AJ Ericksen's Blog World

Monday, May 10

Higher Education in Germany

The New York Times reports on a program to make elite German universities elite again. It is an interesting article about a cultural decline. In particular, I found the last two paragraphs telling:
But Mr. Wolfrum and others, including Mr. Hommelhof, agree that another element in the picture was a dilution of the old German culture of discipline and hard work. The dilution was a perverse byproduct, they say, of the country's extensive welfare system, its idealization of the 35-hour workweek and its collective yearning to work until 60 and then retire to the Costa del Sol.

"Most people in Germany have forgotten the classical tradition that it's hard work to be good," Mr. Wolfrum said (emphasis added).
For more on the consequences of welfare, despite its good intentions, see George F. Will, Kinder, Gentler We're Not, Washington Post, May 9, 2004.


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