Originally Posted by 742
This is not take home pay by any means, but it shows that it is possible to pay well, have a strong social safety net, universal healthcare and
a strong economy with a large trade surplus.
You think Germany has a strong economy?!?
"Bundesbank: German economy will stagnate through 2010
Europe's largest economy is expected to shrink by 6.2 percent in 2009 according to the Bundesbank, Germany's central bank.
German economy suffered worst postwar slump in 2009
• Official data shows contraction of 5%, worst since 1932
• Germany's economy 'stagnated' in final quarter
The German parliament has approved the budget for 2010, which will see new borrowing hit a record high. The global economic downturn is being blamed for the huge amount of new debt.
Those are not factors that I'd consider a "strong economy."
For the past two years my mom has had her hours cut at her company (engineering and manufacturing.) She's been there for over 20 years. Right now she has to take 4 furlough days per month. She doesn't expect that to improve in 2010. Fortunately (or not?) for her, she will retire shortly at age 65 (formerly the mandated retirement age, now 67 I believe.) She says she is not really in a position to afford retirement just yet, even with the government pension plans, but she really doesn't have much choice. And she by no means "lives large", not even close.