Not long ago, I read a post detailing how America fares when stacked against other countries.
We aren’t the richest or the most productive country . We have relatively high unemployment. 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 mired in oppositional politics. 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.
Figuring out what we want from our government. 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.
Socialism isn’t a terrible way to live, not even close to the nightmare portrayed by the GOP. It’s not heaven, either.
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.
Like every country, we have strong points and problems. We’ve made some progress, but not enough. Unlike small homogeneous countries — like Finland — we’re a conglomeration of people from everywhere. We’re never going to be like those other countries. We like our freedom too much.
We are what we are. Good and bad. But I am sure we will all live happily ever after. Because what other choice is there?