Why do German Auto Workers Get Paid Double & Produce Double of US Workers?

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I love the idea of this Forbes article, but it has all the comprehensiveness of a Twitter post. Yes, auto workers in Germany produce more and get double the pay of US workers, but this article narrowly attributes this to employer-union relations. A broader discussion needs to include things like:

  1. Variances in cost structures (eg who pays benefits the state or the company)
  2. Degree of automation (a highly automated company will have fewer, higher skilled, higher paying jobs)
  3. Culture-driven variances in worker performance (eg Germans are notoriously efficient, timely and meticulous)
  4. Variances in how premium the product lines are. The US produces far more mass market cars, which have lower margins than the more high-end German ones.
  5. Differences in quality of management, innovation and strategy
  6. The full article only alludes to the nationalist obligation Germans feel for their companies. The other angle is the degree of national accountability the companies themselves have.

I do agree we need a substantive debate on manufacturing unions and the future of employment in the US, but this only scratches the surface.

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