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If Germany were your home instead of the United States

The Economist compares US states with countries around the world. And created this comparison, commenting: "The lottery of birth is responsible for much of who we are. If you were not born in the country you were, what would your life be like? Would you be the same person?"


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Pat Patterson on :

Might be a fair comparison on the basis of per capita but to use the totals of both nations and ignorning the relative disparity in population makes the whole thing meaningless. Germany uses only 16% less electricity on a per capita basis but, conveniently left out, uses almost the same amount of coal per capita, etc. Comparing birth rates when ignorning how both countries tabulate differently then makes the figures on longevity more than suspect. This belongs on one of those ex-pat magazines trying to sell cruises on the Rhine during the winter. We have already argued over class divide which again is moot when considering the wider range of incomes available in the US then in Germany. I certainly can't argue with the AIDS figures as Germany treated its earlies cases as a treatable pandemic while the US dithered then eventually tried to cure the outbreak by what the patient demanded not what medicine allowed.

Kevin Sampson on :

Lets add being saddled with a national debt of 77.2% of GDP as opposed to 39.7%. Paying a mean tax rate of 52% as opposed to 29%. On top of making 25% less money, that's really got to suck. No wonder your economy is export-driven, you can't afford your own products. And to top it off, being ruled by a supra-national bureaucracy which you have little to no control over.

Zyme on :

I would assume that we are pretty much the only country having control over this "supra-national bureaucracy". Which is why it is such a grand tool.

Kevin Sampson on :

Really? So if the EU didn't exist, you would have bailed out Greece and Ireland anyway? Just out of the goodness of your hearts?

Pat Patterson on :

Another one of those countries that can do no wrong, at least in this decade, Japan has a public debt that is 196% of its current GDP.

Joe Noory on :

Worse still, they owe that 196% of GDP mainly to Japanese citizens who buy into bonds and bond funds, so they can't devalue or inflate their way out of it without impoverishing retirees. Japan is entering it's THIRD DECADE of being an economic zombie, despite growing asian markets for their techie-groovie, super-superior quality overpriced rubbish. Many of those retirees are moving in droves to Thailand to make ends meet and stretch theit Yen... (something you shouldn't try unless you're under medical supervision.)

Joe Noory on :

May we now bleat the moronically grinding Kabuki about the evils of American exceptionalism? Imagine how socially impossible it would be to arrive at the other conclusion were the data or study constructed to go the other way. What if they counted R&D, rates of alcoholism, charitable giving, cancer rates, social and economic MOBILITY, living space, the rate of solitude in adulthood, and things like purchasing power parity? As to healthcare, they must certainly be leaving something out, because every friend in Germany with whom I've discussed the matter has let be to realize that they pay a lot more for private health insurance that I do. A lot of that could be limiting the observation of GDP to things that are or arent included, because an exhaustive study from 2 years ago concluded that virtually ALL OECD contries pay within 1% of GDP of one another for the cost of healthcare. Like bizarre comparisons of military budgets for the purpose of ritual pretend horror, it requires one to pretend that a Russian or Chinese soldier get the same pay and benefits as an American soldier. (Where are the "living wage" cranks when that data comes up?) Or say, the cost of any piece of equipment: do you think a uniform or molle vest or pair of boots costs the same in China as it does in the US? I put this right up there with those studies of charity where they only count government aid, ignoring that half of the world's aid comes from non-governmental, private entities in the U.S. I mean if all of this is the case, why is it that Germans rattle on and on about feeling POOR, helplessly hemmed-in and pessimistic in comparison to Americans?

influx on :

15% of the German population have private insurance. As for social MOBILITY: That ifitweremyhome thing is still ridiculous, though-your point is well taken, even though we seem to travel in different circles in Germany. Big surprise, that.

Pat Patterson on :

I'm extremely suspicious of claims of social mobility based either on income, which is much more broad in the US than in Europe and graduation rates. One thing that occurs in the US is how many more students attend college with a natural increase in the drop out rate due to lack of the skills needed to succeed in college. We have the highest rate of any of the Western nations in college attendance which means more of the so-called less privileged are in school as opposed to Europe. Plus you have to be careful when the rate of graduation is based on four years and coming to the assumption that those who don't matriculate in that time frame drop out. Most, because of working outside, have to take five-years to graduate. Or someone like me who took ten-years to get my BA. Though I took off for five years to work and travel...oh, all right, to goof around.

Joe Noory on :

The claim isn't fully based on income growth from generation to generation. The conclusions were made to make a infantile academic argument about income disparity, as if the existence of the rich is a larger problem than the circumstances of the poor. It's morally repugnant to see people used that way as an ideological football, but what do the "socially concerned" care about that kind of thing anyway?

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