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View Diary: German Spiegel: "Notes on the Decline of a Great Nation" (317 comments)

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  •  Not blaming a German magazine. I am, however, (0+ / 0-)

    tired of the meme presented here that Germany is oh so much better than the US.  Just my .02.

    Andy's two-timin' tail run off wiff mah sig line!

    by nannyboz on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:14:19 PM PST

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    •  maybe it is, in some ways? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      niemann, The Marti, high uintas, twigg

      Me I don't know, but I am not raising the point....

      If you thought that possible, what would you do about it?  If Germany did some things right where the US was wrong, what would you do?

    •  anyone who has actually LIVED and (7+ / 0-)

      WORKED over there (whether in Germany, France, or any of the "northerly" countries in Europe) for any extended period of time, not just vacationed or visited--will necessarily be struck by the way a functioning, capitalist democracy actually works. For an American, the comparison is probably especially hard to take precisely because the contrasts are so striking--tragically so.

      I get a little tired of Dem Ramschield's "shame on you, Americans, why cant you just do as the Germans-do" diaries, too--especially since I don't see the diarist actually DOING anything to effect the kind of changes that might make us "catch up" to Germany.

      But I do know the feeling of living and working in the German system and how it just seems so tragic that the US can't do the same with regard to health care, the environment, labor laws, the "social safety net", the infrastructure, and yes, even MULTICULTURALISM and tolerance (my experience in Germany is that it is overall much more tolerant of diversity and uniqueness than the US; there are racist assholes everywhere in the world--starting to get the feeling there are more of them here in the US than anywhere else in the world).

      Maybe Dem Ramschield can start working on some sort of Marshall Plan for the US or something. (snark? who me?)

      •  To grumpelstillchen - Thanks for the post (7+ / 0-)

        A recent Harvard study showed that 45,000 Americans die (preventable deaths) every year, just because they don't have access to health insurance. I think we can all be proud Americans but we don't have to proud of the broken American social safety net. There we can, must and should do better. America deserves nothing else except our best efforts.

        This is an important national conversation to have. My hope is this diary will act as a humble discussion starter. Thank you for your support.

        (Reuters) - Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year -- one every 12 minutes -- in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found

        sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

        by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:36:41 PM PST

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        •  Hmm. What you may be experiencing (11+ / 0-)

          in this diary is "DR/Spiegel-fatigue". Most readers of this blog actually know a lot of what you are trying to introduce to the "national discussion", and may feel a bit put off, especially on the heels of an election where there were a lot of folks on this blog who were pounding the pavement, manning the phones and doing the real hard work of "democracy" in a country that has become increasingly LESS democratic as years have passed.

          There are probably not many Kossacks who don't share your criticism of the US, and probably not many who don't know that there are better models in Europe.

          In a sense, by presenting this material at DKos, you're preaching to the choir.

          I was an expat for a long time. And to this day I bitch about the same shit you talk about on this blog--it is VERY annoying to return to the US after living in a functional capitalist democracy. My life sure as hell would have been easier if I'd stayed in Europe. But I didn't.
          And part of why I didn't was that I am committed to doing what I can to improve this country, based in part on insights I gained from a decade spent living and working abroad.

          So call me Mother Theresa, I dunno.

          I'd like to see you and other expats use the privileges and benefits you enjoy to effect more than "discussion".

          Maybe the Marshall Plan idea wasn't just snark.

          •  Thank you! You spoke eloquently about what I (3+ / 0-)

            poorly tried to say.  I am one who phone banked, donated, TRIED.  Along about now I'm damned near tired of everyone.  Especially a German publication with a freaking holier than thou attitude preaching to whomever (as was pointed out to me above, they didn't publish it for me).

            Guess I need PreparationH for my case of the "redass".

            Andy's two-timin' tail run off wiff mah sig line!

            by nannyboz on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:14:47 PM PST

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          •  And what might this involve? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pluto, lostinamerica
            I'd like to see you and other expats use the privileges and benefits you enjoy to effect more than "discussion".

            What could they do, any more than the rest of us, other than effect discussion?  A huge proportion of what we do here at DailyKos is discuss things -- bringing up subjects and keeping them alive and in view by discussing them.

            Why should expatriots have any more power than any of us here in the U.S. to do more than write and discuss?

            I think DR is providing us a huge service here by letting us know how others in the world see us behind our back.  I know it is enlightening for me.  

            That in itself can be a very powerful thing ... and he doesn't have to do it.  He could just sit back and say, "I've got things good here, so the hell with the rest of you."

            •  they don't necessarily have more power, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              but what they do have is more leisure, more job security. Uh, let's see, does health care count for anything? All these things make taking bold political action a bit easier--starting with, gee, you don't have to worry about losing your damn job because you took a day off work to protest, or phone bank, or feed the poor.

              I'm glad it's enlightening for you. It's not new to me. Been there, done that.

              And that's why I know about the perks--the extra leisure time, the 13th month's salary (bonus), the 6 weeks paid vacation, the health care, the roads that don't fuck up your shock absorbers, the power that doesn't go out (because the cables are buried).

              I think expats in Europe would have a better shot at getting UN intervention in some of the more serious issues we face--not least of all ELECTIONS.

              My point was that most folks in these parts (i.e. DKos) are already having these discussions. The people who need to GET this are the 47+ % who voted for Romney, most of them against their own interests.

              Now, the person who can get this in those folks heads? That person should be up for the Nobel Prize--in just about any category!

          •  rec X 1000 (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I Travel out of the country every year, speak two languages (Spanish and English) Ive spent 4 years outside the country in military and civilian capacities.  I'd have to think  a long time to tell you how many countries Ive been to, th last time I  got my passport renewed, there were 11 countries stamped on there, some like France and Chile 3 times
            Ive been to Europe, more thn once and more then twice. Its a nice place, fabulous in parts of it and well worth seeing
            but I have no desire at all to live there. Personally, I'd rather live in Chile if I couldn't live in Oregon and for the same reason: I like open spaces.

            Its always  interesting to see what others have to say about us. Gee, they sure don't make us sound very nice. Probably hundreds of thousands of people, maybe millions of people all over the world are trying to get here now. I hope they read these diaries in time and change their goal for Germany

            Happy just to be alive

            by exlrrp on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 06:16:13 AM PST

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