This piece in The Los Angeles Times highlights how Germany of today is like America in the 1970s:
In 1975, manufacturing accounted for about 20% of the United States’ economic output, or gross domestic product, about the same as in Germany today. Since then, U.S. manufacturing’s share of GDP has slid to about 12%.
In 1975, the U.S. budget deficit was a manageable 1% of the economy, about the same as Germany’s now. Last year, the U.S. deficit was about 10%.
American families in the 1970s and early ’80s typically saved about 10% of their take-home pay, about the same as in Germany today. The U.S. savings rate these days is in the low single digits.
There story follows a couple in their 50s, the Krugers; the couple has two children. They have paid off their debts and are living much better on a combined $40,000 income than most Americans who earn twice as much.