Written by an American MBA expat living in Germany.
Germany has just joined other nations of the Continental European Union to eliminate all university tuition, as a human right. So it is that we find ourself as part of the neo
feudalist American state that has left Americans, by contrast, mired in $1.2 trillion in student loan debt, in what must be described as state-supported student loan slavery. It should further be noted that the modus operandi of student loan enslavement is consistent with the anti-democratic model of what may only be described as the United States of oligarchy. A recent Princeton university study, that has since gone viral from Princeton, has declared the United States is no longer a democracy, and has in fact become an oligarchy. To which this article notes, it is an oligarchy that has mired the American people in $1.2 trillion of student loan debt. This has become so onerous for the American economy to bear that it is now become a threat to the US economy itself.
"A new study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely, that it no longer exists".
This comes in addition to the fact that all countries in the European Union as a human right have some type of medical access for all of its citizens. Yet on these benchmarks, the neo feudalist United States continues to lag far behind. In doing so creates a separate and unequal state mired in a wage slave economy emanating out of a history of chattel slavery. So the $1.2 trillion dollar student loan debt slavery economy has become an intricate mechanism to keep the American working class impoverished in neo feudalist America,along with the concurrent effects of medical bankruptcy, (which accounts for most bankruptcies) and underwater mortgages in which there is no bailout in sight, in an economy and state where only Wall Street banksters received bailouts, because as they own almost everything in the economy they are considered to be too big to fail by the best government money could buy through the power of its K Street lobbyists.
Additionally, it should be noted that these same K Street lobbyists did successfully lobby Congress to eliminate the ordinary bankruptcy protection, so that in the United States student loans cannot be discharged even in bankruptcy ordinarily.
Imagine as the American federal government doesn't honestly (colloquially put) give a big enough rat's ass about you or your kids to offer you a tuition free university education(in a government for and by the 1%),
but the German government does care enough about your family as a human right to give you a free university education, even if you've never been to Germany and never paid any taxes to the German government, all you got to do is come to Germany.
Oh by the way, you also get access for yourself and your family members to a student health medical plan which has no deductibles, and doesn't have pre-existing conditions restrictions. That is the difference between a government working for working class people, as opposed to the best government money can buy, who works overwhelmingly for the 1%.
The Times (British newspaper) September 22 2014
German universities scrap all tuition feesAll German universities will be free of charge when term starts next week after fees were abandoned in Lower Saxony
Spiegel Quote:'America Must Learn from Germany -- Before It Is Too Late'
We Need To Learn from Germany': How the German Economy Became a Model
By Thomas Schulz in New York
It wasn't so long ago that many viewed Germany's economic model as outdated and the country as the "sick man of Europe." These days, however, even the Americans have come to praise parts of it, though they still doubt whether they would be able -- or willing -- to adopt it wholesale.
Spiegel --The US newsweekly Time writes that the wide range of German economic and social reforms have been "farsighted" and that German firms, together with those reforms, have forged "the most competitive industrial sector of any advanced economy." The New York Times, meanwhile, says that: "The German economy has been one of the wonders of the world over the last couple of years."
As an American expat living in the European Union, the fact is that all workers throughout the EU are medically insured, as are their families from cradle to grave, as a human right. They enjoy benefits such as a child maintenance allowance, paid sick leave, paid maternity leave and paid annual leave by right of law and is something that most American workers are blissfully kept ignorant of by the American owned plutocrat media, even in an election year. Because America's top 1% wealth holders and their surrogates are getting disgustingly richer, and as such they have no desire to learn from the economic success of the European Union, and most saliently the success of the top economies in Europe of Britain, France and Germany.
As such the German mainstream magazine Der Spiegel wrote a blistering article, which excoriates America's neofeudalist ruling elites' unwillingness to acknowledge and learn from the recent German economic miracle, wherein Germany has risen to the third largest exporting nation in the world. Germany, instead of having a trade deficit as is the case in America, has a trade surplus, wherein they grow manufacturing jobs. As such as a business librarian, this diary provides a review of the aforementioned Spiegel article.Has the United States become a neofeudalist oligarchy?
For anyone not familiar with the English language edition of the award winning German magazine Der Spiegel, it is the equivalent of TIME magazine in the United States. The German magazine Der Spiegel is no johnny come lately in its investigative journalism of inequality and the wholesale evisceration of the American working class by the 1%. They have been publishing about this since the 2008 crash, wherein as far back as 2011, they openly asked if the United States of America has become an oligarchy. Well, Mr and Mrs Progressive America please tell us, has the United States become an oligarchy, wherein the American government works overwhelmingly along with their militarized police forces to benefit the 1% instead of the 99% of working class America?
Spiegle quote:"THE SECOND GILDED AGE: HAS AMERICA BECOME AN OLIGARCHY?"
Please give this Princeton study a close read. "Princeton Study: U.S. No Longer An Actual Democracy"
Scholar Behind Viral 'Oligarchy' Study Tells You What It Means
A new political science study that's gone viral finds that majority-rule democracy exists only in theory in the United States --not so much in practice.
By Brendan James
A new study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely,
that it no longer exists.
I'd say that contrary to what decades of political science research might lead you to believe, ordinary citizens have virtually no influence over what their government does in the United States. And economic elites and interest groups, especially those representing business, have a substantial degree of influence. Government
Yes, we've all recently heard about Germany winning the World Cup in soccer in Brazil which is arguably the heart of the world's soccer culture. Of course we've all heard about the fact that Germany has become the world's second largest exporting nation (as part of the European Union), where Germany is now rated as the richest country in the European Union. The EU's population which is greater than that of the United States and whose currency the Euro rivals the power of the US dollar. Of course we've all heard about the NSA spying scandal, wherein the NSA is alleged to have spied on the phones of millions of Germans, to include even the private cell phone of Chancellor Angela Merkel whom Forbes magazine has rated as being the most powerful woman in the world.
On the back of that litany coming out of Germany, is that Germany has recently set a world record in solar-powered green energy generation. AlsoGermany has just done away with all university tuition nationwide which is now taking center stage in world headlines. The question is how is a country of 83 million people with little or no natural resources continuing to lead the world and earn its way into world headlines, again and again. What can we as Americans learn from the German model, along with the other more socialized models of the great social democracies of Western Europe, because let's face it...American capitalism is failing the American working class by all international statistical modeling.
If we look at the Gini co-efficient in the map below we see that the United States in terms of income inequality has fallen behind every major industrialized country in Western Europe. As a particular badge of shame we incarcerate more people per 100,000 than anyone else in the world, wherein clearly it seems America is going backwards. The question is why and who exactly is profiting from our backwardness? So all the people after graduating who can't get a job wind up moving into their parents' basements, where fully a third of those homes are in underwater mortgages. So these people are living in the basement of their parents' underwater houses, being quietly drowned in $1.2 trillion dollars of student loan debt, as part of the corporatist student loan debt slavery economy, because clearly people who are distressed under no-benefit, low-wage slavery, further distressed by student loan debt, can't assert themselves in the way their Western European counterparts have.
This has led to the United States having a lower Gini co-efficient than essentially all of the Western European countries, as part of the European Union, as demonstrated by the map below, which has become not only an international badge of shame, but is making America an international laughing stock of inequality.
The Case of Student Loan Slavery in 2014 neo-feudalist America
What! What you say you didn't know that. You say you don't care because... you don't believe in socialism as a good Fox News watcher. Well, did you know that since 1985, college tuition in America is up 544%. Ah, so you don't care about that either because you don't think it affects you and therefore you candidly don't give a rat's ass.
Did you know that in America (as we're always proud of being number one) that with 1.2 trillion dollars outstanding in student loan debt slavery, we're number one in student loan debt slavery in the world. I am going to guess you don't care about that either because you think that's not going to affect you and you only care about what affects you and not others, because you're axiomatically speaking a capitalist pig and we all know pigs proudly have no shame, in a system designed to give more to those who already have more, at the expense of those who have less or fully in the case of over half of all Americans who have nothing at all, that is to say zero net assets. Doesn't this give new meaning to the old turn of phrase only in America? In a clear case where every country in Western Europe have universal medical access as a human right, and they usually spend about 9% of GNP, whereas we spend about 16% of GNP. They cover 100% of their population and we don't cover 40 million people and don't live as long as they do. So what kind of an outcome is that? Also did you know the United States is the only major industrialized country in the world that doesn't have job protected paid maternity leave by right of law? Why won't the plutocrat corporatist American media tell you that, whereas this blog just did, and who does that benefit? Does it benefit you? If not you, then who?
Asking "[w]ho really rules?" researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argue that over the past few decades America's political system has slowly transformed from a DEMOCRACY INTO AN OLIGARCHY, where wealthy elites wield most power.
STUDENT LOAN DEBT SLAVERY IS KILLING THE AMERICAN HOUSING MARKET
Your student loan is killing the housing market
USA TODAY:Rick Munarriz, The Motley Fool EDT October 5, 2014
Home builder adviser John Burns Consulting published details from a study earlier this month, concluding that student loan payments will cost the housing industry 414,000
transactions this year that would have totaled $83 billion in sales.
Well, here's something that will affect you. When all of these people are in student loan debt slavery to the tune of $1.2 trillion, it starts to retard the American (GDP) 17.3 trillion dollar economy as a whole. Everything, from new car sales, to new home sales, to people's ability to save for retirement by buying mutual funds through 401k's, etc. Yes, this also affects interest rates. So unless you're out living in a cave somewhere this is going to affect you. In fact, it already has, and if you weren't quite so ignorant and misinformed by listening to one too many infotainment programs from Fox News, you would already know that. Then again, studies have shown Fox News watchers know less than people who don't watch any news at all -- which begs to ask the question, what or who are the Fox News anchors appealing to?(If a picture speaks a thousand words, what is the photo cube below telling us about the true face of diversity at Fox News? Hmm.)
"I'm 57 and owe $152,000 in student loans"
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
"Rosemary Anderson, 57, is on the hook for $152,000 in student loans she took out 20 years ago.The divorced mother of two grown daughters represents a growing number of older Americans with student debt.
The 50-and-over crowd makes up 17% of $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loan debt -- a 30% increase since 2005, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York".
Now let's be honest the German mainstream magazine Der Spiegel recently pointed out that Ferguson, MO has a history of slavery which I reviewed in a recent article, which thanks to the generosity of the Kos community was voted #1 on Jotter's list for September 17th. I would also hasten to point out that given America's history of chattel slavery as a continuing blight of our history, which we've never dealt with in the same way that Germany has dealt with its blight on history.
Germany has paid reparations and is continuing to pay for reparations to this day because Germany has taken responsibility for its past actions. Therefore they are able to move on, whereas we in America to date have never confronted our history of slavery in terms of offering reparations to redress past wrongs of chattel slavery. Until we do, the mentality which allows for the low wage slave economy as an outgrowth of the history of chattel slavery of how America treats its poor and working class will never change.
Let's face it, student loan debt enslavement is an important part of the American wage slave economy in neo-feudalist America, because when you have young people and some older workers stuck hopelessly in permanent student loan debt, you have a compliant wage slave work force, because they really need that job. Therefore, politically, they're going to be too afraid and demoralized and too atomized to push for the kind of reforms that we see in the countries of the European Union in general, (Germany in particular where there's no university tuition as education is believed to be a human right). As a person's future shouldn't depend on the family that they were by luck born into, being able to afford to pay for their education without causing that person to fall into permanent student loan debt slavery. This is the sad truth about what's happened in America in terms of its neo-feudalist student loan debt slavery market, now valued at 1.2 trillion dollars as part of the overall wage slave economy of ever lower wages and little or no benefits in pushed to the wall America, where you have people literally working themselves to death.
This was recently the case with 32 year old Maria Fernandes. Maria worked 3 jobs and fell asleep in a parking lot with her car running in-between jobs and died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
The only people who are really talking about this issue seriously are people like Noam Chomsky and Andrea Tosi founder of the Swiss based RePeace group, who seriously talk about to what extent our elected politicians have betrayed the American working class dream in favor of the 1% of the richest Americans.
These types of tragedies in the American wage slave economy are the types of tragedies that are the mark of a pariah state built on slavery in a history of chattel slavery turned contemporary wage slave state. We put people on a treadmill to nowhere, because no matter how hard they run for the carrot, they can never reach it and never get ahead, further exacerbated by their student loan enslavement.That means for most Americans today they can never afford to retire, either, because this is the ugly truth. When the burden in terms of the assumption of risk moved from companies that we work for, who provided a retirement and a gold watch at the end of your working life, to secure our retirement, to the individual IRA or 401k plan, the individual worker took on the assumption of risk, (as we MBAs refer to it), became staggering and indeed untenable. What that means is Corporate America just got a whole lot richer than working class America in cost shifting of your retirement burden --which just made YOU a whole lot poorer. So in Germany, where they have a secure state pension system funded by the taxpayer, workers are protected from being ripped off by Wall Street, in the way that American workers aren't protected as in evidence by the 2008 Wall Street crash. Afterwards, the Federal Government bailed out the Wall Street banksters! Well how about bailing out working class Americans by ending tuition in America today for everyone, as a human right?
How about bailing out Main Street America from its 1.2 trillion dollar burden of student loan debt, (with COMPLETE student loan forgiveness), because of all this crap about lowering interest rates doesn't stop student loan debt slavery. This is untenable and has become so onerous that it has now threatened the growth of the entire economy and must be addressed with immediate student loan debt forgiveness, so as to provide substantial redress and concurrently provide (just like in Germany) free tuition for ALL current and future students.
In other words in the United States, the 1.2 trillion dollar student loan debt has become too large not to fail. But as the federal government works for the 1% of the richest Americans and not the 99% of working Americans, there is therefore no $1.2 trillion student loan bailout in the offering for working class America from the best government that money can buy. Nor is there any offering to end tuition in America anywhere on the horizon.
$1 trillion student loan debt widens US wealth gap
Zbylut, an accountant-turned-attorney in Glendale, Calif. He's been chipping away at nearly $160,000 in student debt since graduating in 2005 from law school at Loyola University in Chicago. Now 48, the tax attorney estimates he could have $150,000 to $200,000 in a 401(k) had the money he's paid toward loans gone there."I'm sitting here in traffic. I've got a Mercedes behind me and an Audi in front of me and I'm thinking, 'What did they do that I didn't do?'" Zbylut said by cellphone from his Chevrolet. He's been turned down twice for the type of mortgage he needs to buy a home big enough for himself, the fiancee he would have married already if not for his debts, and her 10-year-old son.
"I have more education and more degrees than my father, as does she than her parents, and yet our parents are better off than we are. What's wrong with this picture?" he said.
What is wrong with this picture is he and his family have been betrayed by the best Government money can buy. You may ask, is it that simple? The short answer is yes! The working class social compact has been broken in neo feudalist America.
Now you might think with all of its accomplishments that Germany would be the happiest place on earth. It would seem that the people of Denmark under the Scandinavian system have that title instead. What do you think? Are they right? Oh yes, they also have no university tuition there, either. Maybe it's time that we eliminated tuition in America as a human right as well. What do you think? Please give us your comments below.
Also, German non-university blue collar vocational apprenticeship programs are second to none in the world, where apprenticeships are, virtually speaking, free of charge. In fact apprentices are paid modest salaries while training.
Now that Unions in America have been eviscerated there are very few apprenticeship training programs in the U.S.
Spiegel quote:"The United States has no equivalent to the German training system or comparable programs for retraining or continuing education."
There is a lot of hidden poverty in America, but historically Americans have always been pretty innovative at looking good in terms of their personal appearance, even at the height of the Great Depression during the 1930s. So there is an appearance reality distinction that we must understand. That is to say, the appearance of affluence in America may well belie the reality which is, a lot of people are struggling in hidden poverty. As a male I have personal knowledge of examples of that, wherein I have seen prominent online mens' stylists, such as Antonio Centeno (How to Look Like A Millionaire On A $100 Budget) and Aaron Marino from Alpha M in their published comments refer people to thrift stores to leverage the best value possible for their money. When prominent online stylists give you permission to shop at thrift stores you know that thrift store shopping has just gotten a whole lot cooler with cache, style and the dollar bargains that American families have to have in order to make ends meet in this pushed-to-the-wall economy. Precisely the same thing can be said of ladies and children's wear, in an economy where people are struggling to maintain their personal appearance and that of their family members. Likewise there's a lot of new cars on the road.
What we don't realize is those cars a lot of times are on payments that all too often people are behind on those payments, and people even if they step out of those cars, well groomed and well dressed are clients of charity shops like the Goodwill and the Salvation Army, as well as local food banks, which report a banner business like they never had before.
USA Today: Hunger in America: 1 in 7 rely on food banks - LORTON, Va. – When Mary Smallenburg, 35, of Fort Belvoir, Va., opened a package from her mother to find cereal and ramen noodles, she burst into tears. Without it, she wouldn't be able to feed her four children. "It got to the point where I opened my pantry and there was nothing. Nothing. What was I going to feed my kids?" Smallenburg says, adjusting a bag of fresh groceries on her arm. Smallenburg's family is one of 50 military families that regularly visit the Lorton Community Action Center food bank. Volunteers wave a familiar hello as she walks in the door.
We have 45 million Americans on food stamps. 130 million who don't have access to dental care. 40 million who don't have medical insurance. A lot of Americans are in underwater mortgages to the tune of $1.2 trillion. The economic pain in America is real because unlike Germany, we in America have stopped large scale manufacturing, because WE HAVE BEEN SOLD A LIE that those manufacturing jobs have to be exported to developing economies because Americans can't compete with the wages in developing economies, yet Germany is a high wage exporting and manufacturing superpower. Within the European Union, Germany has become the second largest exporter in the world precisely because it kept a hold of its high wage manufacturing jobs, and people in Europe and in Germany in particular are dressed well. They can afford to be. They are after all the richest country in the European Union. So can we in America once we get our manufacturing sector back to support our local tax base, so as to re-build the working class American dream from the ground up. All we have to do is take charge at the ballot box and vote the people out who work for the 1% and vote people in who will work for the 99%. You might ask is it that simple, yes it really is.
Because as American voters we are the owners of this country, all we have to do is simply take ownership of our futures at the ballot box. German society is able to produce goods that countries to include developing countries around the world want at competitive prices, while leveraging economies of scale, which the United States is not able to do, because unions which have been traditional sponsors of employee education have been routed out in America in the GOP led class warfare, which has left America's manufacturing base internationally impotent. This has led to large scale evisceration and destruction of the American working class, which is rapidly being deskilled, de-industrialized, as a product of the GOP led class warfare against the masses of the great American working class.
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Also for anyone who wants to move to Germany please feel free to contact me.