Wow! Now I see the other side of the happy German state. I don't know which of these things frightens me more.
1. They took 52% of my paycheck. FIFTY TWO percent, for taxes, health insurance, and social insurance. In other words, respectively, to pay for fat ass bureaucrats who do nothing, for fat ass civilians who don't take care of themselves, and for fat ass civilians who refuse to work. I pay this money, at gunpoint, for the privilege of serving the welfare state. Why does anyone work?
Now, the university assures me that this will be refunded to me, but that is not the point. If I were a German worker, then I would be working for less than half of whatever pathetic salary der Staat saw fit to pay me. That is appalling.
No wonder young people are pissed off. Most of them won't get good jobs. That may be true in the U.S. also. But at least in the U.S. if you get a good job you will be able to keep some of your salary. Here, if you work hard and get a good job, you are definitely going to get the red hot tax poker, right up the gozatch.
2. Twice, people have tried to steal my bike, once setting it on fire. (yes, they set the Gbike on fire, you read that right. Fortunately I had taken the pirate flag into the apartment, so THAT was safe).
I live in a very nice neighborhood. The problem is that during Bergkirchweih, lots of drunk people from out of town are walking (pissing, vomiting, you get the picture) on our street. So there is a temporary, but serious, crime problem.
But when my landlords (three of their bikes were stolen, and some other stuff also) called the polizei, the cops just shrugged. Openly and honestly said that they don't protect property, and don't investigate property crimes. If there had been an assault, maybe they would bestir themselves. Now I see why the cops are always so happy and smiling. They don't actually have jobs, except to protect themselves. And, since THEY have guns (no other Germans are allowed to have guns, basically), the cops can protect themselves. The rest of us can clearly go get screwed.
I had expected the cops to pretend they were interested, but they did not pretend.
Again, the difference from the U.S. isn't that big. American cops also make no effort to protect property. But at least in the U.S. you have some ability to try to protect yourself, unless you live in the People's Republic of the District of Columbia. I don't expect the state to HELP, but it is remarkable that the state will actually intervene on behalf of the criminals, to ensure that the populace is helpless and defenseless.
I feel like I have passed entirely through the looking glass. This isn't varieties of capitalism. This is varieties of state-sponsored theft.