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From a European Correspondent:
Reading the article by Vogelgesang (what a nice name by the way, means "bird singing" in German) makes me even more aware how sick the mindset is over here in Germany.
Two weeks ago, I asked a friend of mine for advice how to open a business over here. He seriously recommended: "First of all you have to claim unemployment benefits for the next six months. Afterwards you will be entitled for governmental sponsorship for the next three years worth Euro 20,000. Also, in the first two years cheat as much as possible with the taxes because the tax authority doesn't check anybody during this time."
This program is called "Ich AG" ("I Inc.") and funny enough, I read about a 80,000 people claimed the money, opened a pseudo-business and closes it after the second year.
Also, if you lose your job and want to open your own business, the government sponsors you with an amount equal to 5 months of your last salary.
Next month there are elections ("Landtagswahlen") in the State I live in. The established parties are very much afraid that the former communists (PDS) is going to become the strongest party with more than 30% of the votes.
P.S. Yesterday my lovely British wife was telling me Oprah Winfrey makes $80,000 an hour. She added: "Oprah worked hard for it." I responded almost automatically: "This is not right. This is insane." I guess I am German ,-)