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Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:33 AM

German Spiegel: "Notes on the Decline of a Great Nation"

A look at our empire in decline through the eyes of the European media...

SPIEGEL: Notes on the Decline of a Great Nation: The United States is frittering away its role as a model for the rest of the world. The political system is plagued by an absurd level of hatred, the economy is stagnating and the infrastructure is falling into a miserable state of disrepair.

As an American expat living in the European Union, Iíve started to see America from a different perspective through the prism of the European media.

The European Union has a larger economy and more people than America does. Though it spends less -- right around 9 percent of GNP on medical, whereas we in the U.S. spend close to between 15 to 16 percent of GNP on medical -- the EU pretty much insures 100 percent of its population.

The U.S. has 59 million people medically uninsured; 132 million without dental insurance; 60 million without paid sick leave; 45 million on food stamps. Everybody in the European Union has cradle-to-grave access to universal medical and a dental plan by law. The law also requires paid sick leave; paid annual leave; paid maternity leave. When you realize all of that, it becomes easy to understand why many Europeans think America has gone insane, particularly as 2 million long-term unemployed Americans are getting ready to lose their jobless benefits as America approaches the year end fiscal cliff.

The sobering assessment of Americaís unemployment rate isnít really 7.9 percent, but close to 20 percent when we factor in the number of people who have stopped looking for work.

Some social scientists think that making sure large-scale crime or fascism never takes root in Europe again requires a taxpayer investment in a strong social safety net. Can we learn from Europe? Isn't it better to invest in a social safety net than in a large criminal justice system? (In America over 2 million people are incarcerated.) We have 4% of the world's population and 25% of the world's inmate population. Clearly this is an international badge of shame and a catastrophic loss of human potential for the American economy.


Unlike here, in Germany jobless benefits never run out. Not only that -- as part of their social safety net, all job seekers continue to be medically insured, as are their families. By contrast in America today, 2 million American long-term unemployed workers benefits are set to expire at the end of the fiscal year 2012. It should be noted, unlike in Germany, the American jobless benefits do not provide for medical care for unemployed workers and their families.
What kind of family values are these?

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Reply German Spiegel: "Notes on the Decline of a Great Nation" (Original post)
Democrats Ramshield Nov 2012 OP
niyad Nov 2012 #1
HughBeaumont Nov 2012 #2
marions ghost Nov 2012 #3

Response to Democrats Ramshield (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:39 AM

1. k and r--thank you for posting this-- my friends in europe do think this country has gone crazy

in a big way

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Response to Democrats Ramshield (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:43 AM

2. The Grifter Class Gotsta Grift!!!

That's why we can't have nice things.

Why do you hate America SO much to deprive even ONE CEO of the Beach Houses they ABSOLUTELY NEED???

Who will pay for their tax cuts and their wars? SOMEone has to, and don't any ONE of you DARE ask your BETTERS to pay for any of it!! You DO want JOBS, right? Then you have to kiss each and every inch of our asses to GET them!!


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Response to Democrats Ramshield (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:06 AM

3. We ARE a nation in decline...

--and have already suffered a huge loss of potential to better ourselves and the world. Instead we fund wars for profit.

Ours is a sad story these days. A tale of Vulture Capitalism--of entrenched greed and corruption. A population politically divided, ever more fearful, mean-spirited and cynical. A leadership failing the people it is supposed to serve. Democracy in Name Only.

It is going to take a big effort...to steer the Titanic away from the iceberg.

It didn't have to be this way.

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