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Comparing the United States and Germany

In August, the Atlantic Review linked to a US Fulbrighter's list The Best of Both Worlds: What Germany and the United States could learn from each other. Since these comparisions are very popular on both sites of the Atlantic, here is now an interesting and very detailed Comparision of Germany and the United States from Axel Boldt, a German college teacher with a Ph.D. in Math from the University of California, who has been living in the US since 1992.

He compares the US and Germany in regard to these topics: Democracy, Freedom, Nationalism, Technology, Television and the Media, Bureaucracy, Communism and Socialism, Unions, The World of Work, Legal System, Privacy and Access to Information, Educational System, Health, Mobility, Diversity, Discrimination, The Rich, Canada and the Netherlands, Environmental Sensitivity, Charity, Mentalities, Violence and Aggression, Influence of Religion, Selective enforcement of laws, Dress Code, and Annoying Customs.

He points out: "Since I started this page several years ago, I repeatedly noticed that the differences between America and Germany are getting smaller, a result of Germany moving in America's direction." His comments software does not work properly, so please, leave any comment, you might have, here. Click on "Comments" below.

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Rosemary on :

Sounds like a good challenge. Also sounds like a book! lol. I wrote an article about something Germany did. It is more based on the actions before and after, but I thought you be interested. http://mynewznideas.blogspot.com/2005/12/germany-frees-terrorists-hostage-set.html I'm going to give your suggested reading a chance. I hope it isn't too many pages! lol. Have a Merry ChristMass and a wonderfully Happy New Year.

David on :

Rosemary, I did read your article on the release of Hamadi. You display pure contempt for the legal system in Germany - surely not a good basis for German-US dialogue.

Rosemary on :

Dear David, I'm sorry you see it that way. What I am upset at is something the German people have no control over, just as we have no control over our judges. I could not believe a judge would allow a terrorist go free while in talks with two governments. We are, after all, at war, whether the rest of the world wishes to admit it or not. You are aware, I'm quite sure, that they have declared war against us. We did not start this, but I will be daggoned if we are going to sit by and take it! We are going to finish it. Hamadi is still wanted for the murder of an innocent America, whether anyone likes it or not. He was, after all, a Navy man. He is held in very high regard. It is perfectly fine to disagree with laws, but it is perfectly wrong not to hand over a prisoner of ours because of this disagreement! I wish you a Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah, and a Happy New Year! I hope you find the pickles. (Is that a proper thing to say? I am not familar with this custom.)

Dr.Dean on :

After reading his sentence "Racism in everyday life is less prevalent in the US than in Germany" i felt that Axel Boldt's view ist biased and covers the theme unfairly. I do not see much relevant "rasism" in amerika, and in my country maybe 10 or 15% of the populatons seem to be a xenophobic. But there ist no racism. And about 85% of the german population is exlizit against any racism and xenophobism. I don't know the values in america but i guess that they go in the same direction. To make it a bit more concrete: Just compare the situation of muslimic or arabic immigrants in Chicago wiht e.g. Berlin. From my point of view i would say, that in both places discriminations is evident (same level i guess) but in both places there is no racism against them.

Thomas on :

Racisim is here defined as discrimination on the basis of the color of your skin.

Rosemary on :

Democracy= He makes one point I disagree with, and that as to do with reapportionment. I hate it also! lol. It is, however, necessary to make sure ALL minorities are represented. Freedom v Security= If we have to pay damages for the ill of our children, then you can bet they have to what they are told until they are 18! Nationalism= This is where I believe an opportunity may have been missed in 1989. Upon reunification, it was time to move forward proudly. YOU did not fight with the Nazis. You do not have to carry that burden anymore. Grab the future, look toward it, aim for it, and make policies to get you there. America made mistakes, horrible sins! We learned from then and tried to repair them. We are the greatest, ain't we? :)

Shah Alexander on :

I managed to trackback my post. Thank you for your e-mail. Both blogs are interesting. Comparison covers a broad range of issues. May I suggest another issue of comparison? How about professional sports? Particularly, I am interested in steroid problems. As readers know, the BALCO scandal has developed into a serious political agenda. John McCain is working hard on this issue. Do German athletes use steroid?

Philipp on :

Dear Axel, I liked reading your comparisons a lot, and agreed with most of them. There's one thing where I had quite a different experience though: Some German friends of mine were walking across a crossroad in Pasadena on an evening when no traffic was approaching. Some policemen happened to be close however. They held them up, put them against a wall, searched them for guns, threatened to take them to jail for the night and only let them go after everybody had paid $50. In Germany they might give you a long lecture, but they will not treat you like criminals

anonymous on :

It's against the law in the US for police officers to require one to pay money to avoid jailtime. Every once in a while, I read about it in the news. It's a crime. My apologies to your friends.

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