Saturday, July 30, 2011

Blogger, Can You Spare a Dime?

BloggebbBlogger My youngest sister assures me that she is not in the slightest worried about the debt ceiling crises that is receiving so  much coverage on this side of the Pond. I hope she is right. More worrying to me is that year by year the United States seems to becoming more and more impossible to govern. Some Constitutionalists even argue that this is a good thing as it ensures that no one branch of the government becomes too powerful -- to me it ensures that laws become law when things get desperate. Michelle Bachmann appeared on my television screen yesterday and used the example of 'Europe' as what the United States does not want to become. It is interesting to me how American politicians use the example of 'Europe' as a scare tactic.

Well I have lived in England, France and Germany in the past 30 years and I suggest to her that she should try it. Not everything is perfect -- taxes are high, but just knowing we have medical care when we need it increases the quality of life immeasurably -- for example. It's funny but I do believe that the American example did help to democratize the rest of us -- however, Europe did not become a slave to the ideology of Capitalism at all costs and this makes Americans nervous. The word 'socialism' is a 'bad' word in America.

As powerful as the United States Economy is, I do believe that the debt crises is a global crises that is beyond the power of any one government to solve. It seems to me it is even more impossible to solve when political minds seek political advantage rather than strategic methods to work together as a global community. If the United States cannot act together for the greater public good, than how on earth can the larger global economy ever avert disaster.

I see that this has become a battle of ideologies. I do not believe that there is any one ideology that works for all the people for all the time. We must learn to balance our need for 'progress' with the need for social equality and stability -- that is what I think can best be done by a democratic society. As soon as people find themselves entrenched in a position they become slaves to that position. We must learn to think beyond that which we already think we know. That is not the same thing as being 'fickle' -- it is about learning to grow. It does not apply to only the United States. Or Europe. Or China. It applies to everyone needing to acquire the wisdom of Solomon!


  1. I couldn't agree with you more. I saw reports last year when Obama was trying to push through his medical plans and there were adults and kids protesting with signs saying things like "No American NHS". Had they lived in Europe? I bet not. Did they know what the concept of socialized medicine was? I think not. We had excellent insurance through our jobs when we lived in the US but I found the system terribly unhealthy. I always felt that I was being treated with one eye on cost. Either by the insurance company not wanting to cover it, or by the doctor trying to milk the system for extra revenue.
    France I think, has the perfect system. But the NHS does wonders given the fact that it is free at the point of use.

  2. This is such an excellent and important post, Broad. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I'm horrified at how many Americans are manipulated into demonstrating or voting against their best interests. The health system we have is horrendous. Most of the bankruptcies in the U.S. happen because of a major illness with outrageous medical costs. Insurance companies are the most effective "death panels" around. And yet there is hysteria at the suggestion of universal health insurance and now both political parties are busily carving away what social safety net we have with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. I'm absolutely appalled at this manufactured crisis and by the lack of social equality here. We really need to look to Europe for a more civilized system.

  3. Hear hear! Couldn't agree with you more. Have had to watch how a serious medical emergency financially blighted many years in the lives of lovely friends of ours.
    Nowhere is perfect but there's much to be said for cherry picking best/beter practice wherever you see it and applying a version of it 'at home'

  4. Very interesting and important post, Broad. Having only ever lived long-term in the UK, I take immediately accessible and free health care for granted and the thought of being without it truly frightens me. I'm another profound believer in the value of democracy, but the problem with politicians under that system is thet they are slaves to the next election. This of course leads to a damagingly short-term way of looking at and dealing with problems, whether in the economy or in social care.

  5. Now meeting more Americans and am horrified by their knee jerk reaction to socialised medicine.
    What do they think NHS doctors do...poison babies or something?

    It shows me how powerful are the interest groups...who sway the press in their favour and who hold politicians in their hand.

    I despair at, how we have allowed our societies to fall into the hands of a caste who have no interest whatsoever in seeing a big picture...just the bottom line.


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