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Wednesday, May 25, 2005


DIFFERENT ECONOMIC MODELS: NUMBER OF AMERICAN MILLIONAIRES HITS RECORD WHILE GERMANY IS SPUTTERING 

The ranks of Americans worth $1 million grew 21% in 2004; the $5 million club grew even faster. -- "Germany suffers from its highest unemployment since the end of World War II , 12 percent nationally"

It is a tale of 2 economies. The rest of the world has snickered while the American dollar has been weak compared to notes like the Euro. The beating that America's economy took after 9/11 exacted a devastating but not lethal toll. Europe is enthralled in a messy marriage of many countries, economic sytems and expectations. Ralph Peters of the New York Post points out what is ailing Germany (and Europe as a whole). The socialist legacies are providing the biggest obstacle for the European Union to satisfy its thinly veiled aspirations to rival America's status as a "hyper power." Unfortunately, for Europe the longer it embraces socialist policies and favors secular breakdowns of the family unit the harder it will be for the continent to maintain the relatively high standards of living it thought it had achieved.

UNITED STATES

CNN: Record number of millionaires - May. 25, 2005:

The number of millionaires in America reached record highs in 2004, hitting 7.5 million, according to a new survey. That represented a gain of 21 percent, the largest jump in the number of U.S. millionaires since 1998, according to the survey by the Spectrem Group, a Chicago-based research firm.

Spectrem counted Americans with net assets of $1 million or more, excluding primary residences but including second homes and other real estate holdings. There were 6 million millionaires in 2001, when the bursting of the tech-stock bubble pruned more than a million Americans from this status.

Much of the increased wealth can be traced to stock market gains, according to the report.

GERMANY'S POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DOLDRUMS

New York Post Online Edition: VOTING FOR DENIAL By RALPH PETERS

A national pension system in deep crisis. Collapsing social benefits. And punitive taxation. There's more: Unsustainable worker protections. Crippling taxes on industry for each worker employed. Massive outsourcing abroad as a consequence. A higher-education system in ruins. Talent flight. Political demagoguery. A dwindling birth-rate. A restive Islamic immigrant community. Hate crimes.

Germany can no longer compete globally. And it isn't just the strong euro. Mercedes automobiles — the nation's flagship brand — have dismal reliability ratings these days. Most German forays into high-tech limp behind the United States and even India.

In the end, it's capitalism that's more humane, providing a bigger pie for all. Socialism subdivides ever-shrinking slices. But Germans like the pie they've been eating and they don't want to go on a diet. Instead of tightening their belts and rolling up their sleeves, they want protection from the marketplace, from that horrible "American economic model" that expects people to work.

Nor is Germany alone. Social-welfare systems are in crisis from Italy and France to Scandinavia. Government giveaways have to be paid for, and the math isn't difficult. If fewer people work fewer hours in economies that stifle innovation, you can't maintain a middle-class-for-all.

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