Let's Agitate. What does the USA Lack That Other Nations Have?

Real universal health care is one benefit the USA all but lacks that other first world nations have. Longer paid vacations for working folk is another.

There are more than those two but the USA will get them only after we reduce the monstrous share of the benefits the metaphorical 1% get.

And who better to start the agitation than we who are free of domination by the GOP's combined church/state, who for decades exploited their base and gave Donald Trump a platform.

Some of us have been to other nations and have seen the benefits the people of other first world nations enjoy. You know more than I and others here. Help us start the list of benefits we can agitate for.

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Bernie Sanders in our own time started us on this path and a strong national Green Party can both help and be another result.

What does the USA lack that other nations have?  HISTORY!  We're 200 years and change old, where other nations measure their ages in half-millennia if not far more.  We're YOUNG ... and we'd be a lot better off if we could admit that to ourselves and be more willing to LEARN

Aw, Loren, even if you are a pessimist, don't you be scolding us!

Tom, like it or not, it's a fact ... and we need to learn it especially when we're dealing in an environment of extreme change and worse stupidity.  The real shame is that other nations of similar age, such as Canada and Australia, are doing better, at least in places, if not overall.

And I'll scold as I please.  You don't like it?  LUMP IT.

Loren, the body has a series of protective immunological responses and the mind has a series of protective post traumatic stress responses.

Feel free to demonstrate the latter here if you have nowhere else to do so.

Loren, most of the countries have been there for ages, but the types of government have changed in most of them.  Germany and Italy have changed in the last century, and Spain and England still have monarchs, but they also have their version of our congress.  The Eastern European countries just broke lose from Communism, and the Scandinavian countries now have parliaments, as far as I know.   

Tom mentioned Bernie Sanders' idea on free college.  Bernie mentioned Germany's system of free college.  Let me explain how Germany's free college works,  Each child attending school takes a test at the age of 11.  Only the TOP 3 PERCENT are selected to be directed to courses in preparation for college.  If any of the others want to attend college, they must pay for it as they do here in America.  The one thing they have that is admirable, is that for those that don't make the top 3%, they are given aptitude tests, and then directed to courses to prepare them for a career field much like our apprenticeship courses found here in America. (To be honest, it seems like there are fewer and fewer of these courses in America.)  Germany's income tax rate is at about 54% for the average worker.  People on welfare have to work for their money.  It wasn't uncommon to see older people sweeping the streets.  I don't know what they had their younger people doing for their money.  One of out German friends had her knee replaced.  About three years later, the new knee went bad.  She had to meet a government board to get permission to have the new knee replaced.  It wasn't up to her doctor, but the government as to whether she was going to get the needed replacement.  I agree that we need to do something, but we can't just look at what the other countries have without looking at what they are paying for what they have,

Are children in Germany given the oppertunity to make the grade at age 11?

If they are from a broken home, or other malidies that may have hindered their test scores does that mean they aren't able to acieve and suceed in the academic world? No, they just have to pay for it themselves, if they can afford it. Does that keep class structures in place?

If the average tax rate is 45% for the average German worker as you say then the average German must be doing way better than the average American worker.


Income tax in Germany.

Personal Income Tax in Germany

Personal income tax is imposed on the income of individuals, who are resident in Germany or have their normal place of abode there, have full income tax liability. All the income earned at home and abroad is subject to German tax. A foreign resident, who is employed in Germany, pays tax only on income earned in Germany. Subject to income tax are:
• income from agriculture and forestry
• income from business operations
• income from self-employed work
• income from employed work
• capital yields
• income from letting property
• other income
The personal income tax from income from employed work and from capital income paid the employers or the banks, when the earnings are paid out (the tax is immediately transferred to the tax authorities every month). Germany is a signatory to a Treaty for the Prevention of Double Taxation with many countries all over the world (with almost 90 countries). These agreements under public international law aim to avoid one and the same taxpayer being charged similar taxes more than once on the same income for the same period.

Tax due date
The tax declaration must be provided until 31 May of the year following the emergence of the tax.

Tax exempt income
From personal income tax are in Germany exempt these incomes, for instance: annual income of up to 7 664 EUR for a resident, 50 % of the total dividend received from a company, receipts from accident and health insurance, contributions by the employer to state pension plans…

Tax rate
In Germany is personal income tax progressively. In 2008 is tax rate from 0 % to 45 % (in 2007 was tax rate from 0 % to 42 %). The so-called solidarity surcharge at a rate of 5.5 % of income tax has to be paid on top of this. Tax base is different for single and married. Married couples may choose to be assessed either jointly or separately. No income tax is charged on the basic allowance, which is EUR 7 664 for unmarried persons and EUR 15 329 for jointly assessed married couples.

Tax Base (in EUR)
Tax Base (in EUR)
0 %
up to 7 664
0 %
up to 15 329
15 %
7 665- 52 153
15 %
15 330 - 104 304
42 %
52 154 - 250 000
42 %
104 305 - 500 000
45 %
250 001 and over
45 %
500 001 and over

Tax deductions
The personal tax can be in German deducted. All forms of tax relief refer to the income of an individual. This applies in particular to costs immediately related to earnings. For instance:
• donations – allowable up to 5 % of gross income
• child allowance – annual sum of 1 824 EUR for a child (for a child under 14 years 1 000 EUR)
• alimony – up to 13 805 EUR per year
• church tax – fully deductible
• travel expenses to work and from work – up to 4 500 EUR per year
• allowance for capital earnings – 801 EUR for unmarried and 1 601 EUR for married couples
• profits on sales are neglected up to 512 EUR


Chris, your entry states that the Church Tax is fully deductible, but my German friends, and Wikipedia say it's not.

"For example, a single person earning 50,000 euros may pay an average income-tax of 20%, thus 10,000 euros. The church tax is then an additional 8% (or 9%) of that 10,000 euros (800 or 900 euros) for a total of 10,800 or 10,900 euros in taxes.[6]"


Also, your chart shows a good representation of Income taxes, but on top of income taxes, you have Church tax, Value Added Tax (sales tax) on most goods and services, which last year was about 19%. And if you drive a car, the gasoline tax is equal to about $6.00 per gallon. No, I didn't misplace the decimal point. That is six dollars per gallon !!

I'm not an economist and certianly don't know much about taxes in the U.S. let alone Germany, or other countries in Europe.

It seems that workers in Germany have benifits through tax dollars that workers in the U.S. pay for out of pocket such as family leave, child care, college education, and health care for example.  I wonder if overall the German tax code is better for society as a whole than the current tax code in the U.S.

Chris, I agree that there at many things that could be done by our government to improve the lot of Americans.  There is one huge problem however.  The national debt is now at about 20 trillion dollars.  That is going to be hard to maintain, and I honestly don't know how we can go any further in that direction,  Any program that the government tries to incorporate is going to add to that debt.  If we are about to fail financially as a nation, how can we honestly expect the government to add to that debt? 

Donald, there's no need to add to the national debt.

We need only take billionaires off welfare, or as the Constitution's Preamble says, "promote the general welfare...."

That would be a small start, but I'm willing to go to a flat tax system in addition to that.  (with no loopholes).




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