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For US economy, investments first, jobs to come later

Obama's ideas to create jobs should be based on proven success, and no country is a better model than Germany. With recent reforms, it has made productive investments in a job-creating, flexible export machine.

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Between Democrats and Republicans there is no lack of ideas on how to create jobs. But an abundance of ideas on paper is no match for facts on the ground – or proven models for practical job growth that can be replicated around the United States.

Where might such models exist in the world?

Some in Washington look to China, whose economy just keeps on booming. But its success relies too much on the Communist Party’s iron-fisted controls, such as jailing protesting workers or violating market fundamentals by manipulating its currency rate.

Canada? It wisely avoided the housing boom and bust in the US but it enjoys a mineral-rich resource economy – one its neighbor doesn’t have.

No, the best model may be Germany. Long the largest and the strongest economy in Europe, it channels its savings into wise investments in the people and technology that fuel the successful export of manufactured goods.

Compared with the US, Germany has not put vast resources into buying homes, creating a giant financial-services industry, or stimulating consumer demand.

More than half of German households rent while home prices have been level for a decade. Much of business is privately owned, not relying on Wall Street-style public ownership and its fickle, short-term perspective. Germans are modest consumers, living within their means.

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