"Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?" Study Question #2 (pg. 153-302)

1. Why did Geoghegan shudder at first when he thought about visiting Germany in 1997 as its model was seemingly beginning to perish from the earth?



2. What comparison does Geoghegan extend from the difference betweent he Gothic and the Classical style to the difference between the European and the Anglo-American model?



3. What does British historian Mark Mazower write about what should have been the natural form of government in Europe in the 20th Century?



4. Why was it so much harder for German firms to go into Chapter 11?



5. Why does Geoghegan say that flexible labor markets are at odds with the "knowledge" economy and make it harder for the US to compete globally?



6. Besides the fact that the rich don't need to spend on big-ticket items like higher education, what does Geoghegan speculate is the reason for why the savings rate is so high in Germany?



7. What is the Gini coefficient and what has happened to it recently in advanced European countries?



8. Why does Geoghegan say that the US concept of putting a premium on education is wrong-headed?



9. What does Geoghgan say is the special skill that "Dual Track" students learn that is not part of the American system?



10. What difference does Geoghegan draw between the case he observes in the German labor court versus the case he had recently tried in Chicago?



11. Why does Geoghegan and Martin see the German welfare state as being unable to exist without its Christian underpinnings?



12. What lesson does Geoghegan take away from visiting the union retreat about what unions should be doing in the US?



13. How does Geoghegan characterize America's meaner Puritan notion of the poor?



14. What difference does Geoghegan's tutor draw between the way Germans and Americans establish friendships?



15. How does Geoghegan say most Germans would regard maid service?



16. According to Richard Sennett, what is it that destroys the old-fashioned sense of character, mastery over one's life?



17. Why does Wolfgang Streeck say "Be a team player" is the mantra in US business, and how does this attitude differ in Germany?



18. What reason does the college professor, C. O., offer for why someone in the top 20% would be better off living in a social democracy?



19. What statistic does Richard Freeman say that if an economist had predicted it, he/she would have been carted away as mad?



20. What did Geoghegan hear in response to his question about whether people got restless when they retired in Germany?



Extra Credit: How does the Sparkassen help to prevent the kind of financial crisis that the US experienced in 2008?