Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Living in Europe: American Workers Should be Envious

Some of the greatest years of my life were living and working in Europe with my family experiencing the continent as it should be.  We got to see how Europeans live and the freedoms that they experience.   Most of my time was spent in Stuttgart Germany one of the larger cities in the state of  Baden-W├╝rttemberg. 

In Germany, I ran an office with 50 German National Employees.  To say their working conditions were better than most Americans is an understatement; 37.5 work week; provided Dental and medical care with prescription drugs, with 6 weeks vacation and not to mention their generous defined pension plan. When I had to lay 15 people off, the unemployment benefits they received were unbelievable.  The 1st Year full salary 2nd year 50%; all were offered retraining programs with job placement assistance. All we're working again in a short period of time.  This is standard for all German Workers. When I would tell them that in America people would lose homes because of medical bills they would act as we live in the stone age. In some respects American workers do.

Most of the Germans that worked in my office lived in nice condos or houses drove Mercedes and BMW's built for the Autobahn. Most only had one car due to great public transportation some only using their cars on the weekends and during vacations. Tax rates are higher, but there not paying $800 a month for medical or dental care. Their property taxes are much lower. They were just average non-college educated workers all though well paid. Their German taxes were in the 30 percentile. I would argue that tax rates aren't indicative of your quality of life. 

When my son picked me up from Seattle-Tacoma Airport, he was telling me about the 1000 people living under the Interstate 5 viaduct near Boeing field. They would say what kind of society does that. I didn't find that anywhere in Europe.  They do in fact incorporate real Christian values into their public policy much more than the US. Many would go on Vacation to America every year and would love to come by and tell me about their adventures.  Sure life isn't perfect in Europe, but it always seemed much more orderly and safer.  Life there seemed so much more relaxed and stress-free.   Isn't this where freedom lies. 

The stress level of Americans seems to be at an all-time high, 1 in 3 being one paycheck away from poverty and homelessness.  I recently heard, 7 out of 10 American's don't have $1000.00 in savings.  There is a better way of living, and I have seen it.    What is the definition of Freedom we always hear about how free we Americans are?  We must find a way for more Americans to share in the American dream instead of the hollow reality.

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