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January 23, 2012 AT 12:00 am

Germany has the economic strengths America once boasted

Pt 510

Germany has the economic strengths America once boasted @ latimes.com.

Germany with its manufacturing base and export prowess is the U.S. of yesteryear, an economic power unlike any of its European neighbors. It has thrived on principles America seems to have lost.

Their secret: little debt, frugal habits and a government that is intensely focused on high production, low inflation and extensive social services.

That has given them job security and good medical care as well as well-maintained roads, trains and bike paths. Both of their adult children are out on their own, thanks in part to Germany’s job-training system and heavy subsidies for university education.

For instance, Volkmar’s out-of-pocket costs for stomach surgery and 10 days in a hospital totaled just $13 a day. College tuition for their son runs about $260 a semester.

Germany, with its manufacturing base and export prowess, is the America of yesteryear, an economic power unlike any of itsEuropean neighbors. As the world’s fourth-largest economy, it has thrived on principles that the United States seems to have gradually lost.

Read more.

On a related note, Germany as a country is one of our top customers – they all seem to love electronics and making things.


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4 Comments

  1. Oh how I would like to comment on this post. But I’ve already been warned about saying anything “political” here 🙁

  2. @drone, constructive discussion is always fine – keep it in context of our site, a place for makers and people who create electronics and we’re all good 🙂 what we want to avoid is political party discussions.

    “Germany with its manufacturing base and export prowess is the U.S. of yesteryear, an economic power”

    talking about how/why germany is a manufacturing power house would be great!

  3. I have to concur drone. The reasons that enable people to take part in the manufacturing power house often boil down to political views.
    Like public healthcare or little to no college tuition which are also promoted by the german government…

  4. The problem in Germany however is, that the current liberal/conservative governments prefer to copy US "small government" conservatives when it comes to dismantling social safety structures under the guise of "increasing fairness" (by making the poor pay disproportionaly more).
    College tuition is constantly on the rise, and while 1500€/year is far below US levels, it’s still quite effective in keeping out the poor. (If they even get their high-school diploma, we have a weird split system, where you have to decide at age ~9 if you want to go to university or get into an apprenticeship program at 16, pupils from poorer backgrounds choose the latter path and it’s incredibly hard to switch).

    This is the main reason Germany pushes for the expansion of the european free-trade zone, eastern europe can provide cheap unskilled labor, producing the goods that are assembled by the middle-class in Germany, and sold back to the emerging eastern markets. Since all of this in done in Euros, the bad USD/EUR rate doesn’t hit Germany that hard (well, until the eastern european countries have caught up and cheap labor has to come from somewhere else…).

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