriculture work to make more money ;-). Most moldovans own a house or an apartment – houses are cheaper here (most people build them themselves in their paid vacation days – it’s a win-win!).
        So, yeah! Things are way better in Moldova!

      • Rene

        There is no perfect country anywhere in the world, so of course not everything is great. However, I am not completely sure how to interpret “visited”, but from living in 4 different countries so far I can tell you that the reason for me leaving Germany (born and raised in Germany) was not the about 35% taxes (that is including all social charges and insurance btw.), but the affinity to see how others do it and being able to compare. Also the reason that Germans bitch too much about the taxes they pay and then continue on moaning that not enough is provided for free or only a small amount of money. Best example is the health care system. There is no other system in the world (I know of) that has the same level of cover for no extra payments! The only time I ever had to pay extra for anything is for crowns and even then it was a joke. €400 extra for a full ceramic crown is nothing.

        In regards to […] And now tell me how to finance a house, a car and two children in such an environment anymore? […] – with €50k you’ll be easily able to finance all that as most of child care is close to free! Compare it to other EU countries where you don’t get any subsidised Child care and health insurance meaning you can spend an easy €1000 a month for 2 kids in full time (Mo – Fri 9-5) in kindergarden.

        SO to make finish this off – most people leave the country not for the money or the gains from the state, but because they are sick of the bickering and jealousy from their fellow countrymen.

      • Martin Blind

        the article doesn’t say, that germany is the best in everything…its just a compare of US and Germany. And its not true… that you get out with half money after tax!…depends on your taxrate…if you are married, ammount of children …aso.
        Me and my girlfriend (not married yet) have ~83000 before tax …and didn’t saved any money …we were still able to buy a house, have got two cars and our son (6) get most of the stuff he wants/needs. But it is also treu, that germans alway complain, what they don’t have instead of beeing happy what they have and can live in a peacefull country, which has a lot of different types of landscapes and a lot of culture.
        35 hours average working hours…hmmm…i would say, that if you have a (standard)full-time job, it is normal to work 38 to 40 hours a week. if you are in a higher position, it will be more! Of course, the scandinavians have got a very got social and health system…but we can be glad to have a good one and can be satisfied about that.
        In sweden it is normal, that everybody can see the payment of all others…it is open in the internet for everybody…cause they know that tax paying is needed for everybody…for the nation, for all peaople. Germans do not like paying tax…me to 😉 …but it is necessary for all of us and we have to learn, that taxes are needed and used for all of us. (for building/operate kindergarten, schools, parks, health care aso)

        I am german and happy about that…cause we can be proud on lot of our products and culture that we have.

        One last thing:

        Please lovely Americans…stop thinking, that Adolf Hitler was german! —> He was an Austrian (NOT Australien!)…and he is not alive anymore!…we do not live all in bavaria and are wearing lederhosen (leatherpants)
        our generation rigth now, are all against racism and we are not nazis ….ok still little, mini groups/idiots…like in all countries ☺

      • FelixRB #16

        nor sure if AFD or FDP Wähler…

      • kurakotbanger

        I am paying at least 30 % in federal tax, social security and medicare. Then another 15 % for medical dental and vision insurances that hardly pays for anything, and I have to meet my deductible first, that amounts to another 7% of my income.

        I pay sales tax for everthing and even have to pay for a limited college fund for my kids.
        I got no retirement fund ( how can I afford one?). I still have to pay for car payments, motgage tax (another 3%) and vehicle tax and house mortgage.

        I have about 16 days of vacation per year if I don’t use the days WHEN I LEAVE WORK BECAUSE OF LOW CENSUS/PRODUCTIVITY, while working with unethical co-employees amd employer who always make sure that you are on their mercy saying, WE ARE LUCKY THAT WE HAVE A JOB. Been working for the for 10 years now.

        I rather pay 50% tax like you.

        And this considering that Iam a rehabilitation professional healthcare personnel, one of the so called bne of the best profession for college graduates according to “Forbes.”

      • The Pyat

        Citizenship: US
        College degrees: 4
        Reward: 0

      • Langes Mensch

        Robin, I understand and second some parts, however, the benefits of paying that amount of tax is equal and free education up to universities, relativ free healthcare with a min of own top-up and of course, a guaranteed pension, yes and agreed, the pension may not be what you have contributed, but this is a fault in the system designed by mr erhardt in the 50’s.
        However, there are many many people with way less then the 100k you’ve stated who are actually financing their own houses and cars and holidays and it is not correct that more and more people do benefit from the “working” people, in fact, unemployment rates shrinking and actually while you are working, part of your almost 50% tax is designated for the case you are becoming un-employed, so you avail for at least one year a regular unemployment benefits, only after that, you would fall into hartz4.
        I do finance my house, my car and my children with just over 30k. so i wonder why are you actually complaining on high standard??? no offence really

        In addition, dont forget that the average living expenses overall are much less epensive in germany. Consider ireland, relative same gross salary, almost tax rate at 20% , but living, education, healthcare, bills, rents, cars etc. are about ⅔ more expensive as in germany… same counts for some states in the US.
        the german or scandinavian model is the way forward, how come that when asked, that people from scandinavia are the most happiest in the entire world? even tho paying the highest taxes on pretty much anything available??

      • Diana Mast

        Yes, that’s germany…

      • Chandrasekhar

        Well said. It is only a facade. Despite the so called liberal labor policies there is a huge element of both mental and material stress. You are a number not a human! No smile . Despite all this they are very materialistic and WOw ? try befriending a German colleague! God bless.

      • gimmi81

        As an Italian who has lived in germany for 3 years, one thing i didn’t really like is the huge incentive to get married or to have kids, that gives you a much better tax rate. It feels a bit being in the 30/40s again: and it’s just to better finance that ponzi-pension-system. It’s actually the same in italy too, and in most EU countries, unfortunately.

        I had the same feeling, having a mid or high salary (or a bonus), you couldn’t really see that much of an improvement with someone earning 20/30k less (which is much easier and requires much lower responsibilities)..

        Of course though, it’s quite easy to find a decent job, and if you get unemployed and/or in trouble, you have a lot of benefits and welfare.

      • Tabea Somewhere

        Dude, if you live in Germany, and pay 50% in taxes, you seriously need to fire your accountant. You can write everything off on your taxes: home office, transportation expenses, business travel, etc. Only an idiot pays that much. Most rich people here in Germany pay very little, because of the many tax loopholes.

      • Josua

        I totally agree. Thats why i left Germany!

    • Little Lamb

      I was wondering why Eryn Paul was talking about Germany like a desirable utopian state, and on top of that doing it by rumbling about some kind of magical “do more with less” attitude, when everyone halfway educated would never get to this conclusion. For example Germany introduced minimum wages of 8,50€ recently, because there is a mathematical inevitable crisis looming in the not so distant future of millions of elderly which will not be able to live from their pensions, despite working a lot more then 40 hours a week and often having two to three jobs, because of low wages. And because the fertility rate dropped to a frightening 1,3 children per woman there will be a huge burden on the following generations. Practically they will not be able to do both: Providing for their own family and caring for the old. They will need to work harder, have less time for their families and paying all the other debts: climate change, world conflicts, demographic collapse. So if the current fertility rate dropped already to 1,3 because you just can not do both: have a family and work full-time, what will be the result if we up the pressure? And this is not only a problem for Germany, or other developed countries. This is a problem worldwide! Even the chinese begin to feel the backlash of their “one-child” policy and ruthless exploitation of their environment. There seems to be a growing problem with human trafficking, or should you call it girl abductions and sales?

      I guess Eryn Paul is hoping to push a political agenda here. And not only do i understand from where she comes, but wholeheartedly support it. Women which are basically the pillars of the human species, are still regarded of lesser value, globally. And as long as the average wages of women and men at the same qualification and work and workload are diverging significantly, there is no denying of this simple truth. Society needs to step up and support women as women and not as man with boobs. Man will never, … at least not naturally bear children. Nature and evolution needed 500,000 years to get homo sapiens sapiens to where it is now and we are kind of victims of this process. Women and men are not equal. We should stop pretending that a circle is a square. We should start to respect both genders equally. And this means, that we should savour the service women contribute to our species a LOT more. Raising children is a helluva job, and to be frank which f*cking job can be more important then this one? Nevertheless we treat it as some lower menial labour and even women start considering raising children as a hobby besides their “real” job. I do not know if i should laugh or cry!

      But Mrs Eryn Paul, the problem with half-truths is, you diminish the value of the truth part by mixing it up with wishful thinking or outright misleading statements. Like every other developed country there are good and there are bad parts. There are lazy people in Germany too. It depends on the management style. There is a saying in Germany: “The fish rots from the head onwards!”. And there is a lot rotting going on in this country.

      All these “incredible” social and health related benefits stem from the growing pressure of the demographic imbalance. Fear of the future and the growing insecurity leads to a growing portion of well-educated couples, which hold off family planning till it is too late. And it is no coincidence, that the educated fear the future more then the uneducated, which maybe are more blissful unaware. So one of the newer german policies is to counter this trend with ever increasing incentives for those educated groups, which still did not convince most and can be rather be called unsuccessful.

      So the Plan B is to attract more sophisticated immigrants. Which is barely successful. A recent study came to the conclusion, that over 20% of the German population has an immigrant background with a rising tendency, which stirs incredible tensions in the less tolerant portions of the populations. There are areas which are deemed as “no-go” zones for people with the wrong skin colour (Just search wikipedia with the terms: no-go areas world cup 2006). But most Germans are incredible tolerant and hard defenders of the sentiment, that “all humans are created equally”!

      So it is not all peachy, but till now Germany is a great country to live in. But if i would have the choice i would still pick Swiss over Germany. Why? Because i consider Switzerland the last true democracy in the world. Countries like Germany and the US are becoming a “Moneycracy”. Our model of democracy was not meant for the current state of affairs. It was mostly the counter-project against aristocracy. And like in antic times,when the attic democracy failed and the tyrants ruled, or at the high of the industrial revolution, when the true rulers where the industry leaders, or at the end of the twenties, when the world economy crashed and fanatics like little Adolf came to power, we come again to such times, and our constitutions are just not meant to handle economic crisis. We believe democracies are flexible enough to repair themselves.And i believe so too. But are we still true democracies? The last proof for me, that Germany is not any more, was the abolishment of compulsory military service in favour of “professional lithe fast rapid deployment forces”. Which democracy defends itself with little strike forces, which can be send to every corner of the world? Why did Germany defend itself in Afghanistan?

      Eryn Paul is asking the wrong questions, coming to the wrong conclusions and propagating a utopian Germany which sadly does just not exist. There are great companies in Germany, there are great benefits and there is a great potential in the hearts and mindof the German population. But it is eroding. The Germans have a nice fairy-tale of the “Emperors new clothes”. I can guarantee you, the Emperor is naked. We just do not see it yet!

    • Geraldine

      I agree with Barbara. They take care of us. Have no complaints working in a Germany company.

    • blakey

      I think Germany is great for the above-average employee. The sad reality is that if you are very talented, the rewards for the extra initiative dont correlate with your output. E.g. if the average worker produces 100 goods a day and you, with some initiative, figure out a way to produce 200, you will get compensated a bit more but not a lot. The average worker therefore has a great time (which is majority of the population) but the really talented ones will want to leave and to go say the US. This is the reason why the US attracts so many talented Germans every year while the average employee stays behind in Germany enjoying the 35 hour work weeks.

      • Barbara Nuffer

        I’m curious to know on which information do you base your argument? I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I’d like to know how you arrived at this conclusion.

        The 35-hour work week is history here in Germany – except for maybe civil servants. It’s the French who have that now but who don’t have the German work ethic to create a strong economy.

    • Carmen Boitin

      you are right Barbara,

      After 9 years living here in the US, I’m more than happy that I can go back to my birth country…..Germany
      I will be back maybe for vacation, but living here ?????
      NEVER AGAIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • imageWIS

      My father stupidly said I shouldn’t try to do an MBA in Germany or the Netherlands because how amazing the USA is. Yet another article that proves he has no f-ing idea what he is babbling about.

      • Barbara Nuffer

        And there are no tuition fees at German universities, either for Germans or foreign students. There is only a minor semester fee, which is approx. 50 euros. German taxpayers are increasingly frustrated about financing a university education for non-Germans, though, which I agree with.

    • Priszilla

      Germany has a tough labour law. You can get fired for taking a pen home. A cleaner was fired for eating a burger she was supposed to discard. She went to court and lost. Reasoning: even trash is company property.
      Our German company threatened disciplinary action should you mention on social networks that you work for this company. Using company equipment for fb was verboten. Not answering email on your blackberry at night made the boss angry. The blackberry was blicked for everything else.

    • Yvonne Hornung

      I’m currently living in Germany and honestly can’t wait to be back in states. ..life here is just so uptight and full of regulations. ..there’s more you can’t do than actually do…miss you Alaska.

      • Barbara Nuffer

        Germany isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes discipline and perseverance to be successful and a willingness to accept certain individual limitations for the better good of the whole society.

        Uptight or not, the federal government pays parents a child allowance for each child. It’s $230 for the first two children and something like $200 for the third and so forth. And this money is paid until the child finishes one apprenticeship or graduates from college. This allows many mothers or fathers to stay at home if they choose.

        Oh, and there is no college tuition. Even for foreign students.

        We get so many benefits from the state for the amount of taxes we pay. I’m not saying there isn’t waste and inefficiency in government. But the citizens of Germany receive a much higher standard of living for the amount of taxes they pay.

        Compare that to the United States.

        • Yvonne Hornung

          Sure those are great benefits. .but doesn’t apply to me..no kids or student. Just feel I have more freedom with what I can do with my life in the states.

    • Aĵäy Hōōđa

      I’ll miss you in US. The only reason why I can’t choose Germany over US is simple. To non immigrants, they give different colored visa when they’re turned German citizens. I wouldn’t like to be labeled as second hand german. Secondly, no one speaks English there and this presents 2 choices to me 1) Either to learn English better by staying in US or 2) Learn a new language right from the basic. Lastly I couldn’t see any foreign nationals (especially indians) rising to the level of CEO or other top positions in Germany. It seems white race or probably german race is insular to external people. However in US I could see many CEOs and people at important position from India, China and other countries. In short. US is less insular than Germany. US is still very much open towards variants of culture.

    • thelogicalamerican

      Except the Article is incorrect in so many ways. The German worker is not as productive per hour as the American worker, every major economic index supports this. The Worker protections are not only a noose around the Buisness, they are stuck with horrible non productive workers, productive workers are stuck in there chosen profession with little or no chance to expand there horizons,capable or not due these strict worker protections that kill risk taking from corporations. Germany has eked out weak economic growth for the past 30 years, is in technical recession and isn’t competitive on the world stage. Oh I forgot, Living in Germany for the past 12 years I can attest that the average German worker takes more breaks and talks gossip more than there average American counterpart. Sometimes I wonder if these articles are written by German propaganda.

      • Barbara Nuffer

        German companies are stuck with horrible non-productive workers? Germany is in a technical recession and isn’t competitive on the world stage? According to German statistics, German workers are more productive than American workers. I know an engineer who works at the BMW plant in Dingolfing, Bavaria, Germany. He travels back and forth to the plant in Spartenburg, South Carolina. He said that the cars manufactured in Spartenburg, South Carolina – from workers in the US – are shipped to Germany to be repaired by German/immigrant workers at the Dingolfing plant, and then re-shipped to the US for sale. This situation is still profitable for BMW. Why? Because the BMW plant in the US has no union and, therefore, wages are low enough that BMW can still make a profit doing this. Let me repeat that the newly manufactured cars are shipped to the German plant for repairs before being sold on the American market.

        You have made several statements on this website castigating Germany and Germans, but you have provided no supporting details to back up your arguments. Furthermore, your written English is very faulty. If you want to be taken seriously, write in good English and provide examples, statistics or details to support your arguments.

        • thelogicalamerican

          So by German stats there more productive? Germany doesn’t keep stats like that, World organizations do such as the OECD. http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DatasetCode=LEVEL the OECD is the standard bearer of information like this and has no nationality. If you read the numbers a Germans worker is 90% the efficiency of a US worker per a hours of work. And at your BMW thing, LOL I currently work for BMW and there is no such program as the Spartenburg plant won the best plant last year for quality in BMW.

  • now this is a very interesting news! one more reason for me to get inspired by the Germans 🙂

  • Salman Firdaus

    I’m reading this at work 🙁

    • frnzs

      makes the two of us :((

      • get back to work you lazy bones ! 🙂

    • Abdulaziz Oraif Alenazi

      Well, concentrating on work is a good think, but sometimes u need to take a break from time to time. Human being can’t work like a machin.

      • lala

        The break is called lunch time

    • Adele


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  • Johnny

    Oh how life has been segmented into pre-defined hours. Germans are also very good in robotics.

  • Djanina Du

    Yeaah all Germans are Nazis. That was over 70 years ago and of course nothing has changed. 😀 😀 😀
    Have you ever been to Germany?
    Everyone ist welcome and we no longer live in the 40s. I don’t know if you have noticed that. 🙂

    • URSilly

      The German that I recently worked with still had that “we are the superior humans” syndrome from 70 years ago. He was nothing but a pile of crap and trouble. I’ve been to Germany and it was quite nice for the most part.

      • Sascha

        that is funny. I usually experience that attitude from US Americans … xD see that bias ? that is a good reason to try and not make general judgements based on individual experiences…

        • Bibaswan Biswas

          sascha.. I have afriend who is German.. the laziest crap I have seen but I should not say Germans are lazy. If Germans are lazy you guys could not make that country so prosperous after second world war

        • paengsdelrosario

          Sascha…At which part of URSilly’s comment did he make a negative generalization about Germans and Germany?

      • TL_USA_leader

        Exactly, the German arrogance always shines through. Except now they are pacifist and brainwashed. Their mainstream media is super-liberal and they believe to have free media and to be centrist. It’s actually kind of funny.

        • Tobias

          i wouldn’t call german media super-liberal by any standards. or maybe i am just so brainwashed by my enlightened liberal german media that i don’t see any upsides to the kind of american redneck ultra-conservative rightwing christian media you seem to enjoy. you’re just a troll.

        • Present

          I believe you need to educate yourself about Germany. Sometimes it’s better to keep your words for yourself especially if you do not have sufficient knowledge about it. See it for yourself first before you judge the Germans. Hitler isn’t even German himself do you even know that? Oh and you must have forgotten what the Americans did to the Indians. Leave history behind. It’s time for all of us to face the future. I am not German myself but I live here for about 6 years already. And can definitely tell you that Germans might be the most direct being in this planet but they will never pretend at least they are honest and realistic.

          • humpy dumoy

            Hi, I used to believe this as well “… And can definitely tell you that Germans might be the most direct being in this planet but they will never pretend at least they are honest and realistic.” – this is why I came to Germany.

            But after living here for more than a decade, my opinion will contradict yours. I see it now as a wannabe-direct/correct/straight-forward mentality – considering the big picture. I am generalising here and not considering individual persons – not everybody here is like that of course, but most of them and this is why I am generalising.

            What I want to say here is that Germany is not what it used to be any longer, all this niceness is not real anymore, all this being direct is fake (e.g “es wäre sehr nett wenn….” aka “it would be nice if/when…” – compared to the example in the text – i have lived through too many use cases to be able to say “I need this by 3pm” is not the reality), it’s just like the rest of the world now – fake and goal-oriented, it needs a wake up call just like the rest 🙂

          • ChalupaBatman Walmart

            @Present: it’s nice that you have an opinion… Maybe you should stand behind your words AND NOT USE OTHER PEOPLE’S EMAIL ADDRESSES TO REGISTER ON DISQUS. That’s right—you’re using an email address that belongs to me, and since I have access to the account, this Disqus profile will now be known as “ChalupaBatman Walmart”. Thank you, that is all.

          • RaffiRuspin

            @Present: it’s nice that you have an opinion… Maybe you should stand behind your words AND NOT USE OTHER PEOPLE’S EMAIL ADDRESSES TO REGISTER ON DISQUS. That’s right—you’re using an email address that belongs to me, and since I have access to the account, this Disqus profile will now be known as “ChalupaBatman Walmart”. Thank you, that is all.

        • TimpiTombi

          *Sarcasm on*: In an internet nickname TL_USA_leader I don’t find any arrogance shining through. But thanks for the profund analysis. I will watch out in future. *sarcasm off*

        • ohminus

          No, what is funny is that extremists such as you believe they define where the center is. I suggest you learn a bit about the world at large and brush up on your statistics and political literacy. Just because you hold on for dear life to the right edge of the spectrum doesn’t mean everyone else is off the other side of the spectrum.
          Incidentally, being liberal IS being centrist, but you’d have to have a minimal degree of political literacy to understand that instead of crying “communism” at anything you don’t like.

  • Sascha

    there is a key on your keyboard that allows you to write non-capital letters, too. just saying. greetings from germany.

    • TL_USA_leader

      Germany does get a capital letter though, as well as There and Greetings in the beginning of a sentence, since you are complaining. Of course there is a lot of German arrogance, which I was luckily able to escape.
      By the way, what is currently the German employment rate? How many able-bodied people are unable to work, due to a lack of jobs, because it is so difficult to start and run a business due to all the restrictions, benefits, and regulations?

      • Barbara Nuffer

        Since when is “There” capitalized in German? When people make false statements like this, it’s hard to take them seriously.

        However, it is true that there are strict regulations regarding who can start a business, and the process of opening one is tedious.

        Regarding the German unemployment rate, you could certainly have looked up those statistics yourself, rather than attempting to appear knowledgeable on the issue. Let me help you:

        ‘Zudem waren in den Jahren 2011 bis 2013 zum ersten Mal seit Anfang der 1990er-Jahre weniger als drei Millionen Personen arbeitslos gemeldet.’

        Translation: Furthermore, between 2011 and 2013, for the first time since the 1990s, there were less than 3 million people registered as unemployed.

        And that’s from a population of 8.8 million as of the end of 2013.

        If people want to work, and educate themselves accordingly, they find good employment here. Those who wish to open up a business will most likely work hard to succeed after getting through all of the paperwork and legalities. Switzerland is even worse. Who’s putting down the Swiss because of their stringent rules?

        I’ve worked hard to learn German and to continue my education in order to be successful at my job here. It’s a good feeling to know that you’re top at your chosen profession and respected by your colleagues and bosses. It wasn’t always this way, and I’ve been through some rough stretches trying to understand and accept the German work ethic. And there was a time when I criticized it a lot. But I’ve grown a lot through these challenges and feel at home now in this rich and vibrant culture.

        In the end, life is what you make of it.

        • Bing Landgraf

          You must have meant:

          1. there were fewer than 3 million unemployed and not less than.

          2. 80.8 million population and not 8 million

          • Barbara Nuffer

            Bing, “fewer than” and “less than” are both correct translations of “weniger als”.

            The article I quoted from stated “8.8 million”. Yes, I could have added the .8 milion, but that’s a minor point in this discussion, don’t you think.

        • Anirban Guha

          I agree. I have spent 3 months in Germany for a course, and I am in love with their work ethics and punctuality. Further more, I have experienced how they are blunt on your face when they need something from you, saves the hassle of one trying to figure out what the other person actually meant! Though I won’t be able to contribute on how easy or difficult it might be to open a business there in Germany, I am pretty sure if you happen to open one, you can expect a lot of quality work from your employees.

        • bmarkovic

          And I’m sure a big part of those 3 million unemployed are Turks and my Eastern European cousins that work for their relatives without contracts to evade employment taxes.. just like they’re used to do here at home.

      • Grégoire Denis

        Seems like you cannot understand irony and sarcasm which you take as arrogance. greetings from France.

    • Bibaswan Biswas

      omg you r not a German.. you have sense of humor lol…

  • Stefan Pertz

    Who is Merkl? Last time I checked, it was written Merkel.
    Where are you from?

    • TL_USA_leader

      Yep! German arrogance, which could also be considered the age-old supremacy attitude. They would do it all over again, especially the young’ins and those from the East who never had proper history lessons about the 3rd Reich. Of course their military is a bunch of wimps,so in reality they are just small men thinking they are tough shit.

      • frnzs

        i’m not german, but i think it’s wrong to specify the attitude of correcting names as ‘german arrogance’. lots and lots and lots and lots of people all around the whole wide world do that every single day and its not just germans.

      • Tobias

        Those from the east never had a history lesson about Nazi germany. Yeah, sure. Because the GDR totally wasn’t a state with a leftwing philosophy that persued everything Nazi related. Jeez, do you even use your brain? If you’re going to troll, do it right, idiot XD

      • scheissdreck

        mann bist bu blöd. hahaha

      • TimpiTombi

        That is not arrogance. Its called “precision”. Imagine a program code where you write “fnction(x)” instead of function, it’s not going to work. Or you work with 35° angle constructing airplane wings instead of 35,5°. Pretty bad. That’s why German products work well. And if you came to Germany enjoying our history lessons and political correctness from today you would we very surprised how little valid your prejudice is. Have you been to Germany?

      • Archangel.357

        Look, chldren, this is what we call a “teabagger”.
        He’s a lower primate, usually inbred, who spends his time hating women, people of colour, homosexuals and non-Americans. He watches a stream of lies a five year old European would recognise as such called “Fox News”. In his spare time, he wanks off to his large gun collection, which to him symbolise “freedom” to the rate of 30,000 deaths per year us civilised folk do not have.
        He has never left his corporate oligarchy of a country, yet is convinced that a nation run by the Koch Brothers and fueled by Wal-Mart slave labour is somehow the best in the world. He’s a sad creature, really.
        Moving on, here is his close relative, called “the taliban”…

        • donlpowers

          Why don’t you move to N. Korea where you you’ll fit in you socialist scumbag.

  • Daniel

    Anon lives in a other world ^^ The Nazis Today are Terrorists …IS and so…every country had her own nazis ^^

    I Love Germany…the only fuck here is….you get no job without really good school grades or study….it goes down with germany…..

    and in germany to much religion =(

  • CommunityGuild

    Sorry but your research was bad, the average work time in germany ist 42h/week. I go to school and work in germany and have a 38h week.
    Germans work more then any other country in europe and get less money for the work!

    • frnzs

      any article to build up the case? i’m quite interested in both sides and which comes out as the truth, but maybe the point of this article is ‘focus’?

      just asking.

      • Matthew Mann

        re <40 hour working week: I think it's based on total hours worked divided by the working population. As part of the economic restructuring that Germany has gone through in the last 5 (and more) years, a large number of manufacturing jobs have been saved by a move to part-time work rather than mass redundancy (and retraining etc). The consequence is that median hours moves downwards (even if a sizeable population are working 42 hours a week). The real test is productive output per hour worked, which always puts Germany high (France gets even higher on this scale – but then the French working day runs from 09:00-18:00 for a 35 hour week – yep, lots of coffee breaks).

        • frnzs

          thanks for your reply although i didn’t quite understand by what you meant by mass redundancy and median hours being moved downwards.

          i was wondering if there is a comparison of an average german’s workhours per week and salary compared to other european countries as stated in the comment of the person i first replied to.

          thanks for the reply though.

        • the vast majority of germans are regular 9to5ers. so the “40hours work-week” is the most common form in germany for sure, in reality its even slightly more.

        • Zo Coeklam

          Shen me gui? What the ghost?

      • Mustafa Cezar

        but not expensive as Ireland… Especially if you are in debt and negative equity with your mortgage…

    • TimpiTombi

      Then go abroad, if it disturbes you. According to you it seems better everywhere else. By the way your last sentence research has been less accurate than the first one. Where in Europe you earn more with less? Spain, Italy, Greece, France, Portugal or was it Poland or Czech Republic?

    • Kadous

      huh ???? u sounds like u were at germany in 1880 🙂

    • Zo Coeklam

      No No No, you are ***

  • Nibil

    Same people who created Nazi Germany – outside of Germany – are pushing for wars again – just saying

  • Tobias

    35 hours on average? well, that’s just not true. 40 is the average (source: http://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/167582/umfrage/durchschnittliche-arbeitszeit-pro-woche/).

  • Silvia Bichler

    I would never come back to Germany. First of all healthcare is not for free – you pay a shitload of taxes and social securitty, in my case as a single mom, 57% of my paycheck got deducted before I even saw the money and that is excluding church tax which is hefty too. Then, no gossip? Oh please, bullying has been invented in Germany. I got bullied out of a job by a supervisor and his brown-nosed “fanclub” speak my wonderful German colleagues who threw the pencil down at 2PM on Friday while I was assisting customers and worked with the international division and because my US VP noticed that I work hard and invited me to California to assist with international customers, my wonderful lazy German colleagues started sabotaging me whereever they could. US workers work ten times harder at least here in Silicon Valley. I love living here and the business I founded here, I could never have in Germany because they kill you with bureaucracy and rules until you give up. Get real here!

    • Healthcare isn’t “Free” as in free beer, but if you’re down and cannot work it’s nicer than having to drag you sick ass to work because you fear to be fired. Seeing that one damn broken bone can bankrupt you in the US is one of the many many reasons why i won’t ever move there. I totally give you the bureaucracy thing. Like in totally. Being a founder of a business myself and organizer of regular events around 500+ attendees, this stuff can totally kill your mood.

      Plus the Facebook ban thing is a legend and the friday after 2 pm pencil down … yeah .. saw that.

      • I dunno, Nils. Having had expensive cancer treatment in the US, I am not so sure we should wave the German health care system like a panacea in front of it.

        Wait time to see my Urologist in Germany: 6 weeks. “Sorry, we don’t accept new patients,” “Sorry, the doctor is out for a week,” “Sure, we can get you in in January.” Wait time to see one in the US: “Can you come it at 4?”

        Wait time to get my teeth cleaned? Three weeks, because I found a dentist in a nearby city. US? Same day.

        Cost of a root canal and crown (out of pocket portion): $950 US, 2400€ Germany. Same work, even same brand of crown.

        Cost of non-essential cancer treatments out of pocket (such as, for example, palliative care): nothing with Kaiser Permanente in the US, 12,056€ in Germany.

        “I am feeling like shit and I need a doc to look at it,” Germany: “We can see you in 18 days,” US: “Come in, that’ll be $45 with your insurance.”

        I frankly prefer the US approach.

    • scheissdreck

      Silicon Valley! hahahahaha

    • Rat_Fink_Forever

      That is the big difference. The US is still the best place in the world to raise money for new businesses. I have talked to people in Germany that keep forming new “companies” to keep the size below mandatory union participation and avoid expensive work rules.

      From a worker’s point of view, jobs that pay a living wage in Germany are very low-paying in the USA and benefits have more or less vanished with the decline of unions and loss of skilled jobs to automation and relocation of factories to China. Medical and education costs are very high in the USA and unless you begin saving for retirement in your 20’s (until it hurts), you will be eating pet food in your golden years. Those student loans, then children, make that next to impossible unless you have an investment banking career. Many US workers don’t even take their allotted 2 weeks vacation time.

      The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, sometimes it is, sometimes it is not. It depends upon your perspective, abilities, and goals.

  • amirul

    Ive been to Munich for a week,attending business meeting. In just 1 week, everyday was amazed with their working spirit. I wish i could land a job in Germany and reside there.

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  • Alif Ali

    I really like this article..just want to ask if this article had specific references or just a mere personal experience..thank you

  • scheissdreck

    u just suck

  • dani brodi

    I ever worked in Germany between 2006-2007, i will never forget that I was working until 7 PM but the Germans working roommate immediately gone at 5 while I was stuck with my counterparts in Indonesia for tender.. this is why the Chinese beat them, they work harder than the Germans either side in working hours and after hours, even still seriously working

  • M.Taher

    I have been in Germany for a complete working year, I do respect those ppl so much and actually they made and build up an excellent civilization .. god bless u all

  • Ed

    there is a lot to admire about the way germans go about their work, but it is hard to argue with how dominant american business has been over the last sixty years. easy to beat up on america and fawn over smaller countries, but the reality is that america still has the largest economy in the world.

  • Gunnar Witzmann

    ANON: go to work and pay your debts

  • TimpiTombi

    Oh, Anon, you should get youself a job in predictive finance. Such pointed and profund analysis is requiered also in many other sectors and also internationally – not only in Germany.

  • andres

    I gotta say that this is something social. Heard many times… he is so German. Well being German is sometimes very nice, they are civic and they would barely do immoral stuff. Right the opposite of Spaniards like me.

    I pretty much envy this mentaity. Its true that during working hours we spend at least 1-2 hours using personal email, facebook, whatsapp or just chatting with colleagues.

  • DJ Doena

    Nice to read that Germany’s PR department is still worth its due.

    Seriously though, while I’d never want to work in the US with this bad of a health care system and it’s hire and fire system, it’s not all rainbow and kittens in Germany either.

    First a few personal satistics, so you know how to weigh my statements. I’m 37. I was born in East Germany and have lived from birth til 2001 in Berlin. Now I live in the south-west which is undeniably the manufacturing core of Germany.

    I don’t belong to any club, I don’t know many people my age who do and very few people overall.

    I do like to hang out with my work-friends a few days of the month. It’s not like out of sight, out of mind.

    I’m an office worker and I do read news sites in between tasks. And so do other Germans or else Spiegel Online would not have the visitor numbers it has.

    And while we are direct most of the time, because it’s simply more efficient, we do know tact and when not to (as we call it) “fall with the door into the house”.

    But yes, in general work time is work time. But since it’s already taken up one third of your day or about 50 percent of your waking hours, it’s also not a place where you just pound on for 8 hours straight.

    But despite the coffee breaks and the small surfs on the web, at the end of the day I want to go home with the feeling that I’ve accomlished something to day, that I earned my keep and that the work had the quality I expect from myself.

    And quite frankly, I do know that professionals from around the world feel the same way. Take Robert C. Martin for example. He is a software developer who writes books about the topic and talks at conferences. Even if you don’t understand the technical terms, listen to him what he says about professionalism here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=p0O1VVqRSK0

  • Douglas Wolf

    The German culture is very different than the US for many reasons but the main 2 are the ethnic homogeneity and the legacy of Protestantism. The US still retains a strain of individualism which produces companies like the kind you find in Silicon Valley while Germans prefer the collective and have large multi-nationals. Apples and Oranges .

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  • Tyguy

    I’m sad to say that the German style was my work ethic when I was younger, but being in less focused workplaces my whole life has definitely worn that away quite a bit. Maybe I should move to Germany for a while.

  • maybe southern europe shouldnt have been so fucking corrupt to begin with, so nobody would have had to rescue their lazy asses in the first place.

  • ThunderToast

    As an American, this doesn’t sound appealing to me. I enjoy a casual work environment, it’s less stressful and I actually kind of look forward to going to work every day.

  • This article resonates with me. In particular it frustrates me when meetings start late because we are waiting for people to get their coffee. Or stopping buy somebody’s desk and seeing them hurriedly shut off their Facebook page. Or hearing multiple looong personal phone conversations throughout the day. There are so many articles about “fun” work days that US culture. I would personally appreciate a culture of super focused work over a fewer number of hours rather than spreading it out over a longer day. I like the people at work but, ultimately, I am there because I want to pay my mortgage. I would much more enjoy spending those extra hours with my kids.

  • Noveed Zafar Ali

    They are good. No doubt. I stayed 7 years in Germany, met lot of people from different culture, both those speaking Hoch-Deutsch and those speaking Schwabisch. They are however self centered and live the company of fellow Germans, whether its Kaffee Pause or its Mittag Pause. Foreigner remained Foreigner and feels isolated. They are however not biased. Being a grown up male. I do admire the German beautiful Girls. There is famous saying,”Schaffe, schaffe, Häusle baue, Und net nach de Mädle schaue.”

  • Kadous

    Thanks god im in germany and im willing to start all over again , and i hope i will get my chance 🙂

  • ronmichael

    What’s also interesting is that Americans appear to be happier, if ever so slightly, than Germans based on the World Happiness Report: http://unsdsn.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/WorldHappinessReport2013_online.pdf

    I’ve met Germans who left Germany because they don’t like the “high productivity” attitude in the workplaces. And I’ve talked to Americans who loved working in Germany. It’s all about knowing what you want and finding a place to live with similar values.

  • Mustafa Cezar

    You should be Italian, Greek, Turkish, Spanish or a Cypriot compatriot… You should get back to work instead of drinking coffee and gossiping about the others at work place 🙂

  • udkl1298

    Trying to pull a buffer eh ? 🙂

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  • Ms. Kuting

    Germany is way better than my country by heaps and bounds.

    Here in Philippines, we need to work 45-70 hours a week.
    And our minimum salary can go as low as 200 USD monthly. (others have it tax included, some are not.)

    Not to mention our work environment. It consists of 30 minutes-2 hours travel to work, 8-10 hours of work time, and 30 minutes-2 hours of travel back home. Those long travels are caused of heavy traffics in major roads.

    With how salary is low, people will have to take a side job along in or outside their work.
    So that is causing some others getting sidetracked on their tasks.

    How unproductive it can get…

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  • pattersonsm

    The American’s would only read the first part about no email or facebook in the office they part about working hard and 24 vacation days is foreign to American workers. Also sending workers to recovery centers so they can heal and rejuvinate is part of the culture also, here in the States they don’t care about your health.

  • Asa kaye

    I am an indian immigrant to the USA. I see this whole article as -Different strokes, different folks. Style and system Laid out in Germany works for Germany and the style for the USA works for them. Both are equivalents in terms of development even though all the security is outsourced to the USA so there is a big advantage for Germany in budget but still has a higher tax. Overall, an individual in USA has higher disposable and per capita income and GDP and Germany has better healthcare…you want healthcare and good middle class life, go to Germany and if you or your progeny want to be potentially very rich..go to the USA.so, what?

  • German here: the article is generally accurate but it over-emphasizes certain points. Take the Facebook-prohibition: this exists but certainly not everywhere. People at my employer do browse reddit, do hang out with each other after work, but do not join a choir after work.

    There is a big gap between a traditional German and a modern work environment. Many job realities in Berlin would not look much different in Chicago. But there is certainly one difference, German interaction culture: we don’t beat around the bush and most Germans value the rather focused German work ethics that clearly defines off-time too.

    As a negative element: Germany is overregulated where the United States is underregulated. Up to 50% taxes and social welfare expenses per person allow most people to have a good health insurance and a pension plan. But you hardly get rich this way.

    The German system is just a bit different. It wants to generate decent welfare for the middle class mainstream. But it certainly does not want to turn rags into riches. But I think this is a good thing in general.

  • pavel49

    Its not a bad model and actually when I imagine WWII I always imagine perfectly working and organized army and industry and superrior machinery. So that wont change and its good, but what I dont like is high taxes and job protection, as an empoyer I want to be able to fire my empoyee right away and not only if he does something really bad, but that problem in Europe in general. Thats why I love US. I’m from Czech Republic and speak fluently German so I would be able to get job there (since CZ is in EU), but I prefer US.

  • Oliver Mayer

    I am German and I rarely read such an unreflectet article obviously based on bad reasearch. It’s simply not true. And like Smarter earlier posted what’s all about the efficency if one gets hardly the chance to get more independent to follow the lifestyle one wants. For example buying a house at twenty or getting retired at fourty is for most Germans just not possible

  • George Guansing

    Gossiping and talking at work is the only inheritance in education the Malaysian received from their colonial British Master.

  • cayce

    true true true. i had a manager who said that her work life balance is spending 16 hours in the office and she expects that we do the same. the error in her ways caused her indecisions, short-time memory losses (forgetting business engagements), her daughters hating her in social media, and her husband cheating on her because she gained ganourmous weight from chucking herself with coffee to stay awake.

    americans also tend to sugar coat and never get straight to the point. they tell you it’s not important when it really is. they always want rapport in meetings which can take up to 30 minutes of a supposedly 1 hour operations meeting which is bullshit.

    also, it’s really funny that they scorn you for taking your paid vacation leaves because you are not helping your team. tension gets more intense when you leave on time while the rest don’t.

  • Marizen Villamora

    Their work ethics is definitely admirable.

  • Karlheinz Temmes

    I read this article… I was really interested in it. First- I am German, I live in Munich, I travelled a lot for business in Europe and also America (but less). I have some friends from Germany now living in the US. With a Green Card.

    What the article made my think is this external view on Germany. For Germans this external view is rather important… I do not know why but for many of them it is really important to know what other nations think.

    Some comments:
    *Social insurance is much better than in the US but comparable to other European nations.
    *Taxes are very high- I have to pay something about 50% (because not married). For companies the situation is better but not comparable to the US.
    *The infrastructure is better than in most countries. Traffic, power, qualification- it has a high standard.
    *For sure Germany has a lot of problems: Immigrants have to be integrated (Russia, Turkey, ….), high taxes, high costs for the social insurances, high costs for the environment like renewable energy.

    For me there are some key facts:
    *The Germans are really proud to work- this ethic you can see everywhere. Only to explain- it is not only the money what you get for your job. You have to know your job and you have to make it good- to be a bit too provocant- money is only one smaller aspect of your job. In Germany you do not discuss your salary- it is your job what you are discussing.
    *For sure everybody knows BMW, Mercedes, Porsche or Siemens. But those companies are not typical for Germany. Nobody knows all the small companies with 100 or 200 workers but their structure is far more typical (and important!) for Germany. They are often responsible for the qualification in Germany, for the social structure, for the standard in Germany itself. Why? Because you can find them everywhere in the Country, they have much more effect on this social structure than one single company with 20 or 30 thousands of workers. It is called the German “Mittelstand”.
    *Yes I pay a lot of taxes. Yes I would like to pay less. But this is not the point- I have to pay this for a functioning sociality and environment. Even if I do not get the money back later (and I will not), it is the price I have to pay.

    For sure, we have to work on many problems and we have to do this- and the reality is in most cases not black or white and so there will be no fast solution . And this is okay- in Germany there is a saying “The way is the target”. It means we have to work on the problems. And if we do so it is okay- sometimes it will be solved faster or slower. But it will 🙂

    • Zo Coeklam

      Wo! You English speak godd lah!

  • shankar singh tiwari

    im industrial production engineer . i have 1 year experience in production line. but now i’m unemployed . so i need job .. have you anybody who help me for job .. so please help me..

  • Claus Nenkoff

    Who gives the right blame a whole country where the vast majority is fighting any tendency of racism, intolerance and militarism.
    You might ask yourself why war and fascism is coming to your mind.

  • This is going straight to twitter… 🙂
    btw – nothing about twitter in the article 😛

  • ohminus

    Yes, and no.

    Yes, work hours are work hours. But that doesn’t mean that there’s a “zero tolerance” for chats. Chats are perfectly ok. That doesn’t mean, however, that you’d spend a significant amount of the day at the water cooler/coffee machine.

    It’s also not true that Facebook etc. is strictly prohibited as a rule – that depends from company to company. But most employment contracts which are generous enough to allow private use of the internet also specify that it should not detract from your work. And that’s something most people actually do heed.

    I’ve worked in both the US and Germany, and indeed the core of the article is sound. It’s just not as “zero tolerance” as it suggests.

  • M .N Iqbal

    The two countries have different problems. So they have different policies . It depends on us how we adjust inthe country according to our requirements.

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  • B.B,

    bullshit- there are millions of workers without contract- its called Scheinselbstständigkeit.

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  • Caz Blush

    are you talking out of your ass again Anon? But I have to agree Merkel is a bitch

  • Rajab Natshah

    Nice article .. I like that way of work and life… I do that in all my day work [IT IS WORK TIME] .. No social networks at work or private calls except if there was an emergency. ( even at University ) I used to stop talking and only focus on knowledge, and classes ) [ STUDY TIME] . then at [ SOCIAL TIME ] I like only to socialize with the smartest people around.

  • Talking about the content overall, I think generalizing workers in countries by drawing certain stereotypes to them is absolutely false, since in reality every country is full of personalities. And human nature is chaotic, thus such over generalizations are almost always false regardless of the scale, even though it is comforting to stick to them. Btw, “germans work hard, play hard”. That was proper cliche, and actually I bursted with laughter (yes I do use that phrase).

  • Andrey Markov

    OK. Just think a minute about this: How many Germans have left their homeland and emigrated to America? How many Americans have left their homeland and emigrated to Germany? I am talking about the last 20 years or so, not about the time at the beginning of the 20th century.
    Many, many people have voted with their feet. And they didn’t vote for Germany.

    • Jakob

      I have just looked up the statistics for 2013. 0.13% of the population in Germany are U.S. immigrants. 0.2% of the population in the U.S. are German immigrants. So the difference isnt as big as you try to make it. Also, you have to consider, its more difficult for U.S. Americans to immigrate to Germany due to the language barrier (I think it is obvious that there are more Germans who speak English than Americans who speak German).

      • Ma

        Idk where did u get ur numbers from!!.. but let’s use them to make some calculations:
        0.13% of the population in Germany= 0.13% x 83,000,000= 107,900 are U.S. immigrants to germany..
        0.2% of the population in the U.S= 0.2% x 330,000,000= 660,000 German immigrants to the US..

        that is 6 times the number.. For every person leaving the US to Germany, there are 6 persons leaving Germany to the US..
        PS: All depending on ur numbers..

        • Peter Wachtel

          No, the correct comparison is 0.14% v. 0.20%.

  • swampwiz0

    I’m a sure that the Pointy-Headed Boss is going to want his employees to act this way, but without trimming the overtime or giving more vacation days.

  • Alicia

    As an American who worked in Germany for 2 years (not anymore) and 1 in the UK I can safely say that sometimes we exaggerate accounts about job culture, after all grass is always greener on the other side, isn’t it? I had to weigh in with my opinion because it might be useful for anybody who’s seriously considering moving to Germany due to its supposed superior “work ethics”. First of all Germany has super high taxes on income around 40% or 50% depending on your situation. Unlike the UK where health care is actually free in Germany you will need an insurance for almost everything, which, is a hot topic of conversation btw. Secondly, Germany and other European countries are getting plagued with unpaid work (I cannot think of another word because this is having a negative impact on jobs and careers specially among young professionals) Unpaid internships are everywhere, companies are taking advantage of young professionals trying to enter the workforce there way too much. When I decided that it would be good to look for other jobs I always ended up with an unpaid internship offer and nothing else, not because of lack of education or experience (or even language skills) but just because I looked too young, apparently. Third and last, shrinking workforce. Older people retiring and a shrinking population puts Germany in a difficult position where they are forced to embrace immigrant workers in a system / culture which doesn’t favor assimilation. I simply don’t know if German economy is growing I have serious concerns there. And about the 35h myth and complete focus at work in Germany well, people are people, job cultures are similar everywhere (except maybe in Japan idk) slaking off, gossiping, doing long hours, workaholics, happens everywhere, truth be told Germans in general are a little bit of workaholics.
    pd. it is true about having more and longer holidays, just check ’em when they are or you’ll be at work when you aren’t supposed to be. It happened to me many times 🙂

  • Walber Galletto

    I’ve reading the discussion, but unfortunately, I couldn´t read everything, but, in my opinion, it´s good to see people trying to find a balance.
    Well, I´m from São Paulo, Brazil, and here the way people work is more similar to American way than to German way. There are advantages and disadvantages in both ways, but nobody is perfect. Brazilian people are usually irresponsible and non-compromised. Here, the companies try to compensate this focusing on competition and increasing the number of working hours. In my opinion, it´s better to be like Germans, but, as Robin said, this system does not work well for everyone. For example, I used to work very hard in the past, but after years, the only thing I got having such behavior, were some health problems, caused by stress and by the dellusion to see people who works much less than me being rewarded. Normally, hard work is not what defines the success in your career, but how efficient you are, and how you take advantages of the opportunities. Well, this is my opinion.

  • Vivek V Phadke

    Doing best in whatever you are engaged in the moment… ancient learning from “Bhagwad Gita”. Indians listening?

  • Bindu Kumar

    Well, try telling this to Indian or Chinese bosses. They will just take ‘no socializing at work’ into consideration and gracefully leave out working 35/hours a week part 😉

  • Jay

    I m from India, did my masters in Germany and now working in USA.Here is what I think of the three countries.
    India/US –
    Education, health insurance and home are expensive.
    Cheating for money, silly politics, gossip at work, to sue some for stupid things (common)
    Rich and powerful are always correct and some times(in US and always in India) immune to justice system.
    Talk a lot of “aggressive working” but fail to reach dead lines more often.
    Above things are very rare in Germany.
    India/US Pros: If you dream big and if you work hard no matter of the negativity around you, success will follow you some day. Start up is very difficult and if you are able to overcome them, there is a great chance of growing big which is the other way in Germany!

  • Radzi Nugraha

    but i think its quite hard to be implemented on IT company. there are many reasons of it.
    to make it easy, lets see to the big IT companies like Google, Facebook, DropBox, or others. they let their employees to wasted time to clear their mind. so that briliant idea will come up

  • I had a cousin who lived in Germany. I know a lot about Germany from him. The information I get is the German hard-working type. They are the type of man who does not care about other people’s affairs. Origin does not bother them, for them it does not matter. As a result of that all Germans are known to be individual. Behind it all, many Germans who cares if they feel close to us. They are the type of people who focus on the goal.

    The information I got from my cousin made me eager to continue my studies there. Now I’m trying for it so I can get a scholarship and the opportunity to study in Germany.

  • TTucker

    Of course german working conditions don’t sum up to “hire and fire”, but this article distorts reality: working conditions have been liberalized crazily with the “Agenda 2010” so that nowadays one quarter of our society works underpayed which means that a lot of people need two or three jobs to be still poor and working most likely 60 hours a week. The middle class more and more vanishes and even if you are still part of it you work 37,5 to 39,5 hours a week. People in France (still and fortunately) work 35 hours a week. This is some shitty journalism!
    PS: No one just works all the time at the office, also Germans chitchat and get distracted (though facebook and private mail are officially forbidden).

  • Carsten Schöder

    Statistically we work fewer hours, because Germany’s favorite pastime overtime, isn’t accounted for in these statistics. In many occupations, 5-15 hours overtime a week are normal, and many of these overtime hours are unregistred and/or unpaid, if you don’t work in a field with a strong union presence.

  • Aurang Zeb Khan Zalmay

    Yes the Germans are impatient in everything, yes they are punctual but have a fucking bureaucracy…they can do more if get ride from it…

  • Ummo Bruns

    Having worked in the Netherlands, Germany, France, the UK and Belgium I would say this article comes close to the truth. Very large companies in Germany are not always that productive and do focus too much on internal communication forgetting the customer at times. The dialogue that brings new and other ideas in countries like the Netherlands is sometimes missing in Germany ….

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  • AsdRandomText

    I am german and I’m reading this from work because someone linked it on Facebook.

  • Priszilla

    There is a big difference between East Germans and West Germans. Between North and South. East Germans are more sociable and joining each others weddings and stag nights is rather common. Northerners are difficult to approach, but once you got a friend it’s a friend for life.
    East Germans can talk rough when under stress, but then have a beer together and work happily ever after. Tell your west german boss to shut up and get knowledge before talking rubbish and you face disciplinary action and an entry in you hr file to be accumulated for your firing procedure.

  • Andreas Schönemann

    Well from a German PoV i can tell that not everything here is fine but the article is right about how we use to work. At work we work and in freetime we avoid working. We pay high taxes and we dont get so much money out like in the US, thats correct. But imagine that you are able to lose everything in seconds in the US while in Germany you are pretty save. Living in Germany is like playing it really save. There are no large steps or enourmous payments. Even if you gone through university you have to struggle to get a job because the market is pretty narrow, But when you got your unlimited contract, you have to fuckup hard. really hard. I know that getting a non-timed contract is pretty rough but if you have one your fine. You get sick? You got full medical insurance so no problem. You lose your job? No problem you cant fall very far. Problem is that this giant system is often abused to the limits and the current demographic shows some problems in the future. But i like playing it save.

  • Marieta

    the only thing that the articles does not state is that Germany was the motor of Europe in 2012. But they gave conditioned credits to other countries, so they can buy German production and later return the money, which is a shame. What this articles does not state neither is that Germans are still in debt with Greece for the damage inflicted during the IIWW. Finally, what this articles does not state is that Germans has not respect for other cultures when they travel outside (who has not seen a drunk German urinating on the streets of Barcelona?) and finally, what this article does not state is the sense of superiority that these people has over other Europeans. I lived in Germany and worked there and even if my productivity was at average because my nationality they considered me less. Conclusion: Germany is not all flowers and peace.

  • Guest

    You forgot to mention they also have Paternity leave, so both parents can take turns in watching out for their newborn.

  • Guest

    I haven’t picked my jaw up the floor because I already knew all of this, I lived there for 2 and half years.

  • sean

    We have nice working conditions in Norway.
    We have 25day vecation by law. And you can add 10 more days for seasond hollidays with pay.

    Income is high for an avrage worker.
    but the cost of living is high.

    There is nothing like a norwegian wallet and paying tax as an american. That would be too good.

    Still Im facinated by the Germans. I offen visit Germany and will continue to do so.

  • I cannot agree on every statement in this article, as THE GERMAN is a fiction, there are many different Germans. However I agree that many Germans meet these criteria: diligent, eager, effective & efficient, not wasting time anf getting to the point. Having lived & worked outside Germany for more than 15 years and looking at my country from overseas: Yes, I love my country & my people and I love the clean and small cities with their red tiled roofs and the North German brick buildings and the typical architecture, the villages dotted in the landscape and no buildings in the open fields and the vast forests, Buchen – & Eichenwald. There is nothing like a German summer with its long evenings and sunshine until 22 pm. And I find: The longer I am outside Germany and far away the more I am looking forward to going back: Many Germans have become relaxed and extremely nice and friendly. On my last bike trip along the Baltic Coast heading from Warnemuende towards Luebeck nearly everybody greeted me and said “hello” while passing by / like in Australia, where I find most people very laid back and happy and friendly.

  • Mitch F

    German speaking area is so focussed and concentrated on constantly improving efficiency through simple and easy to implement ideas. They have vast complicated systems aimed at analysing and putting value on how people have work and not necesarily how fast they do it. Believe me, its my profession to use these systems in Germany and the German speaking realm and it is light years ahead of other countries and areas where friends of mine work. Small disclaimer: Im only speaking really of production (factories), I have not had to use these systems much in offices.

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  • abhijeet

    Very nice article! Really respect the German work culture and as I work for a German company I have also experienced the same environment

  • This is interesting. Not sure that the reasons described in the article are the only ones, but no doubt it does make a difference for sure.

  • Mariba

    Germany is a heavenly country. I was born and raised in Germany. My Family originates from Croatia. I can see young people struggling to get even hired in these countries nowadays (Croatia has the second highest rate on unemployment of young people, after Spain) . Now I am living in China and this experience shows me only how much I miss living in Germany. In Germany you might have to pay many taxes, BUT there is such thing as social equality. At least the best social equality I´ve ever seen so far. Walking through China, Shanghai, I see the rich and the poor and the gap is immense.
    Besides this article focusses more on the working culture. As I am working in a company with many Europeans and Chinese, I get frustrated over the working ethics of some other cultures. I miss the proactive behavior of Germans daily. Don´t get me started on Quality and Innovation or simply Logic. All in all, I have a good experience at the moment that all Germans should have, because complaining is national sport!

  • Peter Hill

    I’m from New Zealand, and worked in Germany for five years, then moved to the USA, living first in Michigan, where there is actually a strong German influence. I learnt many wonderful things from working in Germany and totally appreciate the points made by the article. However, the seriousness of life in Germany, both outside and inside the workplace, was a major reason I prefer the USA. Some people love the German way, yet for me, it was like a big weight on my soul that left my whole life feeling heavy. I have a German wife, my kids were born there, and they are proud of that. I drive a BMW, a car of such excellence that I truly believe only Germans are ‘culturally capable’ of engineering…But as for my spirit, it belongs here where I now chose to live in crazy, free, quirky, endlessly sunny southern California…

  • This article is a bit broad: It compares one country to a whole continent. And there are many cultures in America.

    Whils social security is good, one big disadvantage of the German way of organising work is that the state favours employed workers but that goes a lot against self-employed people and small businesses: The bureaucratic requirements (and consequently the costs) are so high that becoming self-employed is much too difficult.
    Just take the example of anyone who may be a good, competent (hobby) classic car restorer and he wants to turn it into his business after he got layed off. He’ll have to become a master of crafts first! Costs 1000s of €uros, a lot of time and you may even need to go through an apprenticeship first! He’d be better off living on benefits… Same story with many other types of business. It’s not enough that you know what you do, you need to go through the treadmill first.

    Ideal would be a German social/health/education system paired with entrepeneurial spirit and legislation.

    And that’s not a contradiction it itself. But it might go against some people’s interestes.

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  • CL

    This is how it once was in the United States… when on the job, work was work. It is a thing that has changed only in the past 2 generations, and probably has alot to do with the downward trend of the United States. Work ethic has largely declined. Connection in the community is non-existant. We could learn alot from Germany and from our own past.

    • thelogicalamerican

      Except the US has a much higher productivity rating. If you read the article they never say the Germans are the most productive in the world. The Germans are about 10 points behind in production per hour of work from the Average American. This is actually very significant number.

  • Dave

    I thought the article was going to talk about more on how German’s reduce the lead times for any process, decisions by reducing the clutter and waste in the system, work efficiently, and have a lean culture, not that they don’t check Facebook, or don’t have icebreakers.

    These are superficial and trivial traits to pick to try to build a case of “productivity”. These are not productivity but merely things to make the workplace “dry”. Real productivity comes from, every individual having initiative to do what’s right for the organization in the most efficient and effective manner, planning what to do and doing it and then coming back to check what could be done better (continuous improvement).

  • Nurdiyanto Makaborang

    i just dreaming thats all would be happen in my country

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  • ChakkaChukka

    At work, I rarely use internet for non-business and never socialize, drink coffee or make small talk by the water fountain. I’m surprised at my co-worker who never removes his eyes from the internet and never does his work. What’s more surprising is my boss who doesn’t lift a finger to curb my co-worker’s internet usage while at work. It baffles me when the boss permits him to work overtime. I guess he needs more time to surf the net.

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  • fxex

    we have a average of 28-30 paid vacation days in germany. I hope still. just saying. Holidays are good for your motivation to work.

    • thelogicalamerican

      It matters on how much you value vacation days. I routinely take about 5 vacation days a year, anything else to me has no value. I rather have a weeks paid vacation and the difference in my paycheck. The value of something can only be validated by the end user.

  • Sunny Kumar

    Superb Article . I too want to say “Make me German” 🙂

    • thelogicalamerican

      Until you figure out that the article is full of crap. To be honest you will find it difficult in Germany, Germany is on the surface very open, underneath old prejudices and feelings of superiority hold true.

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  • thelogicalamerican

    Let me sum it up, if you have limited economical value or drive to be better than Germany is the place for you. If you have economical value and drive Germany is not in the top ten. Wages in Germany are comparably low to many of the top nations, taxes are high. Common misconceptions are abundant on the systems of Germany and the United States. Hard Data which is data that computes numbers and turns them into facts, heavily lean the United States way as being superior. Soft Data which uses opinion over numbers favor the German system. Since both countries are technically free, feel free to use which country best suites you. Both have there pluses and minuses, both are neither perfect nor absolute. The arguments on here are silly at best.

  • thelogicalamerican

    Now lets dive into the numbers

    Average Salary by the OECD, this takes in account Taxes, Wealth Disparity, Unemployment basically all the little things that are difficult for the average person to understand and is the most accurate picture of the economic wealth of a nations individuals.

    Country Gross Income Net Income Effective tax rate Effective Pension

    USA 55,047 44,753 29.6% 1,638
    GER 42,121 21,187 49.7% 1,010

    These numbers are from the OECD in 2012, there is a 23,000 difference of discrepancy between US and German take home pay, for those who are challenged by numbers

    Average Take Home pay after taxes for one month

    USA 3,729.44
    GER 1765.82

    This is almost a 2,000 gap in pay, per month between the two countries
    Most companies in the US provide health insurance to there employees, with the average employee paying 87.50 out of there paychecks with the employers paying roughly 75% of the cost of the policy, with a average cap of 1,500 meaning that the end user AKA the insured will only pay the max amount of 1,500 for any major medical procedure, capped at 1500 a year not procedure. Now lets compare that to the 12% the average German pays for his Medical Care per paycheck. That would Average to 412.41 per month for Medical Insurance.

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  • kardsufur

    germany’s so great. so is the u.s. yet in the end Russia would annihilate them both easily. ha ha ha

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  • Can you imagine it the same in France ?

  • Hardik Chawhan

    Another aspect of the German Work Culture which I appreciate is the importance accorded to Planning, Design and Strategizing. It almost takes up 75 to 80% of the Project time but the implementation is dead on.

  • CyanogenMod Lover!

    I’m not a German but I love German Culture and Germany!

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  • Phil Ford

    Another wishful thinking article from someone without a clue. Despite the pollyannaish description of life in D, the German press is rife with articles about stress and burnout becoming “Volkskrankheiten”. The reason is that it’s a myth that Germans work so little. First off, Germans are workaholics by nature. They spend Saturdays making sure their tidy little homes and gardens meet the “Ordnung” expectations. Then there’s Sunday in D, probably the most boring thing ever.

    Secondly it’s a complete myth that they work on average 35 hours a week. Those on hourly wages do so. White collar professionals usually have a little clause in their contract that says they’re eligible for a bonus or other exceptional remuneration. That’s why guys like me worked over 20 years in D at average 65 hours a week but for the statistics I only worked 40. This goes for software guys, finance, law, architecture, and especially the self employed. Seriously, do you think Germany has been able to completely and utterly dominate Europe economically on 35 hours a week? How naive are you?

    As for Germans “playing hard” well that’s a joke. It’s as if the author has never stepped foot over here. Sure there’s the Vereins. But some people don’t want to get involved in the political BS that goes with Vereinsleben. To me it seems the country bans anything that might be construed as fun. They have rules against literally everything. Wanna go camping? VERBOTEN! How abut fishing? Thirty hours of classroom instruction and a few hundred Euros just to catch carp from an overfished pond. How about hunting? Just get in line and wait for an older hunter to die. You actually need a license here for windsurfing. You need a license for everything. Germans play hard? Compared to who? The Italians? Americans? Canadians? Australians? Sorry, but no way, no how.

    Don’t mean to be too harsh. The Germans do what works for them and it works well. But I don’t knoow how many ex-pats I’ve seen go crazy living here in “paradise”

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  • Calamity

    Americans as a whole are lazy, fat and uninteresting.But nowhere else in the world do you have the opportunity IF you are one of the few that likes to work, has a vision and is willing to sacrifice some to get it.

  • Stepkick

    The debate in the comment section about whether or not Germany beats the US in terms of a habitat choice is based on perspective. However, what this article claims is that Germans are more efficient at work than US and other developed nations because they are not susceptible to distractions and take their work seriously. And as far as I know, you can see the difference when you visit the country itself. It still has a very organized, militaristic appeal to it. Certain countries have certain good values, Germany has discipline so we must appreciate that and try to learn from that instead of cling onto over used stereotype that Germans are Nazi.

  • PackagingConnections

    I can only says its nothing but truth. This has been my experience with there German companies that we work currently: Schreiner-MediPharm, HPT Pharma and Haselmeier

  • Indian

    Indians are just the opposite of Germans!! Lol..

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  • Rita C.

    I most defintely have German work ethics! I do believe that American’s have very sloppy, if any, work ethics (as a whole, not each individual) I believe that work is work, and that personal/private issues should not be discussed at work (maybe at break time, but NOT while working) I had the “pleasure” of working for the Census Bureau in 2000 – there were 2 or 3 other individuals who had excellent work ethics (my one friend from there is 1/2 German) but the MAJORITY – they had their AIS (Ass In Seat) just for the paycheck. Gossip, lotioning ALL parts of their bodies, eating at desks … It’s a shame.

    • thelogicalamerican

      Except that all economic data doesn’t support you conclusion. It actually points to Germans as having okay work ethics. Americans tend not to even take paid Vacation days, they take the least amount in the developed world, they average 14 a year and take half of them. Working in a office with many nationalities, I wouldn’t say the Germans are a ball of fire and don’t put any extra effort into anything, not bad workers they do there work on time and the quality seems to be above par, but don’t ask for anything more your not going to get it.

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  • Xavier Horn Haro Tamariz

    Well, it certainly won´t be for long if things don´t change in Europe. Massive immigration is turning everything upside-down. European Culture is being substituted by a Third World Subculture which will eventually force people to live and work under its rules.

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  • Oh PLEASE, can I move to Germany? I always wanted to, still do, but now I want to even more!

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  • Penny Carter

    just blows my mind, actually the employees have a life, what a concept …do you think it would work in Canada???? The companies find so many loo[ holes, and with all of he new people coming in from other countries, they send all their monies back home to their families, they don’t know the laws but yet some of them have figured out how to abuse them, and we pay for them. Maybe one day Honesty and Compassion will play the roles they were meant for, Nice way to keep employees’ happy,I think it is a fantastic concept to a life that is so fast paced we forget our children have to raise thenselfves because we are always working…..

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  • Garo Ungaro

    Why people complain and whine about their money thats hard to swallow lucky, some got a quality lifestyle, money to spend on what you want? freedom, what else is there but enjoy your blessings sometime we just don’t who we are and what we want? We created all this baggages in life?…to be simple and be happy is a challenge and the hardest to do? specially, your mindset is set to something beyond reality…more…more…more thats the problem…and yet the reality is we got nothing?…Desire, wants, materialism, greed are the constant pain in our lives…Work hard, earned it and enjoy life to the fullest?…Let go?…

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  • Richard Eastman

    If the US domestic middle-class economy had the investment that Germany had the difference between the two countries’ standards of living would not be so great. Furthermore the US dollar has been the reserve currency of the world and monetary authorities kept dollars in the domestic economy tight via the discount wile allowing dollars abroad to be very abundant view open market operations with foreign securities holders and with the permanent extreme unfavorable balance of trade that began in 1980. I believe that with changes in the financial sector and the monetary system the United States could have maintained its one-time lead. Furthermore the US is under attack from the same enemy that conquered Germany in the 1940s. Our “Morganthau solution” is still in play.

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  • Paul Kmf Tubbs

    And they can drink a beer at lunch and not get fired. I’d say they have their priorities straight.

  • kathyplus4

    I am quite sure the German’s have a great work ethic as I know what managers expect of their people. If you are a no nonsense person, go work for a German company; however if you are a woman who needs some flexibility at time because of children and family obligations, I would say find work somewhere other than a German boss.
    Recently, I was trying to place a young girl who left her former company, because she needed to step in to care for her niece and nephew, so they would not be put into foster care. She and her husband had two children of their own. Her former boss actually requested that I find work for her now that she was ready to return to work. Apparently, she was a great employee.
    In interviews, she is asked why she left her former company and she tells the truth. I had an employer who took a week to think about hiring her, and then arrived at the decision that she should have stayed at her former job and make it work, instead of taking time off to care for her niece and nephew. This was in addition to caring for her own two children.
    Yes, the Germans have a different and sometimes too stern of a work ethic. For women who usually take on the responsibilities of the family, having a German boss sometimes just won’t work.

  • #Dating is also different in Germany & Europe. We set some Germans up with Americans at The “Manhattan Dating Project”.

  • David Scarpitta

    I fully believe in this cultural mantra. Commerce outside of America have the right idea. Problem is big corporations and “keeping up with the Jones’s” have brainwashed people to think they need more and work until their ears bleed. I recently posted this about taking a step back and it’s very true. https://davidscarpitta.com/secret-happiness-success/

    • David Scarpitta

      In all honesty, we can take a lesson from countries outside of our own.

  • Rafael Verolla

    What a great article! Except that is completly wrong.


    Of course that, if we talk about quality of life , you can say that Germany have it better then USA. But, when it comes to how much wealth is produced per working hour, USA still comes before Germany.

    Still, I would choose living in Germany other then USA every day of the week.

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  • Chetan

    Wow.. I totally agree with the article. Germans really work like that.. Lots to learn from them. Hope My country learn from them and implement the same.

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  • I’m not convinced yet. I still think the high quality in everything and automatization still is the main reason for all this productivity.

  • PeterPan88

    Sorry too much BS in this article. Few things are right, but it’s not all as shiny as you make it sound. Germans may be hard worker and efficient, but on the cost of life and ejoyment. Germans nature is to be working and on a high position in the food chain, yet they are never happy and complain all the time about their poor life. Working all the time they tend to forget to actually live life!

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  • Rafael Knuth

    Great place to live and work. I’ve spent nearly 30 yrs. in Germany and it’s hard to get used to work ethics in other countries. However, Germans lack an entreprenieual spirit at times, instead of just getting started, failing fast and standing up again they tend to debate things to death. This can be very daunting.

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  • Bevan

    This article helps to explain why there is no Irony in German culture or a sense of humor when you meet…yes this article states the truth and the world agrees…happy automatan people

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    The USA (and Canada) are quickly becoming “Europeanized”. People used to leave the “Old Country” for the New World because of the spectre and promise of individual freedom. Alas, creeping Socialism, Political Correctness, and urbanization are all turning North Americans into “soft” unthinking people who are content to let Big Government run their lives, as long as they have their Starbucks and cell phones. In the 1950s, the image of America was personified by the huge V8 powered finned cars everyone drove and could easily afford. To the outside world, this symbolized FREEDOM to go WHERE EVER one wanted to go, WHEN EVER, without having to let the government know where you were and what you were doing. All too many Americans and Canadians now have a huge sense of entitlement for benefits they never earned, yet they lack any respect for law and order and hate the government that provides for them.

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  • James Cunningham

    Having worked for a German company in the UK for almost 18 years and with Germans for many years before that both home and abroad I can vouch for the truth of this article. I truly think the German ethic towards work is comparable to the best in the world.

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  • Mukund

    The observations are quite realistic as I have dealt with many German manufacturers & manufacturers from other European countries as well as USA, Japan & Korea. However I feel that to work is mainly for your survival and one should enjoy all experiences in life but must give quality output. However one is not born as machine and work like robot or machine is not a sole criteria of our life. Hence most of the people may get bored with stringent German system. No scientist in the world has made great inventions because of hard work and good teamwork. Excess quality and over engineering may not be always advisable. German machines last for decades and are obviously costly. But if the technology changes in 10 years what is the use of this excess life at higher cost. This is where machines from Korea, Japan are increasing their stake in the market all over world. Same is the case for electronics and general industrial goods. There are cases that in spite of best practices followed in Germany some manufacturers did face sever quality problem while proving their machines in India. Similarly flexibility in design also matters a lot and with above trend one is generally reluctant to accept flexibility in design and missing out major cost advantage. I have experience with some German companies while dealing with them through previous employer. Concluding although german traits are good, one should not get addicted to it.

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  • realeasygoing

    I lived and worked in Germany at US company that had it’s European headquarters there. As the pay I made for an entry level position was good I could barely survive on it on how expensive Europe is. Myabe I could have if I did not have to Pay an exorbitant income tax, heath insurance, nursing home and insurance, retirement insurance. Yes I get less annual leave in the states, but at least I have money to go on vacation. Most the guys in the next tier only got bad a hundred or so Euros more than me. In the states I make a lot more money than the guys below me. It’s true American work ethic encroaches upon personal life sometimes but that also makes up part of our identity those that don’t like those kind of jobs do something else.

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  • Guest

    I want to work in Germany or Japan, I like this way of life, where everything is either white or black, not much of the grey zone

  • Moataz Seada

    I want to work in Germany or Japan, I like this way of life, where
    everything is either white or black, No grey zones

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  • Robin Ravi

    The German woman who visited England is correct, mostly the office culture wastes time in those ways. However that is typical of conventional, old fashioned companies Young people starting up companies tend to use technology to streamline those processes.
    Also some types of work are improved by informal group discussions

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  • msgnet

    German work culture sounds nice and secure. It’s great that people work hard and are productive and nobody can get fired. So ok, then where are all those great new German companies? Name some German startup companies that have taken the world by storm in the last 5, 10, 20, 30 years. They just do not exist. It’s all the same companies like BMW, Volkswagen, Siemens, Bayer that have been around forever.

    Alternatively in the US you have these hugely successful companies that have been around for < 30 years like Microsoft, Apple, Cisco. Then came Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo. Then came Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tesla. These are companies that didn't even exist 10 years ago. Then you have the next wave of startups that are going to be huge: Airbnb, Uber, Dropbox, Snapchat, Pinterest.

    Germany and the Scandinavian countries are comfortable, but people are getting old, the populations are shrinking, and quite frankly nobody is going there to seek opportunity. If you want to work for some massive, stable conglomerate that is going to give you a lot of vacation time and is surely going to still be around in 10-20 years, you can find that in the US, though maybe Germany is a better place to be for that life. But if you want true opportunity, excitement, and the chance to fulfill your most ambitious career dreams, then no doubt you come to the USA.

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  • Serious Starsider

    The corporate culture in the US sucks. You are always under pressure to take one for the team and work longer hours or on weekends without getting any over time. Meanwhile the CEO’s benefit from their little worker bee’s working harder and producing more then any time in US history for less. Since there is a glut of workers looking for a job then if you don’t like it they will just hire the next guy for even less. And to poor more salt on the wound the taxes we do pay go to bombing other countries that have absolutely no interest to the average American but plenty of interest for the corporate war machinery.

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  • All this is bull shit.
    What is this the new ‘Mein Kampf’? Really?

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  • Abdul Halim

    those Germans is in for a shock of their lives if they ever start a business/project in Malaysia.. hahahaha

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  • How is this site not mobile friendly? I can only read half the article on my iPhone 6 Plus. I can’t scroll from side to side to see the end of each sentence. Disappointed.

  • @DanielDessinger:disqus Normally it is Dan, but it looks like a few of the pages have some responsive issues. Sorry about that, I’ll look into it. Thanks for letting us know.

  • @DanielDessinger:disqus Should be fixed now Dan, sorry about that.

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  • Jon White

    It is also because of Efficient use of technology by German Business community. BYOD – Bring your own device culture is the biggest example of it. By using Business VPN tehnology, employees can securely carry out their business activities online which avoid the loss of time, data and money.

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  • Michael Byrne

    I think it boils down to work life balance – concentrate on work when in work and not think of it when your not there. I know my parents in 1950s Britain did this there are a lot of distractions now. O.k Germany isnt perfect but i know in the UK people do many more tasks now than they did in my parents day and are more stressed and arent any more productive. My mom remembers loads of disabled working in factories now you hardly see one in Britain as work isnt spread out right and tasks are piled on people leading to exhaustion and those with disabilities are left with no work as they dont fit whats required.

  • Michael Byrne

    But then i think most want to work enough to be comfortable not necessarily rich (there has never been enough top jobs for this). You can be financially rich but socially poor as in Britain. Socially rich means being with friends and family enjoying downtime relaxing mentally and physically and it benefits us in work to and productivity you come back refreshed and do a better job as opposed to come back exhausted and hating your job. Good social relationships are the bedrock of any great society

  • Michael Byrne

    I seen it before working hard doesnt mean more productive or happier organisation is the key to any balanced life. I have also seen employers not wanting to employ the disabled despite the fact a mixed workforce is better and the disabled are better suited to some jobs more than the average worker if only they were slotted into jobs better

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  • akif

    Working in Saudi Arabia on a project unique to Muslims – Hajj Management – we are often frustrated by the pace of work; the word urgency seems to be missing from Saudi Arabia. I often joke that if the Hajj were given to the Germans it would be 100 times more efficient.

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  • A good article, a diferent mode to work. in the global world we need to adapt to new paradigms

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  • Ravan Damien

    Everything about this article is true. I grew up in Germany until I was in 2nd grade. My family is made up of almost all life-long Germans (with the exception of my biological and stepfathers, who are both Canadian.) I have spent my entire life being drilled with the ‘no nonsense’ mindset, don’t beat around the bush, get to the point, be as direct as you can, no fluff, cut the fat…all that. I get into so much trouble with people ALL THE GODDAMN TIME because of this. Americans are so fucking sensitive. They can’t handle being told something as it is. It’s so infuriating. I need to show this to my managers the next time I get fussed at for being ‘rude’ when I’m just saying something without all the fluffy filler that Americans use.

    I mean, good example…when someone shows up at my office unexpectedly before, and then shows up again later without staff knowing, my asking “Does he know you’re coming today?” isn’t rude. It’s a valid question. I can’t just let every dumbass into the back of the clinic because he’s been there before. The doctor needs to give permission before these shadows can be allowed access.

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  • G.b. Adams

    Nice PR puff piece… Wonder how much money they would have if they ever paid the required 2% of GNP to fund NATO instead of living under the protection of the U.S. military.

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  • gary manning

    Do masons (bricklayers) and construction workers only work 36 hrs a week and get paid vacation? American bricklayers work their ass off all day while the typical office worker screws around the majority of the day. We have two employees that talk about mindless nonsense all day while they work and it is so FN annoying so I agree if your not talking about work STFU! Also, In America its difficult for a small business that hires legal US citizens, pays Its employees at or above federal wage scale, pays taxes and has Insurance to compete with others that hire illegals for less and don’t pay taxes or have insurance. Not to mention they are highly unskilled and dont understand proper building standards or English! Do the Germans let citizens from neighboring countries enter the country illegally and let them work, not pay taxes and take advantage of the health care system? Do they allow generations of families to depend on government aid without having a job so they can have more kids to get more $$$? Yes I wish Americans had the work ethic and the pride of earning a paycheck that Germans have but thats just a dream!

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  • Doug Anderson

    I know a lot of Germans that work in the US now…as citizens or green card. They all say they are here for the same reason: Opportunity. In a socialized nation like Germany, many talented and highly skilled workers cannot excel, because the country is basically promoting people “on a curve” so to speak. It has gotten so “fair” that it can dumb down the smarter crowd to help others have the same opportunities. This is not unusual, just the way they do it. In America, usually, you can still forge your own destiny in anything you desire. Also, check out the tax rate there. I have heard it can soar into the 70% margin if you make any real money.
    This article also talk about the industrial powerhouse Germany is in Europe. Absolutely. They have clawed, crawled and earned their way out of the mess of WWII. No longer divided, they are gaining strength on the world market as a financial player. They dont put up with terrorism. They hate the nazi past they had to deal with. Good things there. As long as they hold the balance of high-tech in the other hand, they will succeed in my opinion. Industrialization is shrinking with technology.
    If you have ever been to Germany, you can see the lack of opportunity in their eyes. I hope that changes and people are allowed to go further than ever. Europe needs a radical, less-socialized Country to show that continent it can be done! Go Germany!

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  • Sai Prakash Bhupalam

    I LOVE Germany. My dad worked there (at AEG for about a year in 1963) for a bit on assignment and till today he has very fond memories of their culture, precision, innovativeness and work ethic. As the opening of the article states, for many people Hitler comes to mind and while that is not something that can be brushed under the rug, the Germany that I have known (since 1986 to 1996) is a great country. Apropos to this article, I had an opportunity to do some consulting for a firm with a manufacturer in Darmstadt. I also had many German colleagues when I was in the airline business. An impeccable work ethic & accountability are givens and my German friends used to stress out about where they would go on vacation! They had all this time coming. If a subway train was late by 1 minute, there would be four announcements notifying the passengers about it. Their precision and innovativeness was visible in daily life as well as in the business/engineering domains. I spent so much time there that some of that rubbed off on me. Definitely a great paradigm to be looked at for aspiring nations.

  • Rich Chere

    I couldn’t agree more. We worked with a German for more than two years in our organization in Zimbabwe. He was straight to the point, communicated very directly that most of us felt uncomfortable as, being Zimbabweans, we are too polite in our communication. In addition, he would work on reports in a very short of time, participate in every meeting in the organization and be aware of every detail of activities being implemented in all our projects – and we would ask, “where does he get all this energy from?”

    • Tony Hilary

      that’s why Zimbabwe is what it is now and Germany is what it is now.

  • Tony Hilary

    In Australia its even worst. Nothing gets done, at my work place all people talk about is last weekend and next weekend activities

  • Grog

    This will all change radically when the muslims move in with enough numbers to take over, Germany is about 15 years away from perishing under sharia law, yet they keep importing more and more radicalized muslims.

  • Brandife .com

    what a amazing work germans have. no doubt are they are big and great. it would be really if we also start building this thought initially and habit eventually

  • Manesh Pratap Singh

    Cant be agreed more. Its hands on experience of working with Germany Company for over 9 years. Kudos to Germans

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  • “Germans work fewer hours but produce more.”

    They also rank very highly in all metrics, such as per capita income, UN Happiness Index, SPI (index) low unemployment (even during the financial crisis) high productivity, free university education (even for foreigners who live in Germany) a very high standard of life, a (de facto) free universal healthcare system, the world’s largest export surplus (they break their own record every year) and in so many other ways.

    If it’s a better system and those stats and more, prove it.

    To argue against all of those stats (and the experience of those who’ve lived there) is like arguing that the sky is not blue.

    Yes, I lived in Bremen and in Cologne for a time in the 1980’s. And I’m still struck by the difference in culture.

    People in North America ‘go to work’ and do some amount of work during the day when it’s convenient for them. (That’s how it’s perceived by Germans)

    In Germany, people go to work and they actually work all day, until the very last minute of the day, at which point the offices empty, the stores empty, the parking lot empties, the lights go out — all within 5 minutes. Typical German efficiency at work.

    The Nordic countries are very similar.


    Cheers, JBS

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  • Gurunath Hari

    Difference in style between German and other work cultures could be significant. None better than the other. Its more a matter of preference to an individual’s style. Problem is the workplace is not very flexible as it could be. Ultimately individuals need to be accommodating. Then it gets political.
    That could be one of the reasons why Leo Apotheker could not come good as the CEO of HP. His style was different.

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  • Rafique Khattak

    German workers have both mental and physical relief. Life without stress is a blessing which only Germans are enjoying at present. One aspect to be added in the article Germans are good in management.

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  • ITDeluded

    Ermmm……….has any one ever thought that maybe they just happen to have developed many of the tech during WWII and that has just given them an edge in innovation. Hate to say this but the truth hurts…..a lot of people had to pay with their lives…..oh and don’t forget Japan.

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  • Abhishek Dushyant

    Nice article.
    But, if Germany is so good, why aren’t they coming up with big revolutions in knowledge industry.
    Germany is still following a “switch on/off” mindset. Currently, they are Mecca of automobile and other machinery products. We have to wait and watch, dominance of Germany in coming age of AI.
    Is Germany innovating enough to stay ahead ??

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  • zebman

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  • robert Anderson

    I disagree. Germany is a People populated that are extremely cold and distant with foreigners. In the work place, small talk hardly exist and if you are a foreigner, many will not speak to you and outright discriminate you. It is not a good Country to live.

  • robert Anderson

    We have lived here for 4 years and many of the People are miserable. This YouTube brags about Kids Tuning into nature. Yes, if you like the Hitlers youth camp. The teachers kept sending my 3 to 4 year old son in heavy rain and snow outside all day and he kept getting sick in Bavaria. They wanted the Kids to get sick so there would be fewer in the class. Makes the teachers Job easier.
    This is not a kid friendly Country. People do not like children. They love their Dogs more than Kids. They are extremely selfish People. Yes, they have Kindergeld (UK has crap), lower cost of living, fewer hours work, less taxes and so forth. Yet, even if you know the language fluently, you will still be kept outside of Clubs, parties, work get togethers at work, Germans associate with Germans period. This is especially true is smaller towns. In bigger cities, they may be more open and will respect you more, but they will never accept you!
    My wife and I are from America. American blows away Germany in everything except workers rights. Corporate America has stripped all those rights away the last 25 years. Jobs have been outsourced to China and the third world. However, this is happening to Germany as well. More industries and companies are moving to China and Eastern Europe. Wages have been stagnet, workers right are wiltered away by more corporate friendly laws. This is a common complain in Germany, that Germany is becoming more like Britain and the USA: Many People live in poverty. They are Million of slave wage Jobs that pay only 450€ Maximum per month. Alot of woman do this because School ends at 12 or 1pm and they can not have a full time Job. School here are terrible. Too many times my daughter goes for Long walks in the forest, Plays outside and does nothing in the Gymnasium. Education is poor. University is free but maybe not in the same class as the USA or Britain. German products form the last 10 years are shit! My BMW 525 touring collapsed. Engine broke down twice 8,000€ repair, door cables broke twice, etc. We bought a new kitchen and most of the products are AEG. Dishwasher is not funcitoning after a year. The Fridge and Oven failed after 6 months. Germans do not make good quality of products anymore. We refused to buy german made products. We replaced our BMW with a Ford S max. No Problems. We moved from the state of Georgia 4 years ago and we had GE products. Cheaper than These overpaid products and we had no Problems for 5 years in that house.
    This YouTube talks about British People talking at work. Just like America. But These miserable misfits ahve Little or no social skills. They walk around at work miserable. Many will not say hello to me or turn their heads if you greet them. The reason: they are very discriminatory towards other races! I am a Greek American, a european like them. They have third world social skills and they are very selfish, non sharing in the work place. They will let you sink and fail.
    In short, Germany, with the Million of Muslims coming in and German factories moving abroad and piss poor shabby products will colalpse in 5 years or so. Take my word. We are thinking of leaving this nightmare called Germany.

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  • Lyra Snowpaw

    This is inaccurate. Having lived and worked in Germany They have a 42 hour work week. Many people are underemployed which counts for the “average” in this story. However, it is true, no goofing off allowed while you are at work and you do get 6 weeks paid vacation. When you are sick you MUST go to the doctor, even if it’s just for one day. There is no minimum wage in Germany and high unemployment so if you don’t like it. . .

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