Re: Tale of Two Economies

Michael Lorrey (
Tue, 17 Mar 1998 17:09:08 -0500

Arjen Kamphuis wrote:

> Mike Lorrey wrote:
> >Or busting down the door to the bar where two drunken bullies are
> >pummeling each other, breaking them up, and making them go sit in
> >the corner.
> Of course the US did this mostly out of self-interest but at least they did
> something, which is more than can be said for the European governements. In
> the role of butt-kicking policeman they are still needed to cleanup messes
> like Bosnia that European politicians, to their great shame, allowed to
> exist for several years on in their backyard.
> At this point in History the US is the only nation in the world that
> combines sufficient military power and the kind of centralisation required
> to be able to react to a thing like Bosnia or the Gulf. Europe could of
> course, technically speaking, but lacks organisation and guts (mostly the
> latter).
> This irritates the hell out of me.
> //snipped// some remarks about the functioning of US political system
> (ROTFL slightly wondering who _He_ is banging this week :-)
> >In a century where europeans and asians heralded the end of the age of
> >the individual, and the advent of the collective,
> ???
> You won't find religious fanatics blocking woman's clinics in europe, it is
> only in the US that groups of people are allowed to try to violate such
> individual rights.

Touche, and correctly so. However, we don't have legalized confiscation to the
same level as most european govts either, and most people here don't see such
confiscation as a social responsibility, more as a crime.

> >We have successfully purged the welfare state from our
> >federal system, and most of our state governments.
> Did you know that the US is one of the few 1st world countries in the world
> were parkinson's disease is significantly lower among blacks and other
> minority groups? Regrettably this is not because blacks in the US don't get
> parkinson, it is because often they don't get treated and thus do not show
> up in the statistics. Quite a feat for the most powerful mation in the
> world today.

Actually, in asking my mother, who is a Quality Improvement Coordinator at a
hosipital here, she says that the reason it is lower in other minority groups is
that whites get the most health care, which causes them in old age to have the
most concurrent medical prescriptions. Conflicts between medications is the
largest cause of Parkinson's. It stands to logic that if a minority has less
access to health care that they would be less likely to have medication
conflicts, ergo, less chance of getting Parkinson's.

> >Other nations that have followed suit now enjoy stronger economies
> >than their stagnant socialist neighbors.
> We have been over this before but maybe it did not register or something,
> the above sentence is abosulute and total B.S. (tough but that's what it is).
> European countries with the most extensive welfare systems like Germany and
> the Netherlands are the strongest economies on the continent. And our
> currency is a hell of a lot more stable than the US $.

Stability is fine, however totally sacrificing growth in pursuit of stability and
equity is not a viable long term policy.

> Instead of believing that a welfaresystem necessarily leads to economic
> collapse or something why don't you prove it? And don't just use France or
> some former East-block nations as an example. The fact that a welfare
> system is impossible to implement in the US without all kinds of bad
> side-effects only tells us something about US-society. The _fact_ that
> there are countries in this world that have the combination of a very
> healty economy and a extensive welfare system shows that it is possible,
> given competent leadership, organisation and a sense mutual responsibility.

The proof is in the recent behavior of most of these countries, as well as
Canada. All of them have had in the last 5 years skyrocketing deficit
projections, which they responded to by cutting back on social services and
entitlements. The Canadian system has been cut back rather drastically, and at
least 30% of the urban hospitals in that country have been shut down or are in
the process of being shut down.

A few years ago, Sweden, which US liberals love to tout as 'the most civilized
country' or 'the most advanced country' with its total cradle to grave system
that paid twice as much to unemployed persons as they could make in the private
sector, went through a rather serious fiscal crisis. Perhaps Anders might know
more detail on this.

> There are more ways to Rome and we happen to like this one.
> The point is that the US has been good at technical innovation and
> containment of aggressors. But that does not mean that US policy makers
> can't learn from other countries. US drug policy is still very stupid and
> outdated and _many_ US citizens are suffering because of this. Instead of
> just saying that America is doing so great maybe it would be smart to
> listen to others and learn from their succes stories.

First off, I won't say that we are absolutely fabulous. Many of you here have
seen what I have had to say in the past on many domestic issues here. However, I
think that among major 1st world nations, and uniquely compared to previous
contenders for the term 'superpower' in the past, the US has done IMHO, the best
job of it so far. I also think that the US system has the most potential to
change in the sort of directions amenable to extropy/transhumanism. The US isn't
the be all and end all. That is agreed.

> Greetings,
> Arjen
> (will I ever learn to stay out of these discussions? will I ever grow up? I
> fear not, c'est la condition humaine or something ;-)
> =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
> Arjen Kamphuis | "Here Be Dragons", read the ancient maps
> | in all the white spots that seemed large
> enough to hold the fabled creatures.
> let's go dragon hunting.
> ------------------------------------------
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