Germany has the economic strengths America once boasted.
'Germany with its manufacturing base and export prowess is the U.S. of yesteryear, an economic power unlike any of its European neighbors. As the world's fourth-largest economy, it has thrived on principles America seems to have lost.' 'Germany's economy looks like that of the U.S. a generation ago. In 1975, manufacturing accounted for about 20% of the United States' economic output, or gross domestic product, about the same as in Germany today. Since then, U.S. manufacturing's share of GDP has slid to about 12%.'
'In 1975, the U.S. budget deficit was a manageable 1% of the economy, about the same as Germany's now. Last year, the U.S. deficit was about 10%.
American families in the 1970s and early '80s typically saved about 10% of their take-home pay, about the same as in Germany today. The U.S. savings rate these days is in the low single digits.'
'The nation's jobless rate fell last month to a two-decade low of 6.8%, considerably lower than in much of Europe and the U.S.
And though its industrial production is starting to soften, Germany so far has maintained an impressive trade surplus with the rest of the world, including China.'
Many 'attribute part of the lower unemployment rate to the German work ethic. Yet Germans, on average, work far fewer hours a year than Americans, thanks partly to five or six weeks of vacation.'
'Still, Germany has its share of challenges.
Income inequality, while less pronounced than in the U.S., is rising. Most workers, have seen little or no real wage gains in recent years. And the nation's population is declining.
And now, with Europe on the ropes, Germany faces both a declining market for its exports and the prospect of having to cough up tens of billions of dollars more to help bail out profligate Eurozone neighbors.'