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Tue Apr 10, 2012, 04:15 PM

Thom Hartmann: The Rest of the World Thinks we're Friggin' Crazy



While the nine kings and queens on the Supreme Court mull over the fate of Obamacare - the rest of the world is looking at us like we're friggin' crazy. As John Hudson over at the Atlantic Wire sums up, "The idea that health care coverage, largely considered a universal right in Europe, could be deemed an affront to liberty is baffling." First - the U.K. - where this is no such thing as judicial review - is weighing in on what's going on over here. The Guardian's Kevin Powell published a column last week saying, "Wasn't the point to make sure the richest and most powerful nation on the planet could protect its own people, as other nations do? If Americans are promised not just liberty but life and happiness, is there not a constitutional right to affordable healthcare?" The German are getting into the game too calling out the United States as crazy. Columnist Sabine Muscat wrote about the absurdity in the Supreme Court health debate in the German Financial Times - asking rhetorically, "If the government could require people to take out health insurance, they could then not be forced to also buy broccoli? The analogy of broccoli has been dragging on through the long debate about the American health care reform."

But putting aside judicial review for a moment and the fate of Obamacare - the big picture here is this...the world thinks we're crazy because...well...WE ARE CRAZY! The United States is SO far out of the mainstream with the rest of the world - and today's Republican Party only wants to take us further in the opposite direction. Think about it for a second...we're the only developed nation in the world that doesn't hold healthcare as a basic human right.

We're also the only developed nation where any politician thinks there's still a controversy around global warming.

We're the only developed nation that still uses the death penalty. And we're the only one that regards corporations as people and lets millionaires and billionaires buy our elections.

We're one of the only developed nations in the world that doesn't guarantee for all workers a minimum number of vacation and sick days.

And when it comes to preparing for the future - our national insanity really kicks into high gear. As Germany readies for the largest investment in clean energy since World War 2 with a massive new system of solar panels and a 21st century national smart-grid - the United States is debating dirty 19th Century oil pipelines like Keystone. As China builds 21st century high speed rail lines all across their country - the United States has yet to lay one mile of high-speed rail ANYWHERE. Today - we have a two trillion dollar infrastructure deficit - meaning 19th and 20th century roads, bridges, water systems, and railways across the nation need two trillion dollars worth of repairs just to keep them alive. While Republicans in Congress are trying to cut that!

And that two trillion dollar deficit is just to update 1950's infrastructure - Eisenhower's infrastructure - it doesn't include a penny to build 21st century infrastructure like the rest of the world is doing - with massive new solar plants, sprawling wind farms, an efficient new energy grid, high-tech localized water treatment plants, high-speed railways. In this country - we're debating whether to keep alive 20th century infrastructure projects - and 21st century infrastructure isn't even part of the discussion. Now maybe the United States could justify this stark departure from the mainstream if we were actually producing decent results: maximizing wealth - providing better qualities of life - making the United States more competitive in the global marketplace.

Then, maybe we could just take comfort in what President Reagan said about us - that we're just an "exceptional nation." But here's the thing - we're not doing as well as the rest of the developed world in most indicators. As the 34-nation group known as the OECD - the Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development - uncovered...

The United States ranks 29th out of 34 nations in safety - with enormous homicide and assault rates.

We rank 23rd in work-life balance - and we work more hours a year than all the rest of the developed nations in the world.

We rank 16th in overall health - and have a life expectancy rate of nearly 78 years - that's more than a full year BELOW the average of the other developed nations.

We rank 18th in the cleanliness of our environment.

We rank 20th in the strength of our communities.

And we rank 18th in joblessness and long-term unemployment.

So it's pretty clear - whatever we're doing that's different from the rest of the developed world ISN'T working. And with Reaganomics and Bushonomics - we just kept doing the same thing over and over again for the last thirty years. And Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want us to keep doing it for the next decade. We've been cutting taxes for the rich - ripping apart the social safety net - giving corporations more influence in our government - and denying what science is telling us. Each and every time - we expect these policies to make us all better off - but they haven't - they've only made the top 1% better off. And as the saying goes: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. We've gone insane - and the rest of the world recognizes it. The only question is - how long until the majority of American voters recognize the insanity - and kick the crazies out of office.

The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann on RT TV & FSTV "live" 9pm and 11pm check www.thomhartmann.com/tv for local listings

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Reply Thom Hartmann: The Rest of the World Thinks we're Friggin' Crazy (Original post)
thomhartmann Apr 2012 OP
wendylaroux Apr 2012 #1
indepat Apr 2012 #2
livingonearth Apr 2012 #3
Pharaoh Apr 2012 #4
99th_Monkey Apr 2012 #5

Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 04:52 PM

1. This shit is bananas

can't argue with them.

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 05:22 PM

2. The rest of the world thinks we are friggin' crazy because we are

friggin' crazy, with our national policy being largely driven by the gipper's homey vision of America wherein the wealthy and large corporations won't be much burdened with income taxes and their wealth/prosperity will purportedly trickle down to the little people. As a result, America ranks poorly among developed nations in all quality-of-life ranking factors, as the data show. To wit: our society is experiencing the fruits and joys of living in a RW society driven mostly by a RW agenda for over 30 years, and while Mittens, who enjoys a Federal tax rate of some 15% on an annual income of some $20 million, is doing very well, it sucks mightily for most of the people, as the listed quality-of-life ranking factors suggest.

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 05:37 PM

3. Affordable health care is an affront to corporate control, not liberty.

That's the reason the right fights so hard against it.

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 05:58 PM

4. Kick the crazies out of office?

Yes Thom, if we actually had a Democracy we could. But this is just an illusion of Democracy, lots of smoke and mirrors and thunder,.......

But our government is owned by global corporations. Some day they may suffer the same fate as Marie Antoinette.

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 07:27 PM

5. I was JUST thinking this very thing TODAY .. I'm so ashamed to be an "American" right now.

TH took the words right out of my mouth.

THANK YOU for posting this.

Now I know I'm not alone

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