Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?


1. Thomas Geoghegan posits the question "Were You Born on the Wrong Continent? in his book of the same name. In it he pits the system of Social Democracy of Germany against the working and living environment of the United States. Using the arguments and examples of Geoghegan and/or anyone else, argue for whether the German system or the American system is preferable for yourself as an individual or for the country as a whole.

2. In the conclusion, a) think about one quality you might change in yourself that would make you fit better into your preferred system — American capitalism or German Social Democracy.


b) From the review of the book in The Wall Street Journal by James K. Glassman, he frames the question of Germany's system vs. The US system in terms of whether one prefers leisure or wealth. Is this a false dichotomy? or must one choose one or the other in your preferred system.


c) Which system would be the most ecologically sustainable?

3. Use MLA parenthetical citation to document any sources that you refer to

Study Questions #1

Study Questions #2

Review in The Chicago Tribune of "Were you Born on the Wrong Continent?"

Review in The Wall Street Journal of "Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?"

"Germany, the Green Superpower" by Thomas Friedman (New York Times May 6, 2015)

The Gini Coefficient [Wikipedia listing] Gini Index (2015)

Shorrock's Index

Inequality Values and Unequal Shares by Anthony Shorrocks

Thomas Geoghegan on New Labor in The Brian Lehrer Show (audio)

How do You Stop Fake News? In Germany with a Law by Anthony Faiola and Stephanie Kirchner from The Washington Post

Sparkassen (German Public Banks) Wikipedia Entry

Volkswagen Reverses Course on Union at Tennesee Plant by Neil Boudette in The New York Times


Norway is the Happiest Country on Earth, The US Not So Much by Seth Borenstein and David Keyton

After I Lived in Norway, America Felt Backward. Here's Why. by Ann Jones

I'm Irish An I Spent a Year Traveling the US by Benny Lewis

The European Dream

The European Dream [Wikipedia entry on book by Jeremy Rifkin]

The American Dream vs. The European Dream by Jeremy Rifkin from The Globalist

Michael Moore's "Where To Invade Next

Interview with Michael Moore about "Where to Invade Next"

Michael Moore talks about "Where to Invade Next" at Google

Where to Invade Next? — Germany

Early Education Scenarios in France and Finland

In Norway (Prisons)

Slovenia (free education)

Italy (paid vacation)

Portugal (war on drugs)

Tunisia (women's health clinics)

Iceland (women's eqality and punishment for financial crime)

Entire film (with Portuguese subtitles)

Germany Campaign Finance

The Secret To Germany's Thrifty Elections [Deutsche Welle]

Party Finance in Germany [Wikipedia]

Political Party Funding In Germany Explained [Politico]

How do German Parties Finance their Elections [Deutsche Welle][Video]

Why Germany's Politics are Much Saner, Cheaper, and Nicer Than Ours by Olga Khazan for The Atlantic Magazine