Thursday, October 14, 2010

Why Germany Has It So Good -- and Why America Is Going Down the Drain

Why Germany Has It So Good -- and Why America Is Going Down the Drain By Terrence McNally

"... Germany has somehow managed to create a high-wage, unionized economy without shipping all its jobs abroad or creating a massive trade deficit, or any trade deficit at all. And even as the Germans outsell the United States, they manage to take six weeks of vacation every year. They're beating us with one hand tied behind their back."

"My second proposal is simply the most effective way to move ultimately to a single payer healthcare system, which I think we have to do. I would say that even if I didn't think single payer were a better system. You have to have one consistent system of payment to get control of healthcare costs. All the European countries do. It doesn't have to be single payer, but it has to be a consistent system. You can't have a mix of private market and single payer."
You may recall the health care "debate" and how it was framed by the media as a comparison between the American and the Canadian and British health care systems, but not a single word about the German system. While this article touches on this subject, it's far more then that.

"You point out that as globalization grew, the US chose to compete on the basis of cheap labor by outsourcing. We kept the marketing and executives here and moved the manufacturing elsewhere. We've been playing that game for 20-30 years now. Germany chose to play the opposite game."

The article ends with:

"McNally: Let me finish with a quote of yours that really struck me: Without an industrial base a democracy dies.

Geoghegan: My own favorite ending line would be: Countries like Germany do both capitalism and socialism better than we do."


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