590 PART NINE THE REAL ECONOMY IN THE LONG RUN M ANY E UROPEAN COUNTRIES HAVE UN-employment insurance that is far more generous than that offered to U.S. workers, and some economists believe that these programs explain the high European unemployment rates. The following article discusses the recent debate over unemployment insurance in Germany. For Germany, Benefits Are Also a Burden B Y E LIZABETH N EUFFER B ERLIN —They grumble and grouse as they wait for their benefit checks at a local unemployment office here—about the lack of jobs, about the stupidity of German politicians, about how outra-geously high taxes are. What today’s unemployed Germans don’t complain about is this: the size of their benefit checks. “I get unemployment benefits, I make some money working on the black market, I make a living,” says Michael Steinbach, a 30-year-old electrician who sports a well-ironed shirt, fashionable glasses, and a briefcase as he waits his turn at the Prenzlauer Berg unemploy-ment office. “For now, it’s comfortable.” Germany’s social welfare system takes good care of the jobless, with ini-
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This note was uploaded on 07/30/2010 for the course ECON 120 taught by Professor Abijian during the Spring '10 term at Mesa CC.