Pages

  • Sharebar

Were you born on the wrong continent? Thomas Geoghegan seems to think so. Geoghegan’s book, which is actually titled “Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?” came out a few years ago, but I think it’s pertinent right now as the Eurozone struggles through its many issues. Geoghegan essentially says that European social democracy, specifically in Germany, not only leads to a greater quality of life for the middle class, it also results in a more productive working class. All this is accomplished even as Germans work fewer hours, have 6 weeks of federally mandated vacation, free university tuition, nursing care, and childcare. Geoghegan also notes how America’s high GDP per capita doesn’t necessarily mean its citizens are better off.

You can pull out these GDP per capita statistics and say that people in Mississippi are vastly wealthier than people in Frankfurt and Hamburg. That can’t be true. Just spend two months in Hamburg and spend two months in Tupelo, Mississippi. There’s something wrong if the statistics are telling you that the people in Tupelo are three times wealthier than the people in Germany. Despite the numbers, social democracy really does work and delivers the goods and it’s the only model that an advanced country can do to be competitive in this world.

Sounds tempting. It’s an interesting topic, but I don’t buy Geoghegan’s argument. Here’s why:

I think he raises the right questions, but draws the wrong conclusions. First of all, comparing the happiness of U.S. workers to certain European countries isn’t really fair. Sure, Denmark, Finland and Norway appear to have social democracies that offer more vacation time, more benefits, and possibly greater economic well-being, but they're so small and homogenous that they bear no economic or cultural resemblance to the United States.

Second, larger countries like Germany may get valuable vacation time, but the fact is that Americans and Europeans simply choose different ways of living.

I’m sure most people here on WSO are willing to bust out 100-hour workweeks in exchange for the possibility of making a boatload of money down the road. In Europe, the mentality is different.

The average American works 400 more hours per year than a German and 300 hours more than a Frenchman. Would he do this if he thought he’d be making the same salary as a worker in one of those countries? I know I wouldn’t. Does he do this simply because he loves his job more? It’s a nice thought, but unlikely.

Americans, especially those in finance, were brought up with the idea that if they work a little longer than the guy next to them, they’ll be spared when it comes time to let people go. The biggest shortcoming in Geoghegan’s argument is that he assumes Europeans and Americans share a common view of the world.

Finally, I would dispute the fact that Americans are not as productive as Europeans. Like it or not, our GDP per capita is higher, and keeping population equal, we still have twice as many billionaires as Germany. For a look at productivity, America has some of the most innovative companies in the world when you look at Apple, Google, Facebook, etc.

Those are just my thoughts on this, but I’d like to hear what everyone else thinks:

So who would you rather be?
1) The European worker, who gets free education and lengthy vacation time, but is less likely to become very, very wealthy.

2) The American worker, who works long hours and retires later in life, but is more likely to become Mr. Monopoly and live that “bottles and models” lifestyle.

Summary—I realize this is a long post: This author asserts that the average German worker is better off and more productive than the average American worker. I disagree for a number of reasons.

1 1

Comments (150)

  • adast027's picture

    He's not talking though about the top 1% (the elite and privileged few) which is why the US has a high GDP per capita and a large number of billionaires , he's talking about the average middle class German worker compared with the average US worker. Sure, the US is a great place if you're wealthy, but the fact is that the US is moving away from the meritocracy it used to be. That's why I always find it amusing when the average American points to things such as "freedoms" when explaining why the US is the greatest country in the world.

    I personally don't know what's "free" about working 400 hours a week more with three weeks less holiday to pay for overpriced healthcare, education and to simply struggle through life like a large majority of the US middle class.

  • In The Flesh's picture

    Everyone had better get their two cents in before ANT sees this...

    One of my greatest blessings has been American citizenship, and I'm proud to have it. I love the freedom and independence we are able to have here, and in general I think Americans are more optimistic and forward-thinking than the European counterparts. I only like Europe for basically superficial reasons (more history and better cuisine, haha).

    Although sometimes it may seem like more fun is being had on the other side of the pond, I think I'm pretty content where I am right now.

    Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

  • TNA's picture

    Europe wouldn't exist if not for the US.

    The average European lives better than the average American, for right now. Unfortunately they are living on borrowed time.

    Oh and once again, they can than hard working Americans and brave soldiers. Europe can spend on lavish entitlements because they don't have to defend themselves. Honestly, I giggle with glee thinking about the negative birth rates for native Europeans and the massive influx of Islamic immigrants. Oh and that they are bankrupt and not competitive on a global stage.

    Enjoy your vacations and indulgent government spending. Tons of butter will make you fat and weak, exactly what they are right now.

  • In reply to adast027
    TNA's picture

    adast027:
    He's not talking though about the top 1% (the elite and privileged few) which is why the US has a high GDP per capita and a large number of billionaires , he's talking about the average middle class German worker compared with the average US worker. Sure, the US is a great place if you're wealthy, but the fact is that the US is moving away from the meritocracy it used to be. That's why I always find it amusing when the average American points to things such as "freedoms" when explaining why the US is the greatest country in the world.

    I personally don't know what's "free" about working 400 hours a week more with three weeks less holiday to pay for overpriced healthcare, education and to simply struggle through life like a large majority of the US middle class.

    Oh so you equate freedom with free shit huh? Glad to know. Let me know where to send the one way ticket out of this country. Ill bring the gasoline to burn your citizenship, you don't deserve it.

  • Boreed's picture

    Chill the fuck out with the Europe bashing. Talk about insecurities...

    End of the day, we're all Africans anyway.

  • In reply to In The Flesh
    Babyj18777's picture

    In The Flesh:
    Everyone had better get their two cents in before ANT sees this...

    One of my greatest blessings has been American citizenship, and I'm proud to have it. I love the freedom and independence we are able to have here, and in general I think Americans are more optimistic and forward-thinking than the European counterparts. I only like Europe for basically superficial reasons (more history and better cuisine, haha).

    Although sometimes it may seem like more fun is being had on the other side of the pond, I think I'm pretty content where I am right now.

    Who cares what ANT thinks, he's a moron. His neo-conservative nonsense is just that, nonsense.

  • In reply to adast027
    PetEng's picture

    adast027:
    He's not talking though about the top 1% (the elite and privileged few) which is why the US has a high GDP per capita and a large number of billionaires , he's talking about the average middle class German worker compared with the average US worker. Sure, the US is a great place if you're wealthy, but the fact is that the US is moving away from the meritocracy it used to be. That's why I always find it amusing when the average American points to things such as "freedoms" when explaining why the US is the greatest country in the world.

    I personally don't know what's "free" about working 400 hours a week more with three weeks less holiday to pay for overpriced healthcare, education and to simply struggle through life like a large majority of the US middle class.

    A more apt comparison is to compare the 80th percentile citizen in the US to that an 80th percentile citizen in Germany (which virtually everyone on this forum will achieve).

    An 80th percentile citizen in the US has far 'richer' lifestyle than a comparable citizen in Germany.

  • melvvvar's picture

    europe has better scat, especially germany. if you are a man who likes to pleasure other men sexually, belgium is of course the place.

  • In reply to Babyj18777
    TNA's picture

    Babyj18777:
    In The Flesh:
    Everyone had better get their two cents in before ANT sees this...

    One of my greatest blessings has been American citizenship, and I'm proud to have it. I love the freedom and independence we are able to have here, and in general I think Americans are more optimistic and forward-thinking than the European counterparts. I only like Europe for basically superficial reasons (more history and better cuisine, haha).

    Although sometimes it may seem like more fun is being had on the other side of the pond, I think I'm pretty content where I am right now.

    Who cares what ANT thinks, he's a moron. His neo-conservative nonsense is just that, nonsense.

    Absolutely wonderful rebuke to what I have to say. I mean it is obvious that believing freedom is more than just a government hand out makes me uber right wing. Also, I am blinded and drugged by all my Fox News when I report about Europe's inability to truly compete on a global scale.

    Plain fact is Europe has calcified labor laws, a negative birth rate, expensive costs to businesses and high taxes combined with high government spending. Europe is at the point where the Laffer Curve takes effect.

    Try and have an intelligence discussion and maybe you can then earn the right to use the word moron.

  • Nobama88's picture

    Someone needs to figure out what the output of major industry advances are in medicine, science, tech, and finance are between Europe and the USA.

    My hunch is that Europe piggybacks on most of the USA's advancements with our hard work and entrepreneurial attitudes while Europeans cry about how uncivilized, fat, lazy, stupid, and backwards we are. My guess, Europeans love European medicine using American funded drugs and advancements...

    Ask yourself "what would the world be like without the USA" and that should answer your question of USA vs Europe.

  • In reply to Boreed
    ChrisHansen's picture

    Boreed:
    Chill the fuck out with the Europe bashing. Talk about insecurities...

    End of the day, we're all Africans anyway.

    This is my favorite of all liberal buzzphrases. We evolved for 3.7 billion years on earth from single cell prokaryotes, then when humans left Africa (supposedly) 100,000 years ago and spread out to different climates and continents with different drivers for evolution, we magically stopped evolving and to this day we are all exactly the same. Sure.

    A German Shepherd and a bulldog are members of the same genus and species. That means they must be identical physically and mentally.....right?

  • chabo11's picture

    PetEng, I agree that comparing the 80th percentile citizen would be much more worthwhile.

    Adast027, I see your point, but considering the top 1% makes nearly $400,000, that wasn't really the group I was going for. Yes, I mentioned the billionaire stat, but I think what's important here is that while the U.S. doesn't get universal healthcare/education, people seem less content with their income bracket than in many European countries. The top 1% already has the money to pretty much do as they please, but to me the advantage the American worker has is that we're in a society that so badly strives to be in that 1%, and this drives our economy in a huge way.

    If you take away Germany’s social safety net, America’s middle class is much better off by comparison. And most economists would agree that entitlement spending can’t last forever. Eventually, if the Euro falls apart tomorrow or a recession hits in 10 years, that free education and universal healthcare will disappear, but the American middle class will only get hungrier.

    See my WSO blog

      "The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education." Albert Einstein
  • El_Mono's picture

    Very biased, I wonder if the chances of being incredibly wealthy in the US are more than 10 times than being in Germany, but you are ignoring the downside, I would argue is 100 times better to be poor here than in the states. The odds of someone buying the lottery of being far richer than someone who doesnt buy it are higher all things equal, but it doesnt mean he has good odds of being very rich by doing so. Self select audience, I dont think anyone here is very poor, and most than anything selective perception, so yeah, we are better than anyone else, im better than the others and my chances of success are higher cause I rock and work hard... If hard work brought wealth, african mothers would be very rich.

    There is also the previous generation success stories, but remember things change and suvivorship bias is a big thing, many people failed and we dont know their stories. Flame on.

    Valor is of no service, chance rules all, and the bravest often fall by the hands of cowards. - Tacitus

    Dr. Nick Riviera: Hey, don't worry. You don't have to make up stories here. Save that for court!

  • The.RealDeal's picture

    When you say freedoms do you mean:

    -The Patriot Act
    -Wiretapping
    -47th place in press freedom rankings
    - FATCA (Switizerland's Wegelin Bank and many more)
    -Ability to kill own citizens on American ground without due process of law
    -Construction of NSA's Utah Data Centre (Not the only one)
    -TSA's "Pat Downs"
    -SOPA & PIPA
    - MFG, Mortgage Robosigners,etc.

    We all know this is just the tip of the iceberg. My comment is not meant to stir another pointless US vs The World debate, I'm just interested in other people's opininions on these issues. I'm perfectly aware of the great things that living in the US affords and Europe and the rest of the world have their own problems as well, there is no arguing that. There is a reason why America was always thought of as the land of milk and honey by outsiders, including my parents.

    Would you agree though that in the last couple decades there has been a great decoupling from what made this country so great?

    As far as the article goes, I feel that the GDP Per Capita statistic is a flawed measure of productivity in the true sense of that word. I admit I don't feel confident in my abilities to defend that arguement, but I do know that the composition of GDP is drastically different today from what it was 50-60 years ago (Agriculture,Manufacturing vs Services, Government Spending). I suppose it boils down to ones definition of productivity and I feel that I'm in the minority.

    Again, please don't miscontrue this as some attack or attempt at settling this debate, Europe (not all of it) is a shitshow and faces their own challenges.

    Put wealth aside for a second and consider mental health, family stability, unemployment, and other aspects of being happy or content. Which average citizen do you think has the edge when you look at more than just money? I think US has Germany beaten the World's Happiest Countries Index, although top spots are occupied by Nordic countries with Switzerland, Netherlands and Austria close by. Not saying these "rankings" are a true measure of happiness, but something to think about.

    " A recession is when other people lose their job, a depression is when you lose your job. "

  • TNA's picture

    I completely agree that our freedom's are being eroded and we are slowly moving towards a European type government (which is wrong).

    My point is that freedom is about more than a check from the government. Our precious liberties are under attack because we walk the government to do more for us rather than less. The very issue is that we are selling what is valuable for a cheap hand out.

  • guyfromct's picture

    America isn't perfectly free, we have flaws, the PATRIOT Act, Warantless wiretapping, governmental intervention in the marketplace all have eroded our fundamental freedoms, to be safe in our persons and effects. However European laws scare the fuck out of me, the notion of being tried for "hate speech" like Geert Wilders is ridiculous. In America the notion of freedom of speech is much better supported, look at cases like NSPA V. Skokie, to see that despite how abhorrent a view may be we are more than willing to defend the ability to say it. Europe has incredibly limited liberty of commerce.

  • HGButte's picture

    10 Pfennig from Germany:

    Ive read too many of those essays like from chabo in GMAT prep and in MBA classes. Honestly, do Americans think that this is coherent argumentation? Assumptions and anecdotal evidence ... come on. A neat structure doenst make an argument.

    Ill give you guys an anecdote from my life: In the cafeteria of my gradschool in the US, there was this probably 75y old lady, shaking, couldn't even walk straight. But nevertheless she worked all day cleaning the tables. Me and my German friends were baffled and disgusted by the fact that she had to work. I spoke to a guy from the US about it and he told me "she chose to do so" - "fuck seriously, that is what you think - damn think twice, retardo". Now comes the point, In Europe this woman would be sitting in a decent, retiring residence financed by the state. Now you probably think, too expensive! just like this lousy Healthcare (that reduces your freedom ... hahaha seriously?) ... think twice. especially about your deficit/capita.

  • adast027's picture

    What I've always wondered is what makes the US "freer" than some other non-European Western democracies like Canada, Australia, New Zealand?

    These countries have free speech, democratically elected governments, universal healthcare, low crime rates etc, etc.

    Without descending into gutter retorts like we could bomb them, or they'd be nothing without us, or referencing GDP per capita, how are there "freedoms" in the US that are not existent in these places?

    I'm not trying to stir here, I'm actually curious myself. I'm just wondering if anyone has an objective answer?

  • nmartell's picture

    If I'm getting paid in pounds, I'll take it.

  • Anomanderis's picture

    Without the US Europe would not exist? That is pure foolishness. Without Europe, the US would not exist either.

    But - I'm beginning to realize that most of you have never lived in Europe. I have.

    Let's be clear - outside the tri-state area and perhaps California and taxes, the US is a totally different country in terms of income. The top 80 percentile in say Germany may not live better than their contemporaries over here, but the bottom say 20% live MUCH, much better. There is something to be said for an element of shared wealth.

    This is a financial forum, so by default, most of us enter the job market around the 50/60 % mark, however you need to realize that we're the privileged of the US, we're the ones who got the chance, we're the ones who made the cut. We're not the average Joe (the plumber?) on the street

    I like the US because I'm one of the "privileged". If I wasn't, perhaps not so much.

    But Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought bravely.

    And Rhaegar died.

  • chabo11's picture

    That's a good point Anomanderis. It sounds like some people here have some pretty strong opinions on comparing Europe to the U.S., and I do admit that I was pretty biased in this post. I was pointing out how Geoghegan was being too general in declaring the majority of European workers better off and more productive than Americans, but I also admittedly wrote it from the perspective of someone who hasn't experienced life in the bottom 20%.

    In the U.S., our economic system offers more paths to affluence than arguably any other country in the world. Yet in Germany, social democracy offers the opportunity for equality and stability, making it difficult for someone to slip through the cracks. The top 20% have better growth opportunities in the U.S., while the bottom 20% have a system in Germany that is specifically designed to support them through things like universal healthcare and free education.

    Different economic models work for different people. Each of these systems could be considered ideal, depending on who you are.

    See my WSO blog

      "The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education." Albert Einstein
  • TonyPerkis's picture

    I enjoy getting paid in Monopoly Money

    I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

  • utexas2010's picture

    I don't understand the big fuss about the Patriot Act. As someone working in the intelligence community, let me tell you, getting a wire tap on someone is a painstaking and lengthy process that has to cross multiple levels of government and takes months to approve. We don't go out and listen in on phone calls unless there is sufficient evidence to do so. But hey, this gives extreme liberals something to complain about so I guess its a big deal. I mean, these are the same people who will blame us for not being more proactive next time a terrorist attack hits.

  • In reply to TNA
    CuriousCharacter's picture

    TNA:
    Europe wouldn't exist if not for the US.

    Oh and once again, they can thank hard working Americans and brave soldiers.

    LOL. Yeah, American soldiers are making the world a safer place for everyone! LOL. If it weren't for hard working Americans the entire global economy would collapse!

    Get the fuck outta here man, you're joking right?

  • Ryan M's picture

    Tough to compare the two over the long run because both systems have become incredibly unsustainable. I think every one here realizes that the European model is eroding and the US has far to many unfunded liabilities going forward. In both nations standards of living are projected to decrease for the next generation which is a first. There are a boatload of students on this blog that have to wonder what the future holds for these nations as they still have their entire working life ahead. So whats coming? Im not sure what the out come is but I am sure that the world will change in my generation in a drastic way. The major money makers will be the ones that correctly see this change coming and can figure out the end result. Conclusion, both of these nations will be vastly different in the next 10 years which is what a student like me cares about. Personally I dont feel like ether one will do well primarily due to their politicians. For now I would rather work in Canada even though Harper is next to useless.

  • In reply to CuriousCharacter
    TNA's picture

    evilbyaccident:
    TNA:
    Europe wouldn't exist if not for the US.

    Oh and once again, they can thank hard working Americans and brave soldiers.

    LOL. Yeah, American soldiers are making the world a safer place for everyone! LOL. If it weren't for hard working Americans the entire global economy would collapse!

    Get the fuck outta here man, you're joking right?

    Oh so Europe was kicking Hitler and Stalins ass in WWII huh? Or was Europe keeping the USSR at bay?

    Whatever. Europe can afford to spend all of their money on social issues because they have no need for a military because the US offers the protection for free. Even ethnic genocide on the continent had to be taken care of by the USA.

    Keep on over taxing people and promoting a stagnant work force. Europe is a wonderful museum.

  • In reply to ChrisHansen
    Ryan M's picture

    FusRoDah:
    Boreed:
    Chill the fuck out with the Europe bashing. Talk about insecurities...

    End of the day, we're all Africans anyway.

    This is my favorite of all liberal buzzphrases. We evolved for 3.7 billion years on earth from single cell prokaryotes, then when humans left Africa (supposedly) 100,000 years ago and spread out to different climates and continents with different drivers for evolution, we magically stopped evolving and to this day we are all exactly the same. Sure.

    A German Shepherd and a bulldog are members of the same genus and species. That means they must be identical physically and mentally.....right?

    Lol you must have a great understanding of evolution. Evolution is such a slow process that you would not see it take place in generations or even many centuries. That being said it happens every day on an individual level when people have mutations. Guess what though society is so stigmatized on what a perfect body is that even if this mutation were beneficial that person would be a freak. Further more we have successfully kicked survival of the fittest out the window with our advanced healthcare. Therefore, evolution at least on a cosmetic level has stopped.
    As far as the german shepherd and bulldog argument understand basic genetics or biological anthropology before you throw something like that out. Your over 99% genetically similar to to chimps and banobos, enjoy! thats just a fact. are we the same? not at all because subtle genetic changes can have sweeping changes.

  • TNA's picture

    Kicked survival of the fittest out? Yeah right.

    Regardless, where we came from has jack balls relevance in this discussion.

  • In reply to TNA
    Panic's picture

    TNA:
    Europe wouldn't exist if not for the US.

    Epic.

  • In reply to Panic
    TNA's picture

    Panic:
    TNA:
    Europe wouldn't exist if not for the US.

    Epic.

    Let me qualify that by saying the land mass would exist, but if not for the US everyone would be speaking German or Russian.

  • Panic's picture

    I see what you mean, but while I agree that the US has aided Europe in many ways you're neglecting the benefits the US receives by aiding Europe. Also, saying that the US provides free defense for Europe is just plain wrong. I'm Dutch and as I am sure you know our military is heavily involved in your current conflicts in the Middle-East. The military alliances are not one-sided.

  • In reply to Panic
    TNA's picture

    Panic:
    I see what you mean, but while I agree that the US has aided Europe in many ways you're neglecting the benefits the US receives by aiding Europe. Also, saying that the US provides free defense for Europe is just plain wrong. I'm Dutch and as I am sure you know our military is heavily involved in your current conflicts in the Middle-East. The military alliances are not one-sided.

    Agree. We benefit each other. But while European nations provide help when they can, the USA kept the USSR at bay and the USA was the driving force liberating Europe. Other nations helped, but if not for the materials and man power Europe would look and act very different.

    And the fact the Europe did not have to spend heavily on defense because of the defactor promise of US involvement, they were allowed to spend on other things, mainly social programs.

    Europe can do whatever they want, but I on a whole, the labor laws are largely pro worker and making hiring and firing very hard. Rich entitlements are hard to remove once put in place and are very expensive and on top of that, immigration is the only way Europe will continue to grow and have young workers supporting older workers.

    The problem is, immigration in Europe is largely Islamic or non white European. Socialism or socialistic policies work well when everyone shares a common bond, community, etc. You see this in small towns in the US where the church or town hall act as a rallying point for citizens and people donate to help their neighbor. But it is hard to implement this on a national scale when you have a diverse and different country.

    When everyone is ethnically Swedish and everyone fits into Swedish society (for example) you have a country that is really a large community. You want to help you fellow Swede. When you have people from different nations, that do not perfectly fit within this community you lose that bond, that fellowship. You ask yourself why are you paying for XYZ when they do not fit into our culture or maybe they use or do not contribute.

    This is the thinking that is gaining momentum in Europe. Unfortunately, those "non-Europeans" are what are needed to provide lifeblood into the various countries. So you have two warring factions/emotions.

    The USA is the USA. What works across the pond does not work here. I think the USA is the best because I am firmly against socialism, want to maximize liberty and do not measure freedom by safetynets or hand outs. If more people fail in the US that is fine, it is the price of liberty. We are unfortunately moving away from these ideals, which saddens me, but I hope we eventually swing the other way.

    And when I talk about Europe, I include all countries, not just the prosperous ones. Just as people quickly talk about the weaker US states when comparing living standards, one must also look at the weaker EU counties.

  • In reply to TNA
    tiger90's picture

    TNA:
    Oh so Europe was kicking Hitler and Stalins ass in WWII huh? Or was Europe keeping the USSR at bay?

    Whatever. Europe can afford to spend all of their money on social issues because they have no need for a military because the US offers the protection for free...

    TNA, I think you forgot the vast amounts of cash Europe poured into TARP and TALF to help stem systemic risk just like we have been doing for the ECB. Oh wait a second...

  • In reply to tiger90
    TNA's picture

    tiger90:
    TNA:
    Oh so Europe was kicking Hitler and Stalins ass in WWII huh? Or was Europe keeping the USSR at bay?

    Whatever. Europe can afford to spend all of their money on social issues because they have no need for a military because the US offers the protection for free...

    TNA, I think you forgot the vast amounts of cash Europe poured into TARP and TALF to help stem systemic risk just like we have been doing for the ECB. Oh wait a second...

    I am not forgetting it, I just did not think is was pertinent to the discussion. Europe had their own issues and own problem banks and the USA helped bail them out just as much as Europe helps us out.

  • In reply to TNA
    Anomanderis's picture

    TNA:
    Panic:
    TNA:
    Europe wouldn't exist if not for the US.

    Epic.

    Let me qualify that by saying the land mass would exist, but if not for the US everyone would be speaking German or Russian.

    Ah.

    And if not for the UK, the US would likely be speaking french.

    But Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought bravely.

    And Rhaegar died.

  • In reply to Anomanderis
    TNA's picture

    Anomanderis:
    TNA:
    Panic:
    TNA:
    Europe wouldn't exist if not for the US.

    Epic.

    Let me qualify that by saying the land mass would exist, but if not for the US everyone would be speaking German or Russian.

    Ah.

    And if not for the UK, the US would likely be speaking french.

    Ok, cool, thanks for adding to this conversation.

  • melvvvar's picture

    on D-Day, the Red Army was already within 100 miles of berlin. the US beat the minor partner in the axis, but the USSR beat the big one.

  • In reply to melvvvar
    TNA's picture

    melvvvar:
    on D-Day, the Red Army was already within 100 miles of berlin. the US beat the minor partner in the axis, but the USSR beat the big one.

    So African and Italy had nothing to do with things? Had the US not been in Africa, Rommel would have taken the ME oil fields, secured North Africa and the Italians and Germans would have pushed through into Russia.

    America, with their man power and production capabilities turned the tide. Also, my original statement stands. Had the US not been involved Europe would be speaking German or Russian.

  • tiger90's picture

    I was actually trying to be facetious, I don't think they committed nearly as much as we have for them. Also, I think it should be noted that our subsidies in the emerging world have allowed for significant increases in European exports to those countries. Perhaps the world would prefer the US to stop subsidizing it and use that cash for its own social programs lol.

    EDIT: I don't find any indication there were European taxpayer funds involved with the US bank bailout, in fact, the bailout had probably saved the TBTF Euro banks in 2008 from systemic risk.

  • In reply to TNA
    melvvvar's picture

    TNA:
    melvvvar:
    on D-Day, the Red Army was already within 100 miles of berlin. the US beat the minor partner in the axis, but the USSR beat the big one.

    So African and Italy had nothing to do with things? Had the US not been in Africa, Rommel would have taken the ME oil fields, secured North Africa and the Italians and Germans would have pushed through into Russia.

    America, with their man power and production capabilities turned the tide. Also, my original statement stands. Had the US not been involved Europe would be speaking German or Russian.

    80% of the wehrmacht was deployed to the eastern front. the US/UK deserves as much credit for winning the european war as the british/dutch/australians/kiwis for beating the empire of japan.

  • In reply to TNA
    tiger90's picture

    TNA:
    melvvvar:
    on D-Day, the Red Army was already within 100 miles of berlin. the US beat the minor partner in the axis, but the USSR beat the big one.

    So African and Italy had nothing to do with things? Had the US not been in Africa, Rommel would have taken the ME oil fields, secured North Africa and the Italians and Germans would have pushed through into Russia.

    America, with their man power and production capabilities turned the tide. Also, my original statement stands. Had the US not been involved Europe would be speaking German or Russian.

    I think what he means is that the Germans were getting tired of slaughtering the Russians through the entirety of WW2, and that they chose not to rebuild their manufacturing facilities that were destroyed by B29s.

  • illiniPride's picture

    1) We conquered the world in WWII and gave it back.
    2) We went to the moon over 40 years ago.

    Still waiting for someone to top either of those. The ball is in your court, world.

    Leadership can be defined in two words: "Follow Me"

  • In reply to illiniPride
    tiger90's picture

    illiniPride:
    1) We conquered the world in WWII and gave it back.
    2) We went to the moon over 40 years ago.

    Still waiting for someone to top either of those. The ball is in your court, world.

    With a slide ruler and a pencil.

  • In reply to melvvvar
    PetEng's picture

    melvvvar:
    on D-Day, the Red Army was already within 100 miles of berlin. the US beat the minor partner in the axis, but the USSR beat the big one.
    So the Red Army had the Eastern front in the bag before the US gave them 450,000 vehicles?

    Their entire army was mobilized due to Lend-Lease.

  • In reply to PetEng
    melvvvar's picture

    PetEng:
    melvvvar:
    on D-Day, the Red Army was already within 100 miles of berlin. the US beat the minor partner in the axis, but the USSR beat the big one.
    So the Red Army had the Eastern front in the bag before the US gave them 450,000 vehicles?

    Their entire army was mobilized due to Lend-Lease.

    did we give them vehicles that drove themselves and had guns that automatically shot at germans?

  • In reply to melvvvar
    TNA's picture

    melvvvar:
    TNA:
    melvvvar:
    on D-Day, the Red Army was already within 100 miles of berlin. the US beat the minor partner in the axis, but the USSR beat the big one.

    So African and Italy had nothing to do with things? Had the US not been in Africa, Rommel would have taken the ME oil fields, secured North Africa and the Italians and Germans would have pushed through into Russia.

    America, with their man power and production capabilities turned the tide. Also, my original statement stands. Had the US not been involved Europe would be speaking German or Russian.

    80% of the wehrmacht was deployed to the eastern front. the US/UK deserves as much credit for winning the european war as the british/dutch/australians/kiwis for beating the empire of japan.

    The Germans lost because of aerial bombing from US bombers and a lack of resources. Had they better the British at El Alamein the Germans and Italians would have secured the oil fields and directed resources to destroying the already almost destroyed Russians. Hitler invaded Romania primarily for their oil.

    The North African front and Italian campaign were all extremely important, leading up to the invasion of France which took resources and troops away from defeating the Russians. Then the US held the Russians at bay and prevented all of Europe from becoming East Germany.

  • In reply to melvvvar
    TNA's picture

    melvvvar:
    PetEng:
    melvvvar:
    on D-Day, the Red Army was already within 100 miles of berlin. the US beat the minor partner in the axis, but the USSR beat the big one.
    So the Red Army had the Eastern front in the bag before the US gave them 450,000 vehicles?

    Their entire army was mobilized due to Lend-Lease.

    did we give them vehicles that drove themselves and had guns that automatically shot at germans?

    Last time I checked butt naked, un armed troops are about as good as tanks with no drivers. The Germans has a ridiculous kill ratio and simply ran out of parts for their far superior Panther and Tiger tanks. Plain fact is the Germans lost because they were out manufactured by the USA and did not have the parts and oil to run their war machine. Hence why Africa was so important.

    And Montgomery would have lost in Africa if it wasn't for the US opening up operation Torch and supplying weapons and armor. The Italians and Germans had it locked up, would have taken ME oil and diverted troops to the Eastern front, thereby defeating the Russians.

    Hitler would have re-orged, and started bombing the UK, eventually rolling out Sea Lion and storming the UK coast. All of Europe would have stiff arm arthritis and be saying Guten Tag.

  • melvvvar's picture

    ant, that is some serious revisionism there. despite all of the US/UK bombing, german war production INCREASED up until nearly the very end of the war. the only key resource germany lacked was oil but that was because the soviets took the ploesti fields away from them early on (and hence the coal to oil conversion). and yeah, africa and italy were important, but took no more than 20% of the wehrmacht away BECAUSE EIGHTY PERCENT OF THE GERMAN ARMY WAS ON THE EASTERN FRONT.

    what's next man, you gonna tell me that it was MAO who beat the japanese just because he tied down a few divisions?

  • tiger90's picture

    TNA, you completely defused my version a couple posts up lol. Anyways, I'm pretty sure he's just trolling.

  • In reply to melvvvar
    PetEng's picture

    melvvvar:
    PetEng:
    melvvvar:
    on D-Day, the Red Army was already within 100 miles of berlin. the US beat the minor partner in the axis, but the USSR beat the big one.
    So the Red Army had the Eastern front in the bag before the US gave them 450,000 vehicles?

    Their entire army was mobilized due to Lend-Lease.

    did we give them vehicles that drove themselves and had guns that automatically shot at germans?

    I'm not sure what your point is. Spell it out.

Pages