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Elizabeth Gudrais, an associate editor of Harvard Magazine, writes in this issue of the slickly produced publication for Harvard alums that:

  1. life expectancy is declining for men in more than 50 of America's counties;
  1. LIFE EXPECTANCY FOR WOMEN IS DECLINING IN MORE THAN 900 OF AMERICA'S COUNTIES--MORE THAN 25%!!!;
  1. America's top 1% receive a larger portion of national income than at any time since 1928;
  1. America's Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality, places it in the company of Sri Lanka, Mali and Russia.

Gudrais points out that such a decline in life expenctancy is almost unprecedented except in circumstances of mass epidemic or social and economic collapse like in the former Soviet Union.

I don't usually write about issues outside the area of the growing assault on Internet privacy and freedom of expression, but the substance of this Harvard Magazine article was so shocking, its source so Establishment-based and I found no reference to it in dKos diaries or articles.

Here's some of the facts most easily accessible at Truthout's site:

Income inequality has been rising since the late 1970s, and now rests at a level not seen since the Gilded Age—roughly 1870 to 1900, a period in U.S. history defined by the contrast between the excesses of the super-rich and the squalor of the poor.

There is also evidence that living in a society with wide disparities—in health, in wealth, in education—is worse for all the society’s members, even the well off. Life-expectancy statistics hint at this. People at the top of the U.S. income spectrum "live a very long time," says Cabot professor of public policy and epidemiology Lisa Berkman, "but people at the top in some other countries live a lot longer."

Kawachi, who grew up in Japan, believes a predominant consumption culture in the United States exacerbates relative deprivation. "The Japanese have a very strong culture against conspicuous displays of affluence," he says. "When I was a child growing up in suburban Tokyo, it was very difficult to distinguish, by dress or anything else, rich kids from poor kids—whereas in America, bring it on!"

Perhaps motivated by inequality and the prospect of getting ahead, Americans work longer hours than their European counterparts—about 200 more hours per year, on average, than the British, and 400 more hours per year than the Swedes. Again, there are counter-examples (the Japanese work almost as much as Americans do, just 50 hours less a year), but in any case, time spent at work is time not spent with friends or family, and this has its own implications for health.

The bottom line: Americans have been suckers for at least 35 years, buying a whole collection of myths from America being a "land of opportunity" to the poor being responsible for their own plight.  The result has been the near death of labor unions, the disintegration of the social safety net and infrastructure and the removal of any regulatory restraints on greed.

As an American who has lived in Europe for the last several years, I can tell you that life is far different here.  Sure, there are frustrations with an absurdly rigid, anti-entrepreneurial bureaucracy.  The consumer in me is annoyed by the fact that you can't find anything open on Sunday afternoons or evenings.

But the health care is far superior for the average person.  You may want to go to L. A. for breast enhancement or a nose job, but if you're a middle-aged worker with health problems, especially if you're female, you're far better off in a civilized country like France or Germany or even the less affluent European countries like the Czech Republic or Slovenia.  You won't find your self "uninsurable (or even unemployable) as soon as you're diagnosed with uterine, breast or prostate cancer.

Europeans have smaller houses and smaller cars on average, but they actually enjoy nights and weekends off.  And they still practice that ancient custom of a yearly holiday, usually four weeks.

When Harvard Magazine's editorial writers are admitting that life in America is bad and getting worse, it's time to quit thinking about incremental change and half-assed solutions, especially as the U. S. financial system collapses along with the dollar.

Wake up, folks.  You have been sold out again and again by your leadership, some of whom swear allegiance to the Elephant, but nearly as many of whom cling to the Donkey.  What has happened to Americans over the past generation could not have taken place without the cooperation of both major parties.

Those of us who live outside, like Jerome a Paris, watch from afar like the voyagers of the old CS&N + JA song, "Wooden Ships."  A tragedy of extraordinary proportions is taking place in the U. S., rendered comprehensible only by the karmic justice of America succumbing to the same mythology that moved it to exploit and kill millions upon millions of Vietnamese, Iraqis, Nicaraguans, etc., etc., etc.

You should be asking yourself a few questions now.  Among them should be:

  1. Why is life deteriorating for women even more quickly than for men in the U. S. according to these statistics?
  1. Why do Americans let themselves be worked harder by their masters and accept less in return than their counterparts in European countries?
  1. Why is America, as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King pointed out, the greatest perpetrator of violence in the world?
  1. Why does neither major political party nor any major media outlet speak about these facts?

And when you have some answers to these questions, act and act soon.  Time is short.

Originally posted to ohmproject on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 10:11 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I'll be reading that article (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Termite, luckylizard

      As soon as the magazine comes in.  Thank you.

      "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

      by MikeTheLiberal on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 10:14:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  with pleasure... (5+ / 0-)

      you earned your mojo.  I'm depressed now, but you still deserve the mojo.

    •  I'm glad that you posted this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      p gorden lippy

      but I am going to nitpick about your title because it sounds like the America-haters at Harvard are at it again. I don't want you to change it but initially I was going to skip the whole thing because I thought it would be another "bashing the elitists" thing.

      "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

      by blindyone on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 10:27:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  agree. maybe title could be changed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blindyone

        to America declining, or America in deep doo-doo, or some such???

        Fear is the mind killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

        by p gorden lippy on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 10:29:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  America haters? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MsWings

        Be serious.

        Harvard is the heart of the ruling class.

        •  I went to my son's graduation there (10+ / 0-)

          last year. I have never been around so many upper class types in my life. I am working class and my husband grew up in the projects in St Louis. For me, it was kind of like going to the zoo. Very interesting, and very different.

          The first thing that I noticed was the lack of obese individuals. The parents and the students were all on the lean side. Because of my son's connections, I now know many more vegetarians than I ever did in my life, too.

          Yes, class exists in this country- the dirty little secret that none of us are supposed to talk about.

          "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

          by blindyone on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 10:48:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Ivies dirty secret (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blindyone, Abra Crabcakeya

            About a 1/3 of the students at my Ivy were on financial aid (which is consistant with my own observations about how many of my friends had aid).  I didn't know until a friend in the office let it slip and told me that they deliberately try to keep the number from circulating.  

            The reason for not circulating the number are probably not so noble, but before blowing off students at those schools, remember that a lot of student and parents worked hard to pay those bills, me and my debt included.

            Harvard actually has kick ass aid (which you likely know).  As a rival schools I hate to say anything good about it (and I don't really like a lot of Harvardians I've meet regardless of the rivilary), however, the amount of aid availible and the number of students who are only elite in the sense that Obama is (aka - hella smart and educated) are much higher than most people are willing to admit.  The Ivies are not the same places they were a decade or two ago.

            I am the Typo Queen. Apologies in advance.

            by sadpanda on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 11:17:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually the reverse. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Abra Crabcakeya

              Things were better in the late 60s and 70s.  The Ivies are getting desperate at the loss of especially middle class kids who aren't crazy enough to take on tens of thousands of debt.

              That's why the Ivies are making some effort to significantly increase aid in the form of grants rather than loans.

            •  Harvard does a fantastic job of (2+ / 0-)

              putting a freshman class together. They have great outreach to all areas of our country (with some favorite feeder high schools) and they find talented kids from obscure corners of the world.

              Their financial aid policy was extremely generous from the start, and has even gotten better as my son finished up there. They had a problem a couple of years ago because the parent contribution was a bit high for some middle class parents and the students had to take on extra jobs to help pay their parents' share. Once that became apparent, Larry Summers and the fin aid office started the ball rolling towards eliminating family contributions under a certain income.

              My family income is less than $50,000. so we were a distinct minority there. My kids dealt with it by working summers, and they always had term time jobs. My son learned how to open wine bottles (alumni events) and clean bathrooms (dorm crew) better there than he ever learned at home.

              I wasn't trying to "blow off" the students. I really like my kids' friends. It just is a really different world from anything that I ever experienced before.

              "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

              by blindyone on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 11:35:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Cool (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                blindyone, Abra Crabcakeya

                I was one of those fin aid kids and so were a lot of my friends, once we all started talking about it.

                It always galed me that I'd tell people where I went and they would reply that I must be rich.  No! I was poor as all get up and much poorer for having to pay even a portion of that tuition.  I really wish we could change the perception that the Ivy League is just full of rich kids.  If nothing else it would encourage more talented students who can't afford it to apply.

                And in my experience I never really noticed the difference. My friend whose parents had a private jet didn't act any different for my friends who worked in the kitchens, altough he did have a sweet apartment.  I'm sure there were the upper class kids who would have made me feel out of place, but there weren't many and they weren't people I'd choose to hang out with anyway.  

                So long ramble aside, I think its helpful to highlight how the "elite" is actually a much smaller portion of the Ivies that people think.  I'd rather we focus on how smart the student who go there are then how priviledged. : )

                And as a lucky beneficary of my parents, kudos to you for helping your son through that expensive (but wonderful) experience.

                I am the Typo Queen. Apologies in advance.

                by sadpanda on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 11:44:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, so (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blindyone, Serpents Sorrow

          America's top 1% receive a larger portion of national income than at any time since 1928;

          How many of that 1% graduated from Harvard or similarly exclusive schools, including the undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools (especially Law and KSG)? How many more benefited from the social network of high achievers that Harvard enables, yet another tool which helps rich families get richer?

          If you live in a glass house...

          John McCain: Untested, untried, unreasonable, and unpresidential. Thank you General Clark!

          by cville townie on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 10:54:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah that's cool and all... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ohmproject

      But can you help me get a job over there? =)

  •  What goes up must come down (6+ / 0-)

    From our height, we believed our success, our comfort, and our advancement to be pre-ordained.  As a culture, we got fat and lazy about every aspect of our existence.  A new equilibrium is seeking itself, and that can only mean decline.  And with decline, and everybody scrambling for the biggest slice they can get, advantages and disadvantages are amplified.

    "I've waited all my life for a Republican Barack Obama. Now he shows up and he's a Democrat." - Frank Luntz

    by The Termite on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 10:14:55 AM PDT

  •  America eats like shit and doesn't exercise. (6+ / 0-)

    A bunch of fatasses. No wonder life expectancy is dropping like a stone.

  •  Refrigerators (9+ / 0-)

    Seriously, back in about 2002 I read an article in the Weekly Standard (a journal of 'intellectual' conservatism, ha ha) trying to address this very question:

    Why do Americans let themselves be worked harder by their masters and accept less in return than their counterparts in European countries?

    Their answer was that those smelly lazy Europeans have it all wrong because if you go to their houses, they have, gasp, small refrigerators!  See, in America, because we work so hard and have all of that entreprenurial spirit, we are obviously better off because we have nice big refrigerators.  This was their entire argument, and they were serious about it.  They thought those European people were suckaz for taking those measely six weeks off per year in exchange for having puny little home appliances.

    It turns out that Bush IS a uniter... he united the good half of the country virulently against him.

    by fizziks on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 10:20:56 AM PDT

  •  Time for a Change, Then? n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    el dorado gal, MikeTheLiberal

    The Republican brand: "Consequences, schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich"

    by D in Northern Virginia on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 10:21:44 AM PDT

  •  Picking up on Bob Johnson's comment (9+ / 0-)

    American women from age eight or nine on up are suffering from our "growing" problem with obesity more than men are. Add to that the stress of work and being the primary caretakers for children it should have a health impact.

    Also, walk around Harvard and you will see very few obese individuals. There is a real correlation between obesity and poverty in this country with all of the health problems and lack of access to good medical care complicating things.

    "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

    by blindyone on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 10:23:34 AM PDT

  •  And now... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    amRadioHed, MikeTheLiberal

    We are dangerously close to electing a man that changes his position every day and cannot keep a world 30 years ago separate from the world today.  I don't particularly like your title, however.

    When Bush visits Europe, they burn American flags and spit insults for America. When Obama visits Europe, they wave American flags and sing America's praises.

    by RichM on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 10:23:45 AM PDT

  •  Possible answers: (8+ / 0-)
    1.  Why is life deteriorating for women even more quickly than for men in the U. S. according to these statistics?

    Well, for a start, because men are more vulnerable to most life-shortening diseases than women anyway, so medical advances therefor raise Men's life expectancies enough to cancel out the drawbacks of increased poverty, obesity, etc. which are threatening lives in many counties. (Other reasons include that women now work more than they used to, and work leads to stress and stress leads to death. Actually, sometimes work leads to death in of itself, because commuting is dangerous (cars kill 40,000 people a year) and some jobs are even more dangerous.)

    1. Why do Americans let themselves be worked harder by their masters and accept less in return than their counterparts in European countries?

    Because Americans are ingrained with the ideal of a classless society, and so virtually every American, no matter how poor, labors under the delusion that they can be rich one day if they work hard enough. Why tax the rich if you expect to be rich one day?

    1. Why is America, as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King pointed out, the greatest perpetrator of violence in the world?

    That's an extremely difficult charge to prove. Hello, Sudan? Congo? Come on. Anyway, it's mostly because America is an extremely secure nation, which means that it has no real reason to fear war, and so is far more eager to engage in it than most nations.

    1. Why does neither major political party nor any major media outlet speak about these facts?

    Because these facts are unpopular, and people don't give money to candidates or organizations that they don't like.

  •  A chicken-fried steak the size of a toilet seat (6+ / 0-)

    Portion sizes in restaurants are ridiculously enormous; we consume huge amounts of high fructose corn syrup; our milk and meats are chock full of bovine growth serum; we don't walk anymore; but the biggest problem is an unresponsive or astronomically overpriced health care system.

    •  And whose fault is that? (0+ / 0-)
      •  Partly the restaurants'. (0+ / 0-)

        I don't think anybody requested Tchatchke's Restaurant to add a 29-ounce steak to their menu.  Due to decreasing costs of production (largely due to decreasing quality), they were able to hold their price steady and give more meat.  So they sold this as something to get people into their restaurants.

        As the price of food goes up, they will probably again adjust their portion sizes instead of their prices.  A steak so huge that a large man can't finish it might look good at $15, but not $25.

        •  Portion sizes are large (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          I, Abra Crabcakeya, Dude1701

          but that doesn't mean one has to eat it all - we're not dogs.  I'm not one to eat out much - and even on Thanksgiving, I just can't eat that much - but it's still the consumers responsibility to eat a normal portion.

          •  Ah (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sagesource, RantNRaven, I

            But then you waste food.  I don't know about you but it's been engrained in me not to do that.

            I still remember the nuns yelling at me when I went to clear my tray "there are children straving in Africa".  Even smart aleky responses like "so are you going to send it to them if I don't eat it" didn't stop the refrain.  

            I've only recently learned to stop eating when I'm not hungry.  A lifetime of being told to clear my plate (plates I never made) is hard to break.  

            In general, this country just does not have a healthy attitude about food.

            I am the Typo Queen. Apologies in advance.

            by sadpanda on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 11:36:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I hear ya (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sadpanda

              My Mom was the same way - same school - she gets mad that I don't do the same to my kid - but I'm really relaxed about food - when my kid is hungry he eats (which isn't too often) but my friends still hit their kids with the starving people bit.

          •  We have dogs who can eat anything we can't (0+ / 0-)

            handle - anything smaller than their heads and not tougher than stainless steel is OK by them.And there isn't a restaurant around here that we  know about that won't fix up the leftovers for them without any extra charge. We've seen portions get smaller , especially when we've eaten in travel or semi emergency situations when it became necessary to stop at a national chain fastfilth outlet. Might be less than wonderful , but I find it impossible to cheer for burgers both shrinking in size and growing in price. Can't see how anyone could really go for either. My wife did some grocery shopping today , she didn't get the sausage she usually does for my breakfast. Price didn't change yet this week , but the number of sausages went down from 12 to 10. With  3.5 ounce drop in alleged net weight. I'll eat something else , even though it will likely be higher in carbohydrates , and lower in protein , not the direction my doc says for me to go.

            •  Ultimately it's our own fault. (0+ / 0-)

              We falsely assume we're getting more for our money if we're served a steak the size of a brontosaurus haunch, and we dutifully choke it all down because our parents-- raised during the Depression-- considered it a sin to "waste" food.

              It's increasingly been my experience that humongous portions are not a good buy, that the larger the portion, the more likely the dish is mediocre anyway and not worth ordering. On the rare occasions it does turn out to be good I can always take half of it home and make a second meal of it.

              Which is the greater sin, after all-- not eating all at once everything placed in front of you, or continuing to eat after you're already full?

              Some of the other health challenges, though-- adulteration with BGH or High Fructose Corn Syrup-- are harder to surmount, You have to look harder and perhaps pay more to find unadulterated substitutes, and I can understand that a lot of parents lack the time,money, or information to do that.

  •  Yeah? Who gave Bush a MBA?.........nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fizziks

    "A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having." --V

    by moondancing on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 10:40:50 AM PDT

  •  Women's life expectancy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Abra Crabcakeya

    Why is life deteriorating for women even more quickly than for men in the U. S. according to these statistics?

    I have some answers for you:

    1. Crime:  The massive decline in violent crime from 1992-2002 benefited mostly men, since men are both the vast majority of both perpetrators and victims of violent crime.  So American men got a bump in life expectancy from this, moreso than women.
    1. Jobs:  Many of our potentially dangerous jobs, which were traditionally done by men - you know, the jobs actually building and making stuff - have been outsourced in the past 20 years.  If they haven't been outsourced they've been insourced - ie done by illegals who don't make the statistics.  Thus men have received another bump from the more dangerous (but productive) jobs disappearing.
    1. Obesity:  More women are obese than men.  The causes are complicated, but basic biology probably plays a part.
    1. Smoking:  More women than men smoke.  This is certainly a cause for concern.

    It turns out that Bush IS a uniter... he united the good half of the country virulently against him.

    by fizziks on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 10:43:51 AM PDT

  •  Thanks so much for this... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RantNRaven, ohmproject

    .. I read something the other day, about the very fact that "We're Number One" is so heavily promoted, and we dare not question it - that it must mean that we really aren't Number One - otherwise there would be no need to push it so hard.

    thanks again & I'm envious you're in Europe.

    •  Me, too......envious, that is. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alyosha

      After being in Germany for a month last winter, I miss Europe for a lot of reasons.  After staying with my son for a while and generally living like residents and not tourists, I could really see a big lifestyle difference.  Theirs is much healthier and actually more fun!  Small friges, daily shopping, walking or riding bicycles, healthier and tastier restaurants.....and much better health care.
      And the plumbing......oy!   So much better.  A big whooosh!! rather than a pitiful swirl of water. That's German engineering........   O)

      "What, Me Worry?"...King George Walker Alfred Eusless Newman Bush

      by RantNRaven on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 11:48:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  America doesn't suck (0+ / 0-)

    Can it be improved - sure it can but I take exception that it sucks.

    Name one country over the past 200 years that has offered it's citzens more opportunities than the U.S.?  

    •  You're buying the myth. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sagesource, EthrDemon, Dude1701

      American Exceptionalism.

      It has been fatal for many already.

      And will be for many more.

      •  You're buying the one that America Sucks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Skeptical Bastard

        I didn't say it can't be improved but IMHO, it's far from "Sucks"

        The writer discounts Europes problems......how about these - terrible integration - segregation - look at the Muslim ghettos in France - torching cars by the thousands.

        Freedom of speech?  What's that.....

        They still pay a royalty tax in the U.K. to support a Royal family which is a disgrace.

        Want to go to Serbia, Bosnia, Albania?  Oh the health care there is wonderful - but they have a lot of time off becasue unemployment is so high.

        Like gas at $4.00 a gallon - try at least $8.00 a gallon in Europe.

        I could go on but I won't.  Europe is nice - but don't make it out to be better than it really is - becasue it certainly has it's share of problems.

        •  lol.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ohmproject

          The British royal family is quite a bit cheaper, and just as amusing, as the American hyper-rich.

          Get real. America rose by ruthlessly copying anything that worked in the rest of the world (a century and a half ago, the British were talking about American intellectual property theft just the same way the Americans talk about China now). America will fall, if it does fall, when it gets so full of itself that it can't learn from others. Lincoln was right -- the only way the US can die is by suicide, and you're doing a hell of a job at that right now.

  •  Did not take a Harvard prof , even a student , to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blindyone, MsWings, ohmproject

    clue me in on the immense amount of suckishness happening in this country. Have hoped , in fairly recent past , that I just had a bad attitude and was going through the old farts' "Everything Useta Be Better" syndrome. Hearing disaffection with the way things are from people of almost any age , from foriegn visitors struggling to be polite and trying to hide their disgust and amazement , gotta think that maybe this place is going to shitpond rather than improving. One thing , glad for every time I decided to spend way too much on quality made , overpriced items in the past that are almost all still useable for intended purposes. Merchandise available is mostly crap at prices now on a par with nearly extinct good stuff.And I'm talking about simple things like eyeglasses , garden tools , pocketknives that could be made by a single person a century ago. I am getting a bad attitude , I'll admit. Gonna go read that article , unless this Chinese shitputer fails before I can.

    •  I love our country. I love the American (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MsWings, Abra Crabcakeya

      people, I love our history. I really, really love this beautiful and incredibly varied piece of territory that we find ourselves on right now.

      I claim this, all of this, flaws and all. I love people who are close to me who are not perfect and have made mistakes in the past. I love America with my eyes wide open.

      That is why I care about politics and this election. That is why I care about class disparities. That is why I care about the environment.

      What I absolutely hate are the ones who bleat about American exceptionalism. We are the best. We are the greatest. When I was young it was "America Love It or Leave It".

      I want to work on changing things and changing people's minds. So I appreciate the article in the Harvard alum magazine, and I appreciate this diary.

      "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

      by blindyone on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 11:09:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very much agree with the findings in the report (6+ / 0-)

    I am from Norway (an especially egalitarian society by international standards) and the findings in the report very much correspond with my own impressions.

    We have smaller houses and cars and maybe private wealth in general than americans. But as the diary says, shorter working days and longer holidays (and more social benefits.

    An egalitarian society in some ways seem to make people less ambitious when it comes to acquiring private wealth.

    But at the same time it seems an egalitarian society can sometimes in fact promote entrepeneurship and risk-taking, because people know that even with failure the health insurance is still there and their children still have free access to university etc.

    I have to admit that I personally prefer the norwegian / european system to the american.

    But it doesn´t mean I feel the US sucks. The american society seems extremely innovative and very importantly you have a significant higher birth rate than European countries. Which means your future is probably better than ours.

    And european countries have the last decades to a big degree changed their society and economic politics in areas where it seems the american system is working better.

    I don´t think it would hurt if americans once in a while also found something in Europe they could take advice from.

    Love all the people !

    by Mariken on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 11:05:09 AM PDT

  •  Brilliantly put (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MsWings, ohmproject
    Articulate and thoughtful diary that crystallizes the unease that so many feel - that something is very, very wrong and that our vaunted "land of opportunity" has some very big flaws.

    And half-measures and compromises won't fix them.

    You desire to know the art of living, my friend? It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering. - Henri Frederic Amiel

    by newwvdem on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 11:18:27 AM PDT

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