I just read a post that details how poorly America fares — statistically — stacked against other countries. Our health care (probably one of our worst problems and clearly still unsolved) is an area in which we rank poorly. Shamefully.
We aren’t the richest country or the most productive. We have relatively high unemployment and our purchasing power per capita is unimpressive. We get salaries that sound good, but the cost of living overran our paychecks long ago. We’ve lost more jobs to automation than outsourcing. One machine, one robot replaces a dozen or two workers.
Americans are convinced their government is awful. Corrupt. Really, our government is merely inefficient and quagmired in oppositional party politics. The answer is electing better people. In the U.S., you get the government you elect. While you complain, you might want to look in a mirror and consider if you’ve done anything to deserve better. Funny how after morons are in office, nobody voted for them. How did that happen?
Statistics are fragments, not a story. We’re having hard times and I doubt we’ll see the end of them quickly. We have work to do. Rethinking where people will work and what they’ll be paid.
We need to figure out what we want from our government — really. Without the hyperbole and entrenched party positions. For all that, we don’t exactly live in Hell.
Statistics need context. We are not even close to a seriously corrupt nation, regardless of perception. I’ve seen corruption. We’re amateurs.
I wonder if Americans would really like living in one of those top-rated countries, like say Finland. Where 90% of your salary goes to taxes. You get great services and a safety net. You won’t wind up living in a crate and you’ll never die because you can’t afford surgery or medication. But there’s payback. You will live under socialism.
Yes, I have lived in a socialist country. It’s not terrible. It’s not the nightmare portrayed by Conservatives. It’s not heaven, either.
Mostly, it means working harder or better doesn’t get you a promotion, more money or even recognition. You are whatever your G rating is and move up by seniority. It’s secure, but dull. Not much incentive to work harder or think creatively.
Mind you, plenty of people can’t imagine living any other way. Lots of others would rather be here and would happily take their chances on capitalism. They think we complain too much. They have a point.
A friend of mine lived in Belgium for 15 years.
He described it this way: “In Europe, if they don’t say it’s allowed, you can safely assume it’s forbidden. In the U.S., if they don’t tell you it’s forbidden, you know it’s allowed.”
That’s a huge difference. This country isn’t statistics. It’s history, national character.
Like every other country, we have our strong points as well as serious problems to solve. We’ve made some progress, more in some areas than others. But unlike small homogenous countries — like Finland — we’re a conglomeration of people from everywhere, different in more ways than we are the same. We’re never going to be like those other countries. We like our freedom too much.
We are what we are. Good and bad.