Friday, December 31, 2010

america in decline: why germans think we're insane

Alternet | The European Union has a larger economy and more people than America does. Though it spends less -- right around 9 percent of GNP on medical, whereas we in the U.S. spend close to between 15 to 16 percent of GNP on medical -- the EU pretty much insures 100 percent of its population.

The U.S. has 59 million people medically uninsured; 132 million without dental insurance; 60 million without paid sick leave; 40 million on food stamps. Everybody in the European Union has cradle-to-grave access to universal medical and a dental plan by law. The law also requires paid sick leave; paid annual leave; paid maternity leave. When you realize all of that, it becomes easy to understand why many Europeans think America has gone insane.

Der Spiegel has run an interesting feature called "A Superpower in Decline," which attempts to explain to a German audience such odd phenomena as the rise of the Tea Party, without the hedging or attempts at "balance" found in mainstream U.S. media. On the Tea Parties:

Full of Hatred: "The Tea Party, that group of white, older voters who claim that they want their country back, is angry. Fox News host Glenn Beck, a recovering alcoholic who likens Obama to Adolf Hitler, is angry. Beck doesn't quite know what he wants to be -- maybe a politician, maybe president, maybe a preacher -- and he doesn't know what he wants to do, either, or least he hasn't come up with any specific ideas or plans. But he is full of hatred."

The piece continues with the sobering assessment that America’s actual unemployment rate isn’t really 10 percent, but close to 20 percent when we factor in the number of people who have stopped looking for work.

Some social scientists think that making sure large-scale crime or fascism never takes root in Europe again requires a taxpayer investment in a strong social safety net. Can we learn from Europe? Isn't it better to invest in a social safety net than in a large criminal justice system? (In America over 2 million people are incarcerated.)

Jobless Benefits That Never Run Out
Unlike here, in Germany jobless benefits never run out. Not only that -- as part of their social safety net, all job seekers continue to be medically insured, as are their families.

13 comments:

Big Don said...

It's easy for governments to afford all those parasite benefits when they are getting free defense from the country that defeated them in WW2. Perhaps the USA should impose a tax of 25% or so on all commerce in Germany and Japan, and threaten to bomb Tokyo and Berlin back into the stone age (again) if they don't comply...

Dale Asberry said...

Don, do you not listen to that filter in your head? We already exact usurious fees. We also have military presences in those sovereign nations to enforce our fee extraction. Your filter should then be asking, "which parasites are getting to that money first?"

CNu said...

BD was a lifelong Boeing employee and will remain a lifelong warsocialist and Boeing devotee. He IS listening to that filter in his head and he IS responding in the only way he believes and knows how. Over the weekend, I picked up Fred J. Cook's 1962 book called The Warfare State for the grand sum of $1.00. When I put it away night before last, I'd just finished a bit about Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D: Wash) aka "the gentleman from Boeing" and controversy over spending $780 Million to finance building another 45 B-52 bombers, and complete development of the B-70.

When intercontinental rockets can speed from Russian launching pads to American targets in 25 minutes, even the 2,000 mile an hour B-70 bomber that we have on the drawing boards becomes the lumbering vehicle of an outmoded age. Even less can be said for the slower B-52's that now form the backbone of our retaliatory force. President Eisenhower and his Secretary of Defense had recognized the facts of life in the missile age and had refused to spend some $780 Million that Congress had voted to build another wing of B-52's and finance development of the B-70. The Kennedy administration in its early days had reviewed the issue - and had reached the same decision.

The chapter continues drilling down into the economic details, including the importance of the jobs to Seattle, Cali, and Wichita - but with primary emphasis on the propaganda campaign waged by the Pentagon against Kennedy and McNamara's resistance to moving forward with this nakedly and utterly wasteful warsocialist boondoggle.

That was nearly 50 years ago and nothing has changed except the boogeyman depended upon to rationlize these unspeakable expenses

crescent said...

Mmmm! A German utopia!! Kind of a contradiction in terms when one recalls the past.... Still 'nuff said about that!! Yes US really has some major social and economic problems, very much like Europe. However, US are going to stop Space Shuttle flights!! Partly due to cut backs! That's one backwards step for man and the rest of us! However, theRussian are still doing well in Space. Anyone for a brain drain to the East?

Big Don said...

Rhetorical Question:- If the buttons were pressed on all those missile launchers worldwide today, ever wonder how many of those missiles would actually launch successfully, and how many warheads would actually arrive within the necessary kill distance at their intended targets, and then actually detonate as required to complete their mission?

To get the job done,and keep the fear of God in the enemy, you just can't beat a good ol' no-nonsense fleet of dependable B-52's under human control, with all the force modernization improvements. "Uh...Major Kong, I just got a message over the CRM-114 discriminator..."

You might further consider one of the few *healthy* US export industries nowdays is commercial aircraft, a spinoff from the original KC-135 program (a military 707 without windows, preceded the 707 and borrowed from B-47 and B-52 development technology - jet engines and aerodynamics of sweptback wings). Was that war socialism money wasted?

And without all the booster and spacecraft technology developed within the Defense industry, you wouldn't have communications satellites that provide instant cellphone communications worldwide, 200 TV channels on the clicker, and hey, those Google Earth cameras work pretty slick, huh? WTF industry do think developed the root capabilities for all that?

Y'all's problem is y'all come from a broader culture of parasitism that believes in (and *expects*) to be supported by the government with endless freebies, half-million dollar home loans with no income..."Obama is gonna make my house payments..." the IQ-75 cry from the last election, if you recall...

You can now all go back to filtering your filters...

alexnewbee said...

sorry, but you must change you nick to BigAss..ol . first of all your hours spend on history lessons were completely useless. USA defeated my ass in the WW2.. Russians did all the job, after this brave americans just marched over defenseless Germany. Second your tax of 25% will do nothing, but increase the price of BMWs and Hondas imported. And third, it is as easy to bomb New York as Berlin or Tokyo...

CNu said...

If the buttons were pressed on all those missile launchers worldwide today, ever wonder how many of those missiles would actually launch successfully, and how many warheads would actually arrive within the necessary kill distance at their intended targets, and then actually detonate as required to complete their mission?

No.

You might further consider one of the few *healthy* US export industries nowdays is commercial aircraft, a spinoff from the original KC-135 program (a military 707 without windows, preceded the 707 and borrowed from B-47 and B-52 development technology - jet engines and aerodynamics of sweptback wings). Was that war socialism money wasted?

Yes.

And without all the booster and spacecraft technology developed within the Defense industry, you wouldn't have communications satellites that provide instant cellphone communications worldwide, 200 TV channels on the clicker, and hey, those Google Earth cameras work pretty slick, huh? WTF industry do think developed the root capabilities for all that?

Nazi's.

Y'all's problem is y'all come from a broader culture of parasitism that believes in (and *expects*) to be supported by the government with endless freebies, half-million dollar home loans with no income..."Obama is gonna make my house payments..." the IQ-75 cry from the last election, if you recall...

So BD, if you and y'urn are so consarnded dangfabbled smart, why oh why is your whole and entire system of production on the verge of final and catastrophic collapse? Why are the Russians now in the catbird seat wrt their future prospects as a hub of global influence whilst you and y'urn are on your way down to the geopolitical, historical, and evolutionary crapper?

Oh, and don't even try to pretend that a tiny captive minority with no control over ANYTHING in this culture and society is to blame for its categorical and systemic failures. That won't fly in a context as bright, learned, and well-versed as this one - though it's always entertaining to watch you play make-believe to that effect.

CNu said...

rotflmbao...., priceless comedy gold!!!

Dale Asberry said...

ROTFLMWAO!!!

Don, the air war over Germany was a huge failure. American and British losses were staggering. The German ground and in-plane radar system made shooting those flying death traps (just enough metal so that when the bullets and flak penentrated the hulls it would bounce around and kill the crew) like shooting fish in a barrel.

Alex is right. The only reason "we" won was because their were more Russian

Dale Asberry said...

What I am meaning to say here is that Big Don war' bamboozled by those coo'rageous 'lies' of heroic fightin' mens.

Dale Asberry said...

Woohoo! Big Don comes back with FACTS! Unfortunately for Don, they only reinforce my point! Don, why, oh why did Germany invade Russia? It was stupid and suicidal and even Hitler knew it! Why was he willing to risk the majority of his army and air force? Because the American and British air raids were completely contained by the superior Nazi (and nonexistant American radar) technology. It wasn't until after the European mainland invasion that we made progress. Reason: we finally figured out the German radar. That was the nearly sole reason for D-Day. And, with D-Day being the Allied bloodbath that it was, wouldn't have even been strategically successful if not for the fact that nearly the entire German army was in Russia!

Dale Asberry said...

I'm gonna give BD another clue as to Nazi intentions... why did the Japanese risk the surprise attack on the United States? That was potentially just as bad a strategic choice as the German invasion of Russia. Point of conjecture, if it weren't for the defeat of the Germans and our rapid theft of their radar technology (and longer term theft of rocket and nuclear fission technology), the Pacific war could have gone in favor of the Japanese.

Dale Asberry said...

The only superior technologies American had were sonar and computers (developed for the calculation of firing strategies of big ship guns) and those originated from British innovations.

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