President Donald Trump tweeted the U.S. has a “MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany,” which he says isn’t good for Americans.
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If they won’t throw away all of their advantages, how can America’s coddled CEOs be expected to compete?
President Trump says our trade deficit (and the resulting loss of jobs to foreign countries) is everyone else’s fault. The Chinese cheat us by manipulating their currency, NAFTA is a disaster for America, the Germans have “unfair” advantages over us by being part of the European Union and not spending enough on their military.
Trump is right. We aren’t doing well in trade. In 2016, with Germany alone, we had a trade deficit of $65 billion. But, as I have said before, to Make America Great Again, we can’t afford to be politically correct; we need to tell it like it is. So, in that spirit, let me mention some “unfair” advantages Germany has over us — ones which strangely Trump never mentions.
Germany is more of a meritocracy than the United States. According to the Brookings Institution, how successful parents are has a bigger impact on their children’s success in America than it does in Germany. Those sneaky Germans, promoting competent people, no matter what their background. Why didn’t we think of that?
Germans also spend far less on health care (11% of Gross Domestic Product, compared to 17% for the U.S.), while getting better health outcomes than we do (for instance, longer life expectancy and lower infant mortality). All of that reduces their cost of doing business. The Germans accomplish this through a government-mandated health system with universal coverage.