About this article

Some words about me

My name is BuddyHoli. I’m 43 years old and grew up in North Rhine-Westphalia, in West Germany. For more than a decade I have been actively involved in comparing my home country Germany and the USA. I started this because, in many private conversations with people who have had US experience as residents or immigrants, I’ve noticed more differences between the two countries than I ever thought possible. Some of these differences may just be funny or weird, but others were so shocking that I had to double-check with other interviewees that there was real truth to these differences. A few of these differences have an incredible impact on everyday life, and may well explain why systems react wildly differently and why people are the way they are and don’t try to improve their situation. I have to admit that I couldn’t help but shed a tear or two, sometimes out of pity, sometimes out of horror.

People I’ve spoken to

I’ve spoken to many people: Americans who have decided to leave the United States and settle in Germany or Europe alone or with their families, but also Germans and Europeans who have emigrated to the United States to settle there alone or with their families. I also spoke to many people who have lived in Germany or Europe and the US for at least a year, as well as some YouTubers who have posted their own experiences with both countries, or YouTube users who have reacted to these experiences. Another source that should not be underestimated is of course the Internet. Here I visited and read official and independent sites that provided me with the necessary data to support my statements in my comparison. All in all, I really enjoyed the many discussions. It was interesting to meet so many different, smart and kind people with such different worldviews and to discover how differently people perceive their former and current surroundings. But it’s also thought-provoking to note that at some point people seem to accept their situation completely without even remotely considering that they could change that situation with comparatively little effort.

What I don’t want to achieve

It is not my intention to insult or be condescending to people, their experiences, ways of life or attitudes. Please note, however, that as the author of this article, who was born in Germany and lives and works in Germany, I have no other option than to compare the situation in my country with that in the USA. Even though I will always try to remain as objective as possible, my origins are responsible for the fact that in the end I will somehow look at everything through German glasses. Of course, I try as often as possible to incorporate the experiences that I have from Americans who deal with Germany in the same way as the experiences of Germans who deal with America. Ultimately, however, I will have to make a judgment on each topic as to whether the situation is better in the USA or in my home country. And whenever I say the situation in my country is better, I don’t do it to belittle the situation in the US. My hope is that I can open the eyes of the people in the better rated country and get them to think outside the box in order to create the motivation to improve their situation.

Roadmap for this article

There are really an incredible number of differences between Germany and the USA, which does not really make it easy to develop a roadmap for this article. We compare two completely different systems with completely different governments and completely different health, education, financial and social systems. People differ in the way they live together, act together, how they live, work, work, work and shape their free time. People also differ seriously in how they think, especially when it comes to openness to other people, cultures, languages, religions, habits and systems. My article, that is already certain, will never be entitled to completeness. I will try to cluster the many topics and describe how the two countries work, what distinguishes them and why a system, in my opinion, is better than the other. At the end of this page I will integrate a form through which you as a reader of this page can get rid of suggestions, praise and criticism. Who knows … Maybe this creates another friendly, respectful and fair discussion on a specific topic.

I will try to follow the life run of a person – from birth to death. My goal is to show the relevant differences between Germany and the USA for each individual phase of life. I am completely aware that all topics are mixed. However, it would be significantly more difficult to follow clear topics. For example, if I would report on the health system, I would be forced to talk about politics, finance, nutrition and much more. My hope is that the decision for human resume offers a common thread where you can hang along as a reader.

From birth to death

A child is born

When a child is born in the United States, the mother usually works until shortly before birth, because it feels exposed to the risk of losing your job if she takes too much paid or unpaid vacation. As the only industrial country in the world, there is no federal maternity protection in the United States. Only nine of the fifty states, including California, Connecticut and New Jersey, offer paid maternity protection between 4 and 12 weeks. Mothers who do not enjoy this right work up to a few hours before birth and then try to get back into work as soon as possible. However, this is not promoted. The past few years show that fewer and fewer American women get back into the same profession after birth. Only if the man has a well -paid job can the mother devote himself entirely to the offspring. Otherwise, only half -day jobs often remain if that pays off financially. But later, because there is still something between “before birth” and “after birth”: the birth.

And that can face the fresh parents with incredible challenges. The family just founded costs a birth between $ 10,000 and $ 25,000, depending on the type and scope of health insurance. Additional costs can arise from the aftercare, because a newborn is not necessarily health insurance and the costs for examinations, treatments and medication are many times higher in the USA than in Germany. On the Internet, parents report on the aftercare of their newborns who resulted in medical bills in the amount of more than $ 100,000. But what is much more horrific: In certain cases, for certain diseases of the child who require certain treatments or medication, the parents have been refused to treat them because their health insurance does not cover these treatments or medication. A death sentence for the newborn.

When a child is born in Germany, the mother is already on maternity leave 6 weeks before the birth, which guarantees her continued wages and guarantees her job. The mother is entitled to an additional 8 weeks of maternity leave after the birth, which allows her to take full care of the newborn. Thanks to statutory health insurance, the birth and any type of aftercare cost absolutely nothing. Only for the hospital stay 10 € per day are due. It is almost impossible for a child to be denied treatment or for health insurance not to cover the costs of aftercare, because children up to the age of 18 are automatically covered by their parents’ health insurance free of charge.

In order to mitigate the costs during the development of the child, parents in Germany receive the so-called child benefit. Since January 1, 2023, this child benefit has been 250 € per child. This money is paid monthly from birth to the child’s 18th year. If the child has already completed their vocational training by this time but is not employed, this period will be extended to the age of 21. If the child is in vocational training, in the transition period between school leaving certificate and training or voluntary service, has not found a training place or is completing a voluntary, ecological or federal voluntary year, this period is extended to the 25th year of life. This period can also be extended for disabled children who cannot support themselves. In addition, parents can apply for the so-called child supplement for each child. This benefit is aimed primarily at families with low or middle incomes and, depending on the family’s living conditions, can be paid in addition to child benefit, but also in addition to housing benefit. The child supplement can be up to 250 € per child. Families who are entitled to the child supplement receive additional support from the so-called education package. This includes a subsidy for school lunches, travel costs to school or the costs of learning materials, the payment of tutoring hours, contributions to sports clubs and the costs of sports equipment or musical instruments, but also, for example, exemption from the child daycare fee.

In addition, each parent is entitled to 3 years of parental leave after the birth of the child. Both parents have this claim independently of each other. The law allows parental leave to be divided into 2 periods, if the employer agrees, also into additional periods. Parental leave should be taken until the child is 3 years old, but can be taken until the child is 8 years old in some cases. Parents on parental leave enjoy special protection against dismissal, which begins at the latest when they register for parental leave (at the earliest 8 weeks before the start of parental leave for the time before the child is 3 years old and at the earliest 14 weeks before the start of parental leave for the time between the 3rd and 3rd year of life). .and 8 years of age of the child). From a technical point of view, the employment contract is suspended during parental leave, so the parents on parental leave do not receive any wages from their employer. However, the parents on parental leave receive the so-called parental allowance from the health insurance company. It is divided into basic parental allowance (65% of net income, 300 € to 1,800 €) and parental allowance plus (between 150 € and 900 €, maximum 50% of basic parental allowance) and the partnership bonus (like parental allowance plus, only for the partner). In addition, there may be a 10% bonus per child for additional children in the same household.

The time until school

Caring for a child in the early years of life can be expensive in the United States. More than 70% of mothers in the US are employed, with three out of four mothers working more than 30 hours a week. 24% of mothers are single parents. Childcare costs between $3,800 and $13,500 for infants and toddlers ages 4 and under, and $3,000 to $9,000 for ages 4 and up, depending on the state. Public subsidies are generally only available to welfare recipients and low-income families. In many states, such families receive a voucher to purchase child care. Up until the age of 6, childcare costs parents an average of between $21,200 and $72,000. If the mother decides to look after the children herself, she usually loses her job and with it her health insurance. This puts enormous pressure on the father, who not only has to cover the mother’s income, but also has to absorb additional health insurance costs for the mother and child. The father, who probably already works 6-7 days a week, then works 70 to 120 hours a week, which robs him of an incredible amount of time with his family and also doesn’t really contribute to his health.

Caring for a child in the early years of life can be expensive in the United States. More than 70% of mothers in the US are employed, with three out of four mothers working more than 30 hours a week. 24% of mothers are single parents. Childcare costs between $3,800 and $13,500 for infants and toddlers ages 4 and under, and $3,000 to $9,000 for ages 4 and up, depending on the state. Public subsidies are generally only available to welfare recipients and low-income families. In many states, such families receive a voucher to purchase child care. Up until the age of 6, childcare costs parents an average of between $21,200 and $72,000. If the mother decides to look after the children herself, she usually loses her job and with it her health insurance. This puts enormous pressure on the father, who not only has to cover the mother’s income, but also has to absorb additional health insurance costs for the mother and child. The father, who probably already works 6-7 days a week, then works 70 to 120 hours a week, which robs him of an incredible amount of time with his family and also doesn’t really contribute to his health.

Time at school and studies/training

American school children usually attend preschool (up to age 5), then elementary school (up to age 9, maximum up to age 13), then middle school/junior high (up to age 14) and then high school (until age 18). After that comes college. There are no fixed classes that extend over the entire stay at a school. Instead, the classes are regularly mixed up and the class teachers are changed. Each school child has an individual timetable and changes from course to course. In addition to compulsory subjects such as math, English and history, many schools offer courses such as creative writing, journalism, computer science, design, foreign languages, handicrafts, photography, psychology and more. Such elective courses are offered at three levels of difficulty: the basic level, the advanced level and the expert level.

The American school system also offers a wide range of extracurricular activities that are roughly comparable to German AGs (working groups). These activities form a large part of the school day and most students take part in at least one, but usually more than one of these activities.

The school grading system uses the letters A (at least 90% correct), B (at least 80% correct), C (at least 70% correct), D (at least 65% correct( and F (less than 65% correct). The ” +” behind a school grade upgrades it, the “-” downgrades it.

Due to the large size of the United States, there is a government student transportation system that ensures that all students have the opportunity to get to school on time.

The school system in the USA also costs parents a fortune. Depending on the state, preschool fees range from $1,000 to $2,500, private elementary school from $7,600 to $16,000, private middle school from $5,000 to $35,000, and high school from $12,000 to $50,000 per year. The costs are therefore between $108,000 and $451,500 per child for the entire school years. Public schools, on the other hand, are free. However, the costs for travel and meals must be added. School supplies are usually provided by the school.

After school, American students attend college. urricular activities that are roughly comparable to German AGs (working groups). These activities form a large part of the school day and most students take part in at least one, but usually more than one of these activities.

The school grading system uses the letters A (at least 90% correct), B (at least 80% correct), C (at least 70% correct), D (at least 65% correct( and F (less than 65% correct). The ” +” behind a school grade upgrades it, the “-” downgrades it.

The cheapest way to study in the US is at a community college. The tuition (2 years) here ranges from $2,000 to $3,500 per semester. Other colleges will cost from $15,000 to $50,000 a year. After that, students can go to a 4-year college or university, for example to do a bachelor’s degree. Annual costs for a bachelor’s degree range from $15,000 to $30,000, for an associate’s degree from $4,000 to $19,000, and for a master’s degree from $10,000 to $33,000. An MBA degree costs $45,000 to $120,000 per program and an LLM degree costs $35,000 to $70,000 per program. A PhD program costs $10,500 to $33,000 per semester. In the USA, a distinction is made between public in-state universities, public out-of-state universities and private universities. The average cost for public in-state universities is about $10,500 per year, for public out-of-state universities about $23,000 per year and for private universities about $40,000 per year.

In total, parents pay between $15,000 and $50,000 per academic year per child. A normal degree takes 4 years, a bachelor’s degree 1-2 years, a master’s degree 2-3 years, a PhD degree 4-8 years. In the end it will be several $100,000.

German school children normally attend primary school up to the age of 6, then one of the secondary schools until at least 16 but no more than 18 years of age. The secondary schools differ in the level of difficulty and the school-leaving certificates that can be obtained. In some federal states, the primary school class teacher advises the parents and recommends a specific secondary school, but in a few federal states the type of secondary school is also determined by the primary school class teacher. In four secondary schools in Germany are the “Hauptschule”, the “Realschule, the “Gesamtschule” and the “Gymnasium”. Schooling at these schools is divided into lower secondary level and upper secondary level, with lower secondary level comprising grades 5 to 9 (grades 5 to 10 at the “Gymnasium”). At secondary level I, students have the opportunity to acquire the “Hauptschulabschluss” after the 9th grade or the “Erweiterter Hauptschulabschluss” after the 10th grade. At the “Realschule” and the “Gymnasium” the “Mittlerer Schulabschluss” (“Fachoberschulreife”) can be obtained after class 10. In the upper secondary level (only “Gesamtschule” and “Gymnasium”), the “Fachabitur” (after the 12th grade) and the “Abitur” oder “Zentralabitur” (after the 13th grade) can be obtained. Pupils also have the opportunity to attend special needs schools or to change schools during or after their school days.

Pupils are divided into classes, which remain unchanged for lower secondary education, unless a student has to repeat the class. In the upper secondary level, the students then attend courses according to their course plan and are thus mixed with all students of the classes of a year. The main subjects taught at school are German, mathematics, English, French, biology, physics and chemistry. In addition, other foreign languages, computer science, technology, social sciences (history, social studies, politics, geography, economics), artistic subjects (music, art, theater), religion, philosophy, ethics, as well as education and sports are offered. Some schools offer additional subjects.

The German school system offers AGs (working groups) for special interests, which students can, but do not have to, take part in.

In lower secondary school, the German school grading system uses the numbers 1 (at least 92%, very good), 2 (at least 81%, good), 3 (at least 67%, satisfactory), 4 (at least 50%, sufficient), 5 (at least 30%, insufficient) and 6 (less than 30%, insufficient). A “+” upgrades a school grade, a “-” downgrades it. In the upper secondary level, on the other hand, only points are awarded, ranging from 15 points for a more than very good performance (1+) to 0 points for an unsatisfactory performance (6).

A school transport system such as school buses only exists in exceptional cases, for example in very rural areas or when visiting a sports hall or swimming hall together requires the use of a bus.

The German school system costs the parents nothing. There are no school fees and almost all schools are public. There are a few elite private schools that charge between 250 and several thousand euros per month. But under 10% of the students in Germany attend such a school. However, the parents have to contribute to some of the school supplies or purchase certain school supplies (certain books, notebooks, calculators, stationery) themselves and pay for the transport costs (about 35 € per month) and food (about 3.50 € per meal). . Again, the federal and state governments support low- and middle-income families and subsidize or cover all of these costs.

After school, German students go to university or start vocational training. There are no tuition fees for attending the university, but depending on the federal state, semester fees (semester ticket, administration) of between 100 € and 300 € are due. However, tuition fees are completely tax-deductible and there is a state aid to finance these fees called BAföG. However, only about half of school leavers decide to go to university. The other half opt for vocational training.

Vocational training in Germany normally consists of part vocational school and part in-company training. In addition to training, many companies offer a so-called dual course of study, in which classes take place three to many times a week in the evenings or on Saturdays. The costs for the vocational school, the company training and the study are borne by the training company.

Anyone who has completed vocational training or wants to study on their own alongside their training or job can also do so at technical colleges or distance learning universities. Here, too, the company sometimes contributes to the costs. The level of participation can sometimes be based on the degree achieved. The costs for the technical college amount to 200-300 € per semester. A bachelor’s can be realized from 2,000 € for the entire course, a master’s can cost up to 26,000 € for the entire course. Here, too, the BAföG program offers a financing option and there can also be further support from the state.

A bachelor’s degree in Germany lasts 6 to a maximum of 8 semesters, a master’s degree requires a bachelor’s degree and lasts an additional 2 to a maximum of 4 semesters.

A big difference between Germany and the US is where the students live. The campus of some US universities is comparable to that of a small town, where students stay and live outside of class, often away from their families. The costs for this make up a large part of the tuition fees. In Germany there is almost no such campus life. The students live with their parents or in their own apartments and attend the university for learning. Many students organize themselves in WGs (flat shares) and rent a large apartment with several students, the expenses of which are shared. On average, German students pay between 150 € and 350 € for such accommodation. Rent, food, energy, semester fees and insurance contributions average €800 per month. That’s why many students work or use BAföG.

Work and employee benefits

America is an extremely capitalist country. Time is money and the entire country is driven by profit. So as an entrepreneur you try to maximize sales and savings, which is a good approach on the one hand. But on the other hand, savings are unfortunately made at the wrong end, namely with the employees.

In America, around 70% of employees work full-time and the rest part-time. Full-time means 40 hours a week, part-time a maximum of 30 hours a week, at least by definition. Unfortunately, the reality is completely different. Whoever has a full-time job, due to the financial burdens of children and family, also works well and gladly more than 100 hours a week and even part-time employees are forced to work more than 30 hours. The reason for this is, among other things, that it is worthwhile for employers to employ people on a part-time basis because they then have significantly fewer entitlements to employee benefits. For example, they are often not entitled to health insurance and have significant sick leave, paid and unpaid vacation days. That means they have no income if they don’t work. In addition, it is easier to fire them in bad times because they are said to have less expertise and experience. The employer can also adjust the working hours as needed and demand more or less work.

In terms of salaries, Americans make an average of $70,000. They pay less taxes and duties, but significantly more for their living costs (housing, medical treatment, medicines, groceries). American law does not require payment for time not worked. According to the law, sick days, vacation days, public holidays and similar days off are unpaid for the time being. However, it leaves open any agreement between employer and employee.

In reality, many, but by no means all, American employers are entitled to these days through their employment contract. On average, Americans have 11 paid vacation days, 8 full-time paid sick days, and 6 part-time paid sick days, both of which are based on seniority and typically can only be claimed after 12 months. In addition, the American employer must authorize up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off to recover from an illness, surgery or other medical condition, to care for a sick or injured loved one, to maintain a relationship with a newborn or dealing with a family member’s military service issues. However, the employer can refuse these unpaid days off. There are 10 public holidays every year. Whether these are paid or not and even whether they can be taken or not depends on the employment relationship and the roster. There is also statutory accident insurance, which the employer pays, and sometimes health insurance that is tied to the employment contract, which expires when the contract is terminated.

America often presents itself as the country of the 9 to 5 jobs. In reality, however, a full-time American worker drives to work in the morning and stays at least until his task is completed. Then he drives home, eats, maybe spends 1-2 hours with his family or with any leisure activities and then goes to sleep. There is not much quality time left and there is no trace of the implementation of a work-life balance.

The main problem in the American working world is family thinking. I am sure that every American knows this situation. You are ill and report to the boss and ask for days off and often even unpaid days off to cure the illness. The bosses usually say something like “Are you sure you want to let the family down?” or “Don’t you think it’s a pity that your colleagues then have to work for you?” or “Is it okay with your colleagues having to sacrifice their days off for you?”. In America, this family mentality is drilled into employees everywhere. Everyone wants to be the best employee, to make themselves indispensable and therefore give absolutely everything for the company. A way of thinking that can not only damage the health of the sick employee in the long term, but also the colleagues he may infect or his work, which he cannot do with the quality he is used to. This system makes you ill and has no long-term advantages.

For reasons that are completely incomprehensible, American workers accept this situation and submit to their employers’ greed for profit. It is remarkable that the USA is the only industrial country in which such conditions prevail and even workers in many developing countries have more labor rights and worker benefits than American workers.

Germany is a capitalist country too. But not that capitalist and not that driven by profit. German companies also want to maximize profits and cut costs, but not at any price.

The German labor market are relatively equal. 30% of employees work part-time, 70% full-time. But for both there are clear rules and no different treatment in employee benefits. In Germany, a regular weekly working time of 40 hours is considered full-time and part-time below that. Working hours are limited to an average of 8 hours per day, which can be extended to 10 hours in exceptional cases if compensation or time off is granted within a reasonable period of time. The German Working Hours Act stipulates 20 days of paid vacation for a 5-day week. This applies to part-time and full-time employees and is converted using a simple rule of three for shorter or longer working weeks. However, almost 100% of the collective agreements grant significantly more holidays. The number of vacation days can be linked to the length of service and, for example, start with 24 days per year and be increased by 2 days per year up to 30 days. However, most companies grant at least 30 days of vacation per year, sometimes even more. There is no general statutory right to allow unpaid leave, but many companies allow it. There are even companies that offer working time block models, so that you can, for example, take 3 months of vacation but are paid 75% of your wages over the entire year. Some companies also grant significantly longer breaks.

The average gross annual income in Germany is around €50,000. German workers pay significantly higher taxes and duties, including payroll taxes and insurance, but the cost of living is lower.

There is no such thing as sick days in Germany. Anyone who falls ill informs their supervisor and can usually cure at home for 2-3 days. Most employers require a certificate of incapacity to work from the third day. This is issued by the doctor and transmitted electronically to the health insurance company and the employer. The version for the health insurance company also contains the diseases and details of treatment and medication, while the employer only finds out that the employee has been on sick leave and how long the certificate is valid. An employee with a sickness certificate is paid in full for up to 6 weeks without any deductions. If the employee falls ill for longer than 6 weeks, he must apply for sickness benefit and thus receive continued payment of wages amounting to 90% of his net salary and for a maximum of 72 weeks. The employer must also continue to pay wages if the employee falls ill with the same illness again and there is at least 6 months between the first and second illness. In the event of another illness, it is also checked whether the employer must continue to pay wages if at least 12 months have passed. During this time, the employee enjoys protection against dismissal. However, there are exceptions: In general, the employer has to accept up to 30 days of sickness per year without being able to terminate the employee through the labor court. However, if the employee has reasonable suspicion that a negative future prognosis can be determined, he can obtain a termination of the contract before the labor court. The court then examines the last three years of the employee. If the employee was ill for more than 30 days in the last three years or must it be expected that the employee will also be absent for more than 6 weeks a year due to illness in the coming years or if there is no prospect of a speedy recovery and therefore not to be expected, that the employee can work in the future, the employer can obtain termination. In return, employers are of course extremely interested in making it easier for employees who were previously ill to get started, which is why most companies have established operational integration management. These are benefits and help to prevent illness from reoccurring or an introduction to work through initially short and gradually increasing working hours.

In Germany there are currently eight nationwide public holidays that are fully paid, as well as other fully paid public holidays depending on the federal state. In addition, most companies provide time off and paid days for specific events such as relocation, marriage, death of family member, illness and care of family member, parent’s birthday, court hearings, educational leave, and more.

Work-life balance is lived in Germany. This means that German employees usually work 8 hours. Shops are open on Saturdays, while only restaurants and event locations and a few kiosks are open on Sundays. After 8 hours of work, the employee still has a lot of time for himself and his family. German employers know that this quality time motivates the employees and leads to more performance and efficiency in the long term, since the batteries of the employees recharge during this time and people arrive at work more rested. In addition, both parents can shape the upbringing of their children, spend time with friends, pursue hobbies and relax.

Would I rather want to work in Germany than in the USA? Yes. More paid and unpaid leave. Infinite sick days. More holidays. More special leave. educational leave. Equal rights for part-time and full-time workers. Significantly better regulated working hours. Company-specific employee benefits. A practiced work-life balance. And yet these are not the only advantages. In Germany, this “family thinking” within a company simply does not exist, with the exception of smaller family businesses. And even if our work colleagues are often part of our closest circle of friends and we respect and support each other, our bosses would never think of appealing to our responsibility towards our work, our colleagues or the company in the event of absence due to illness. If we drop out, there is someone to represent us. If we are absent for a longer period, the work is divided up or a new colleague is established as a substitute. When German employees fall ill, in most cases they don’t have to worry about their future. A termination due to illness is examined before labor law and only in a few exceptional cases are illnesses so serious that they endanger work performance in the long term and make termination justifiable. In addition, if we lose our job, we don’t have to worry about our health insurance because it is not linked to the employment contract (more on that later).

Get sick and get well

About 30 million of the approximately 153 million working-age Americans do not have health insurance, meaning they are not entitled to reasonably affordable health care. Around 60% of those in employment have obtained health insurance through their employer, around 9% are privately insured and around 28% are entitled to state healthcare. Although the US government invests more than twice as much per capita in the healthcare system as Germany, the United States is not able to ensure nationwide healthcare for the population. Perhaps the saddest metric: More than 5% of American children (16.5 million) are uninsured.

It should also be mentioned that being insured in the USA means something different than in Germany. The US is endowed with 2.9 hospital beds per 1,000 people and 2.6 physicians per 1,000 people. However, having health insurance in the United States does not mean you are entitled to free treatment and medication. Depending on the insurance, the costs for certain treatments and medications can be heavily discounted or only moderately subsidized. The best, but also by far the most expensive way to get full coverage is private health insurance.

In Germany, 100% of employed and non-employed people have health insurance. A situation without health insurance does not exist, since people are at least legally insured, but can opt for private health care from a certain income or if they are self-employed. Statutory health insurance covers most treatments and medications, but there is still the option of private supplementary insurance.

The German healthcare system offers 8.0 hospital beds and 4.2 doctors per 1,000 inhabitants. With statutory health insurance, people are entitled to free health care and medication. Certain treatments, especially those that do not fall under standard care, may incur costs but are almost entirely regulated by private supplemental insurance. Private health insurance is certainly another improvement.

There are several major differences between the German and American healthcare systems.

The biggest one is certainly that basic health care is a right in Germany and a privilege in the USA. In Germany, you have health insurance from birth, initially free of charge through your parents’ health insurance and later through your own statutory health insurance or private health insurance. In the USA, health insurance is usually linked to employment. If you are not employed and not privately insured, you do not have health insurance. Parents can also insure their children up to the age of 26 through their insurance company, but this incurs additional costs.

Another big difference is the cost of the healthcare system. For a simple examination without medical equipment, between $80 and $500 are required in the USA. A visit to the emergency room costs between $150 and $20,0000. A hospital stay, excluding medical expenses, costs between $1,500 and $2,500 per day. The ambulance ride is also between $400 and more than $1,200. Helicopter fares range from $2,000 to $200,000.

CT scans, one of the most commonly used pieces of equipment, cost anywhere from $500 to more than $7,850. An ultrasound between $200 and more than $3,000. A blood test between $40 and more than $3,000. A cholesterol test between $40 and more than $130.

Breast cancer treatment costs between $48,500 and more than $300,000. Treating a brain tumor between $50,000 and more than $700,000. Pancreatic cancer treatment between $31,000 and more than $200,000. Skin cancer treatment between $1,700 and more than $152,000. A bone marrow transplant between $638,000 and more than $900,000.

Insulin (diabetes) ranges from $530 to more than $1,100. Anti-allergy drugs cost the patient between $600 and $2,000 per year, cholesterol medications between $30 and more than $130. An asthma inhaler between $60 and more than $70.

Birth also makes poor in America. A cesarean birth costs anywhere from $10,600 to more than $50,500. A normal birth ranges from $2,700 to $40,100. Prenatal care charges between $100 and $2,000 per monthly doctor visit. Postpartum exams range from $100 to more than $3,100. There is also a minimum of $3,000 per day for postpartum complications (20 days per birth on average).

Then there are the surgeries: A hyserectomy (removal of the uterus) costs anywhere from $8,700 to more than $40,000. A tonsillectomy (removal of the tonsils) costs between $790 and more than $12,000. An appendectomy (removal of the appendix) costs between $1,800 and more than $82,000. A gallbladder removal between $8,000 and more than $54,000. Cataract surgery (lens replacement surgery) costs from $330 to over $12,000 and heart bypass surgery from $21,500 to over $254,000.

Even those who get injured relatively easily can expect high costs. A sprained or broken wrist costs more than $500 (non-surgical) or $7,000 to more than $10,000 (surgical). A hip fracture costs between $16,000 and more than $53,000. A physical therapy between $120 and more than $350 per session. A sprained or broken ankle more than $300 (non-surgical) or between $17,000 and more than $20,000 (surgical).

And these are, mind you, the prices for the treatments that the patient has to pay for themselves.

In Germany, the whole thing is kept quite simple: The health insurance companies cover patient transport and pay every visit to the doctor, every examination and every treatment. Hospitalization costs $10 per day, including treatments and surgeries. Prescription medications have a $5 deductible.

Not every treatment and not every drug in Germany is covered by statutory health insurance. Treatments and operations that are not medically necessary are excluded. The same applies to over-the-counter medications. For minors, on the other hand, all medications are reimbursable. If you want, you can also protect yourself against high costs with additional insurance. For example, the statutory health insurance only covers about 60% of the costs for dentures plus 10-15% if you can prove that you have regular preventive care. Supplementary dental insurance, on the other hand, can fully cover the remaining 35-40% but must be paid in full by the policyholder, while the cost of statutory health insurance is half-paid by the policyholder.

As a result, 23% of Americans are heavily in debt due to one or more medical bills and are struggling to pay their bills. 90% of GoFundMe campaigners have medical interests.

Another difference between the American and German healthcare system in this regard is that a bill is never paid in cash or on the spot. An invoice will be sent, which will be settled with the health insurance company and possible additional insurers. After that, the patient pays the rest. Only the $5 for medication has to be paid immediately and the $10 per day for the hospital stay can be paid immediately.

Why does the American healthcare system not only cost the government but also the patients so much money?

In Germany there are many doctors with health insurance approval and some who are not contract doctors. There is a schedule of fees for all contract doctors, i.e. a list of fees for all medical services. The fee that a doctor may charge depending on the treatment is regulated and the same everywhere. There is only some competition between doctors without a contract, which is why you usually pay for both the treatment and the medication yourself. On the other hand, health insurance companies, regardless of whether they are statutory, private or additional, do not dictate which doctors patients have to see. However, you can make recommendations.

There is no regulation in the US. Healthcare, like any other industry, is a profit-driven market. Doctors and hospitals are trying to maximize profits to use the latest equipment and charge even higher bills. Doctors and medical employees earn two to three times as much as in Germany, with the gap widening the more specialized the doctor is. The same applies to the pharmaceutical industry. There are drugs that cost millions of dollars per dose. There is simply no such thing in Germany.

Another reason is ultimately the health insurance companies themselves. In Germany, the current contribution rate is between 14.0 and 14.6%. Half of it is borne by the employee (7.0-7.3%). This means that Germans with an average salary of $49,200 (gross) spend around $287 per month on health insurance. This is only marginally more than the average American spends ($200 to $300) on his medical trial. However, this corresponds to only 17% of the premium for American single insurance and 27% of the premium for family insurance. In addition, however, there are also private health insurances and the exorbitantly higher proportion of patients in doctor visits, patient transport, treatments and medication. The free basic care in Germany is not even covered by the American insurance companies and here in Germany everyone is insured by law and not only if they can also afford insurance.

Military, weapons and patriotism

There is a strong military culture in the US. Obviously, America is a country that prides itself on having weapons of mass destruction and being able to use them when needed.

Obviously, America is a country that prides itself on possessing weapons of mass destruction and being able to use them when necessary. Where this pride comes from I can only speculate: The right to own and bear arms is guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment of the American Constitution. Access to weapons is relatively easy. Many guns can be purchased from most supermarkets and do not require the complex testing required by German gun laws.

There are more than twice as many guns per capita in the USA as in Germany, although in Germany only athletes, hunters or gun collectors are allowed access to guns. You also need a license to purchase and a safe with a corresponding security standard. The same applies in the USA, but the target groups are not so limited, you only need the Firearms Safety exam ($20) and a safe that has to be lockable.

Nevertheless, the people on the German streets are not afraid for their lives, neither during the day nor at night. There are no killing sprees and no school shootings. People don’t carry guns, and even most police officers don’t have guns.

On the one hand one can understand why people try to protect themselves with guns when the probability of being threatened is as high as in the USA. On the other hand, one has to ask oneself whether the threat would be as great if carrying weapons were forbidden.

Americans are patriots and proud of their military. From a German point of view, this alone is not comprehensible in the slightest.

According to statistics, the US is the biggest killing machine in the world. In particular, because she has forced herself to get involved in almost every conflict in the world. Since the end of World War II, the US military has conducted 50 military operations in 40 different countries, killing more people than there were casualties in World War I. No one in the world will ever understand why that’s a good thing. Why is one proud of snuffing life? Why is it proud to see families robbing their fathers and sons to die in pointless military action? How can it be even remotely proud to look up at the sky and see armed military planes crashing through the clouds?

Why does it make you proud that mothers can’t leave their prams in front of the bakery because they fear their child will be kidnapped? Why does it make you proud when you’re forced to cross the street or go in the opposite direction because a bunch of youngsters are turning the corner? Why is it proud that women (and men too) cannot feel safe walking the streets in the evening and at night? Why is it proud when children have to learn to zigzag away from gunfire? Why does it make you proud when children and young people know how to hide under tables when there is a risk of rampage, but have no idea what the culture is like in a neighboring country? Why do young adults feel proud when they own a gun? Why is it a good thing to theoretically have the possibility of taking another human life, be it consciously or accidentally.

Nothing about it is good or should make you proud. But because Americans are like that, they loudly and aggressively shout the letters “USA” at every event, looking like over-the-top patriotic idiots proud of their country. I’ll explain later why they should be more ashamed.

Groceries and nutrition

I mentioned earlier that groceries are more expensive in the USA than in Germany. This may not be true for all groceries, and especially not for dining out, but most things are simply more expensive in the typical supermarket than here.

The price tags are already an annoying problem for foreigners in American supermarkets, because they always show the net price. So what you have in your shopping cart is never what you pay for at the checkout, because the tax comes on top. And funnily enough, this varies from federal state to federal state, which is partly due to the fact that some federal states waive taxes, but their cities and municipalities do not. Taxes vary between 2.9% and 7.25%. Incidentally, this also applies in a similar way to everything that does not fall under the food sector.

The package sizes are also different than in Germany. Anyone who has ever watched American films or series has certainly noticed the oversized refrigerators, which are still significantly larger than what you can buy as American refrigerators here in Germany. Portions are sold in containers from 0.5 to 5.0 gallons (1.9 to 18.9 liters). The package sizes of non-beverages are oversized. The standard pack size for potato chips is 8.0 ounces (around 230 grams), almost twice the size in Germany. But 10, 20 and 30 ounces are also common pack sizes. A frozen pizza has an average diameter of 12.5 inches (around 32 centimeters), which is a whopping 6 centimeters more than the German frozen pizza. And in the restaurants, too, everything is XL. Bigger burgers, more fries, more drinks, more chicken wings and jam-packed plates in the restaurant. At this point we are not going to talk about the fact that US foods almost always contain more fat, sugar and lots of ingredients, most of which are banned in Germany. Eggs, for example, can only be found in the refrigerated section in the USA and can only be handled in the refrigerated section. Why? The eggs are washed and dried industrially and not just with water. This attacks the shell of the eggs and allows germs much easier access.

And then there’s the shopping experience itself. In the US, people chase discounts. These discounts are usually stackable. So it can happen that the receipt for a $500 purchase shows an outstanding invoice amount of a few dollars. Incidentally, at the cash registers it is customary for the cashiers to pack the bags. Impressive, but also completely meaningless, are the parking spaces in front of the supermarkets. Aside from the fact that the US as a whole has more parking space than living space, shopping carts tend to stay where cars are. There is no deposit system – neither for shopping trolleys, nor for bottles or cans. In the USA you can shop every day from Monday to Sunday. Shops may close earlier on some days, but many supermarkets are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Branded products that come from the USA are of course cheaper in the USA and, with the right coupons, become real bargains. The joy about this is limited, however, because the allowance for goods that are brought to Germany by plane or ship is around $430. Above that, 12% customs and 19% import sales tax are due.

Incidentally, there are far fewer supermarkets per capita than in Germany, which is why hardly anyone goes shopping on foot or without a car. But the markets are much larger. Strange from a German point of view: It is not uncommon for you to be able to buy weapons and medicines in US supermarkets, even those that are only available in pharmacies in this country.

Of course, all of this has an impact on nutrition. The average calorie turnover per person in the USA is 6-10% higher than in Germany. Similarly, 73.1% of Americans are overweight or obese. In Germany, this value is 60%, not good, but still better.

One cause is certainly the ingredients of the food. Coca Cola has more sugar in the US than in Germany. There is almost only soft white bread and no wholesome bread or rolls. Some of the ingredients in the food are worrying. The import of many American meat, poultry, fruits and vegetables is prohibited in Germany. Fruit and vegetables are treated with chemicals that have been declared harmful to health in this country, so that they look nicer and last longer. Animals are provided with unhealthy feed to accelerate growth. And anyone who has ever tasted American sweets will quickly have noticed that pretty much everything tastes much sweeter and therefore not necessarily better. But at least these sweets are two to three times as expensive if you buy them here in Germany.

Americans visiting Germany often try the products they are familiar with from the USA and discover completely different tastes and experience what fruits and vegetables really taste like. And they are always enthusiastic about the variety of breads and rolls. Somewhat “nasty” one could claim that US food is supposed to make Americans sick. I’ll tell you later why that’s not even worth considering.

Crime and security

What about security in Germany and America?. The safety index speaks a clear language. Assuming that a country with a safety index of 100 is as safe as possible, the US ranks below average at 51.8. With 63.6, Germany is certainly still in need of improvement, but still more than 20% safer than the USA. This is also reflected in the Global Peace Index: Germany ranks 65th with a rating of 1,895 in 2022 (up 10 places and 0.027 points compared to the previous year), while the USA ranks 129th with a rating of 2,440 in 2022 (down 8 places and 0.007 points compared to the previous year).

I’ve talked about guns and security above. Many people feel threatened in the US, especially if they have small children or roam the streets in the evening or at night. In Germany, this probably only applies to women who travel at night in certain areas.

The stats back them up: the homicide rate in the US is 5 per 100,000 people, which is more than 16,000 homicides. The German murder rate is 0.7 per 100,000 inhabitants and thus 545 killings. There are 60 times more drug-related deaths than in Germany, 20% more burglaries, more robberies and traffic offenses. The knowledge that potentially every adult and as you can see from the school shootings, probably also a child, can carry a gun does not make this situation any better.

Environment and environmental pollution

According to the EPI (environmental performance index), Germany ranks 10th worldwide with 77.2 points, while the USA ranks 24th with 69.3 points. But what is this EPI actually? The EPI is an index that measures the health and dynamics of the ecosystem. Indicators for this index are in the category state of particulate matter, air pollution in buildings, access to drinking water, sewage disposal and child mortality and in the dynamic category the quality of air (particulate matter pollution, ozone pollution), water (nitrogen pollution, water consumption), biodiversity (protection of the ecological balance, protection of nature, protection of forests, water consumption), natural resources (forest use, overfishing, agricultural subsidies), and sustainable energies (energy efficiency, renewable energies, CO2 emissions. And even if the USA is still in the top 30 are, there are massive differences between Germany and the USA.

The country scorecard for Germany can be found here: https://epi.yale.edu/epi-results/2020/country/deu, the county scorecard for the USA can be found here: https://epi.yale.edu/epi-results/2020/country/usa.

Overall, one can say that America consumes significantly more energy and resources, uses significantly less renewable energy and does significantly less for the environment than Germany. In the USA there is no deposit system and no waste separation. Only 14% of the energy comes from renewable energy sources, in Germany it is 52%. Every US citizen generates an average of 130 kilograms of plastic waste per year (811 kilograms of waste per person and year in total), around 50 kilograms more than every German (646 kilograms of waste per person and year in total). Although the US is home to only 4% of the world’s population, it generates more waste per capita than any other nation in the world, making it the world’s waste champion. It may seem strange that the world’s largest economy is sinking into the mud while even developing countries are taking better care of their nature and environment.

Manipulation by the government

This will probably be the most extensive topic of my contribution, because from my German/European perspective I cannot begin to understand why the US system is what it seems to be from my point of view. If you look in detail at where the US government, agencies and lobbies interfere in people’s lives, you can understand in a way why people are the way they are. But before we go into detail, let’s talk about what Americans look like and why that look is so incredibly weird.

And I don’t want to include stereotypes in my assessment, but these stereotypes should not go unmentioned. The stereotypes that Americans have in their heads about Germans can be quickly paraphrased: Germans wear lederhosen or dirndls, drink beer by the gallon and eat heaps of bratwurst and currywurst or, alternatively, knuckle of pork with sauerkraut and dumplings. Germans are distant, have little sense of humor and it takes forever to make friends with them or to build a relationship of trust with them. But Germans are extremely effective, punctual, precise and planned from morning to night. Her work is of a high quality and enjoys an exceptionally good reputation worldwide. The “Made in Germany” seal is the most highly recognized seal worldwide. Germans have a deposit system, freeways without speed limits, separate their rubbish and walk everywhere. Because of the social system, Germany is more communist than capitalist. They pay unbelievably high taxes and duties and have far too little left over from their already low salary.

If I were to force a similar stereotype on Americans, I would probably describe it like this: Americans are wild cowboys who wear cowboy boots, jeans and plaid shirts. Thanks to their fast-food habits, most Americans are overweight and need big cars to get them from A to B. They’re also patriotic in a frightening way, into the military and guns and into sports that are paused every few seconds to fuel consumerism with more ads. The American government hires clowns as presidents who, idiotically, have the power to intervene in every conflict in the world and wipe out entire peoples at the push of a button. Americans think they are free but live in a bubble they cannot step out of. Americans are friendly and love pointless small talk. If you meet them and endure small talk for more than 5 minutes, you will be invited into their oversized houses where they show off their possessions.

Both stereotypes don’t sound nice, do they? The stereotype of the typical German affects only a small percentage of Germans, but the stereotype of the typical American fatally affects more Americans than one might like to admit at this point.

The American system imprisons the average American at a very early age and few have the courage to just open the unlocked prison door and see how things are done elsewhere in the world. So let’s go into detail.

My claim is this: The American system works in a way that forces the American citizen to adopt certain patterns of behavior and thinking. To achieve this manipulative effect, the American system does the following:

  1. It leads every American to the utter conviction that America is the best, richest, most powerful country in the world and the only country worth living in.
  2. It makes every American financially dependent and forces most Americans into debt.
  3. It is 100% profit-driven, preventing children, parents and families from receiving the support they deserve.
  4. It makes Americans less healthy, more likely to get sick, and more likely to spread disease.

Now I owe the evidence. Here you are:

Mental dependency

America is the biggest, best, most beautiful and most powerful country in the world. And no matter how good or bad an individual is doing, almost every American probably shares this belief. A paradox difficult to understand outside of the United States, but one that can be explained.

It starts at an early age. In no other democratic, industrialized country are children forced before school to swear allegiance to the country’s flag. That alone creates enormous patriotism, for which there is hardly any real reason on the other side. This “America is the best country in the world” thinking does something about Americans that makes them accept every conceivable life situation, no matter how good or bad it is. They applaud their military for involving them in many completely meaningless military combat operations. They shout their patriotism to the world, paper their streets with flags, wear clothes that convey their patriotism to the outside world through texts or symbols. They are so manipulated by the media that they even prefer to use clowns as presidents who make dubious and hardly comprehensible decisions. And ultimately, they believe in their freedom, with the statue on Liberty Island, which America didn’t even build itself, being the only thing remotely reminiscent of freedom. Anything else that might mean freedom is ultimately just another handcuff attached to the bars of the US system. Still, Americans believe in it. They believe that they live in the best country, that they lead the best possible life.

Now you understand the Americans a little better. Anyone who is drilled throughout life to think that nowhere on earth can be better than within America’s borders will never truly doubt. Even worse: the courage to think outside the box is nipped in the bud. And that’s exactly what puts the average American in his bubble, which he never leaves. Many Americans themselves state that they have never thought about visiting another country, learning about a foreign culture, language or customs. Why should you vacation in another country when America is the most beautiful and diverse country on earth? Why study in another country when the educational system in America is the best in the world?

What if you opened the eyes of all US citizens and burst their bubbles at the same time? A lot would happen:

  1. They would realize that health can be a right, not a privilege, that ensures every citizen free or at least extremely cheap health care.
  2. They would realize that the birth of a child is at the same time the birth of a new member of society and that child deserves the maximum governmental support so that parents and child are supported (not just financially) to further their development.
  3. They would realize that while education doesn’t have to cost as much and pays more taxes elsewhere, the entire school career from preschool through college graduation doesn’t have to require parents to be in deep debt.
  4. They would realize that companies still make enough profit if they ensure a working work-life balance, give them more paid vacation days, sick days and days off and make sure that they have enough time for family, friends, hobbies and the charging of the batteries remains and does not insist on these “employees are family” thoughts.
  5. They would realize that there would be less crime if guns were banned in public and if people were allowed to interact better if they were only allowed access to guns for specific reasons (sport, work, collecting).
  6. They would realize that the existence of entire blocks of streets inhabited by homeless people is only the consequence of bad governmental organization and nowhere else such cityscapes arise as in the USA.
  7. They would realize that the American citizen is not nearly as free as people elsewhere. The level of surveillance is much higher and if they were truly free they would never be drilled into thinking that nowhere in the world is better than the US. They would do something about all the deficits in the country and fight for improvements.
  8. You would realize that there is a cycle between the American food industry and the public health system, as the food industry and agriculture’s greed for profit leads to the use of feed and ingredients that have been shown to be harmful to health, sometimes even causing serious disease. Although the food looks better, maybe lasts longer and can be produced in larger quantities, it makes you sick and fat, which is then supposed to be regulated by the completely overpriced health care system.
  9. You would realize that America is neither the largest nor the most diverse country on earth and there are many countries where life is easier and better.
  10. They would ultimately realize that there is charm in foreign countries, cultures, religions, languages and customs. They would realize that most industrialized nations are making more of their capabilities than the United States.
  11. And they would probably realize that it is worth fighting for your rights and that a society will stand still if it doesn’t.

Financial dependency

Even the birth of a child costs a lot of money. Even well-off Americans still pay between $5,000 and $10,000 to give birth to a child. Further costs depend on whether the birth was uncomplicated, whether follow-up care is required and how extensive this is. Every day in the hospital costs at least $1,000. Each treatment possibly even more. Every American spends around $1,500 a year on treatments and medications over the course of their lifetime. With an average life expectancy of 79 years, that’s $118,500. It also costs every American a small fortune to go to school. The child’s first 6 years cost the parents (for childcare only) between $21,200 and $72,000. Schooling through high school costs between $108,000 and $451,000. College time costs an additional $24,000 to $332,000 depending on degree.

In total, parents pay at least $190,000 for their children from birth to college, assuming that they move out by the age of 20 and that the cheapest educational path is chosen. A super-luxe life with the best schools can scratch the insane sum of $1,000,000. Food, leisure activities and all other costs are not included here.

What is it like in Germany? Whether it requires follow-up care or complications, the birth costs next to nothing ($10 a day in the hospital, $5 for prescription drugs). Life expectancy in Germany is 83 years. However, German citizens also only spend $664 a year on treatments and medication ($41,832 total for a lifetime). Schooling up to the end of secondary school also costs nothing. Childcare costs around Let’s calculate around $300 school supplies per school year, meals cost around $3.50 per day $665 per year, however in most schools students eat at home after school and not in a school canteen (if there is one). University after school costs $200 to $300 per semester, a bachelor’s or master’s from $2,000 to $26,000 for the full course. So overall, using the same assumptions as the American calculation, the child costs the parents between $28,900 and $53,700, with most of the students not eating at school, reducing the total by $8,645.

In addition, for low- and middle-income families, these costs are covered in whole or in part by the state or province and the costs are a maximum of 9% of gross income, an average of $200 per month, which adds $3,600 to the above costs. . Additionally, parents receive child support of $250 per month until at least age 18, which reduces the cost above by at least $54,000. The costs for the university and bachelor’s/master’s degree are usually not borne by the parents, but by the children themselves, either funded by BAföG or financed by jobs alongside their studies.

Add to that the fact that Americans are far more materialistic than Germans. On average, every German spends around $18,800 a year on consumer goods. Americans invest around $27,900 a year. So living in the US is more expensive. Also, housing costs in Germany average $970 compared to an average of $1,350 in the US.

And then there are the credit cards. Americans love their credit cards, but apparently only because they don’t understand how they really work. In Germany, people have a so-called giro account. This is the bank account into which salaries are paid and from which insurance companies, electricity companies, gas companies, water companies, telephone companies, internet providers, cell phone companies and all other contractors debit. This account includes a so-called EC card (EC = electronic cash), which we can use to pay in most shops, restaurants and other businesses (optionally contactless). If you want, you can also pay cash everywhere. Many people, but by no means all, also have one or more credit cards. However, these are usually only used in exceptional cases, for example for hotels on business or private trips, sometimes in restaurants or in shops. Credit cards then debit the monthly sales on a fixed day or offer payment in installments. The difference between EC cards and credit cards is that there are usually no fees or charges for EC cards, as they debit the checking account directly. As long as the checking account has a positive balance, everything is fine. If the balance becomes negative, the overdraft interest applies from a certain amount. However, many banks also grant a certain overdraft limit, but grant interest-free loans on the current account up to a certain negative balance.

It’s different with credit cards. Depending on the type of card and sometimes the purpose of the card, credit cards offer an amount available regardless of whether the checking account has that amount. Whenever payment is made by credit card, interest is paid in full on the amount spent and then debited from the bank account, including interest, depending on the repayment agreement. So not only do you pay with money that doesn’t belong to you, you also pay back more than you spent.

Of course there are other payment methods such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal and many more. They are all linked to either a checking account or a credit card.

In America there seems to be a different understanding of payments. Cash payments are absolutely uncommon. Credit cards, on the other hand, are ubiquitous.

So in America you actually always pay on credit, accepting the interest from the credit card company and thus always paying more than what you actually bought. Accordingly, the debt of American households in the USA is around $115,000. The debt of German households is less than $30,000.

The American citizens themselves have only a limited share in this dilemma. Germans earn less, pay more duties and taxes, but have less debt with a higher Quality of Life Index (179.0 in Germany, 172.7 in the US). American consumer behavior may be slightly different than Germans, and the desire to always own the latest, best, and most beautiful may be a bit more pronounced. But the overall cost of living, especially related to health care and education, is exorbitantly higher in the US. In the end it doesn’t help if you earn more and pay less taxes and duties. The salary plus is simply eaten up by life. Or to put it another way: The US system navigates every US citizen purposefully into countless debt traps because the system fails in some places, there is no real competition and many things in the US are privileges that are legally granted in Germany.

Closing words

As a German, I look at the great America with compassion, sadness and somehow also anger. It’s incredibly difficult for me to understand why people who seem so lovable, friendly and open-minded allow themselves to be locked into an almost impenetrable bubble by their political and social system.

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Diese Website ist fast vollständig in englischer Sprache gehalten. Falls ich dich zum Chat eingeladen habe, werde ich mich natürlich in meiner Muttersprache mit dir unterhalten.


This website is almost entirely in English. If I invited you to chat, I will of course speak to you in my native language.