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Odds and Ends
Makeover of 2016
14 11, 9:19pm
There's a lot of problems with America that sets it apart from the rest of the industrialised world.
But one of the basic ones is a lack of choice. For all it's talk of free market and diversity, the American political system is badly broken since it only offers the "choice" between two right-wing party's.
One - the Democrats - that any European recognise as a regular centre-right party from their parliaments, and the other - the Republicans - an extreme right party that for decades have only become more extreme with it's thinly veiled racism and outright obstructionism.
There is no political left represented in mainstream American politics - that choice is not available.
And as a result America is the only nation in the industrialised word that still doesn't have basic provisions for all of it's people - like universal healtcare.
The idea that all citizen in a state should have the right to certain basic provisions - like healtcare, pensions, paid sick- and maternity leave, free education, paid vacation time and so on is a socialist idea. The political right fought this idea tooth and nail in every country in the world but they were implemented by the political left when they came to power. In America the left have never come to power, and as a result American citizens are still not afforded the basic, universal right we in the rest of the industrialised world take for granted.
No right wing politician in Europe would ever dare to question or threaten every citizens right to publicly funded healtcare - even if some of them might actually like to abolish it. Because every country in Europe offers one or more left-wing party as a choice for it's electorate to vote for and any right-wing party threatening the basic social safety-net of it's citizens know they would be punished heavily at the ballot box.
America is the richest nation in the entire history of the world and could easily afford the same level of care for it's citizens as the rest of the industrialised world already does and in most cases have done for decades, but there is no political party willing to actually fight for that.
For decades both American party's have demonised socialist policy's as akin to Soviet Russia. The Democrats, to their credit, have implemented some programs like Medicaid and tried to implement others but have never actually wanted or dared to make the case that some socialist policy's are not only good economically but also morally right. The stigma of the socialist bogeyman always keeps the American political debate far right of anything we are used to in Europe.
So while ordinary people in the rest of the industrialised word have enjoyed all the benefits of these policy's for decades, ordinary Americans are working longer hours for less pay with the threat that if they become ill or laid of the will probably go broke over the costs. Many young people can't afford higher education or is saddled with unbearable amounts of debt, pensioners can't afford their medication and so on.
And Americans accept this inequality because they either don't know how different life is in the rest of the industrialised world, or they don't believe the facts. Because the Republicans and the right-wing media have for decades been spreading complete lies about the rest of the world, telling their voters that they should be lucky to live in such an awesome country since everywhere else is so much worse and less free.
But that's nonsense of course! The average western European enjoys as much freedom as the average American (apart from maybe the freedom to buy a gun at your local supermarket), their economies have not suffered, the people are not poorer or live in worse conditions then their American counterparts, they're not less educated, feed or healthy.
In many metrics many other countries instead surpass America, which is not no 1 in everything - whatever the Republican propaganda says.
Instead of providing the same basic safety-net as the rest of the industrialised world America has one of the largest income and wealth disparities in the world. Not the largest amount of billionairs per capita - several countries (including those socialist hellholes Norway and Sweden which the Republicans love to demonise) has more. No, but America has the very richest of the rich. Extremely few people in America own more of the country's entire wealth then anywhere else in the industrialised and democratic world.
That's where the wealth of the richest country in the history of the world goes - to the very few at the absolute top. And many of them spend part of that money on supporting politicians who ensure that the rules will never change.
Trump will in no way change this since he is (or at least pretends to be - we don't know since he refused to release his taxreturns) one of these people him self. Ordinary Americans will continue to be screwed by their own country - the only thing Trump will offer his voters is the schadenfreude of seeing Latinos and Muslims being screwed even worse.
And so it will continue, with ordinary American beings screwed by the rich elites and the only two party's available to them. The Democrats offering some ointment for the populace's sore arse, the Republicans offering to screw some other poor sod even harder then they screw their voters.
But none of them are advocating for a any policy that would fundamentally change the situation and drag America into the 21 century where it could join the rest of the industrialised world.
No, because that would be socialism and that's baaaad...