That Germany is far better off, and is in fact a net exporter, would be to look to the premier economic role model in Europe. I guarantee you that they have a superior government model when it comes to economic interface.
It is absolutely a reason. It is the main reason that the US Big 3 ain't so big anymore. You already noted labor cost as the usual highest cost of production. When you compare unuion anything to non-union anything, you will see the labor differentials. To claim that is not a factor is to ifnore what is on the plate, IMMHONo...I said Labor Unions were not going to make us competitive with China not that it's not a factor in business decisions. The problem is people like Rick Perry or conservatives that are anti-Union are trying to sell this idea that Labor Unions are the reason factories are going to China....that's not the case. Breaking Labor Unions will not create this massive economic boom.
Further, no one says Unions are THE problem. Many say that they are one of the problems though.