A mom who moved to Germany from the U.S. and loved it so much she made a whole TikTok account about it responded to a request for Americans living abroad to explain why they would never move back to the country where they were born—with gusto.
The TikTok user and ex-pat, Aly, had an entire list of reasons ready, somehow each better than the last, and did not hesitate to utterly drag her nation of origin.
“Because I don’t have to worry about affording my health insurance,” she says. “Because my kids can go outside and play without me having to worry because the crime rates are so much lower. Public transportation. Thirty-plus vacation days a year. So much paid paternal leave. Because my son is now bilingual and working on becoming trilingual.”
That’s not the end of the list, but we’ll give you a breather. Germany does have a health insurance system unlike other European countries who have universal healthcare, but people making over a certain income are required to have it and are offered actually affordable monthly premiums, adequately funding the system.
They have also mandated paid sick leave in addition to vacation time and paternal leave. Nobody in Germany tries to call new fathers weak or less manly for taking that time with their newborn kids, either.
Aly is also correct about Germany’s crime rate. The U.S. has over double the rate of crime as Germany, and when it comes to murder, we have five times as many dead bodies per capita. Germany also has fewer police officers. But Aly was not done.
“Because I’ll save $100,000 on my son’s paid university tuition. Because I no longer have to worry about my own student loans. Because even though I live in the most religious state I’m not shamed for being atheist. Because I can actually afford daycare. Because my kids don’t have to worry about unalived at school. And because my taxes actually go to helping other families.”
Undergraduates in Germany only have to pay small administrative fees in order to go to college after the nation abolished tuition for these students in 2014. If you’re not from the European Union, however, you might have to pay up to $3,500 per year for your degree. Of course, that still blows the U.S. out of the water, where you’re lucky if you can find a school that doesn’t charge you five times that amount.
Daycare is another massive expense in the U.S., often costing as much per month as rent. It’s so expensive that for low-income families, it can actually be more affordable to simply have one parent be unemployed and stay home with the kids all the time. Really, though, both of those options are generally unaffordable, which can be an answer to all those panicking economists who keep asking why younger U.S. generations aren’t having nearly as many kids.
And, of course, it’s no secret that regular school shootings remain a uniquely American problem. Germany also doesn’t have a massively bloated military budget, so people’s taxes go to infrastructure, helping the poor, and other worthwhile endeavors that save rather than end lives.