February 11, 2004

German Brain Drain

Besides keeping military conscription so they can afford to staff their hospitals Germans have other labor problems. The economic system is apparently so tilted against achievement and quality that the best and brightest are packing up and leaving.

This phenomena is not new but the pain it causes is cumulative. When on brilliant mind is no longer there to inspire the next generation at University, it's something of a blow, but when people start thinking that the best are all leaving, a perverse social pressure starts and if you're committed to staying, you start to be viewed as an odd bird, a patriotic odd bird but definitely an odd bird. And if you stay, you are no longer surrounded by other first rate minds but by their left behind 2nd's and 3rd's.

The funny thing is that to maintain this situation takes active efforts on the part of the German State. Even a young immigrant like me sometimes feels the pull to go back home (in my case, Romania) a pull that must be counteracted by severe beatings rendered in the form of regulation, xenophobia, high taxes, and a rigid society. You can't do much about the xenophobia and societal rigidness but high taxes and intrusive regulation are entirely within the government's powers to ease. Yet they don't, or at least only at a glacial speed.

Posted by TMLutas at February 11, 2004 11:39 AM