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Returning to our roots

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Comments

A week and a day ago
Its an interesting article. It does a good job of pointing out that these socialist ideas have been around a long time. But it uses the fact they have been around for a long time as proof that they are center or mainstream. That isnt the case at all. Yes, the ideas have been around for a long time, but they are still not mainstream. A lot of crazy ideas have been around for a long time. That doesnt make them "center". I would say there is a reason that, although there have been some politicians that support socialist ideas, they have rarely passed... because most dont want them.
A week ago
6 days ago
Certainly FDR promoted socialism, though I don't know that I would call that the "roots" of the democratic party.

Comparing the US to post-war European countries is apples to oranges. Our country differs significantly from those countries in both demographics and sheer size, as well as trust in government and homogeneity...two factors that are now dramatically changing in Europe.


A friend was always touting the Nordic Model to me, so I finally looked into it. Those systems consist of mixed economies, they are highly socialistic as regards health care and social welfare programs and are anchored by robust capitalism. That may sound antithetical, but they have made it work because they felt the trade-offs worthy. They pay taxes nearing 50% of income, and are assured of not finding themselves devastated by a job loss. There are differences in each country's policies, as well as between other European countries. Some things that surprised him were the ability in some countries to use government vouchers for private schools, even religious-based schools, and the ease with which companies could shed employees despite high unionization.

The primary difference between those countries and ours, aside from the population numbers, is a shared history and homogeneous population. That is rapidly changing due to the large influx of migrants and refugees from the ME and Africa. Whereas people once willingly paid high taxes for a broad safety net provided by a trusted government, they are now seeing people with different histories and cultures who never paid into their systems becoming an overwhelming burden on their safety nets. Add in the problems associated with thrusting people together who have no shared history, culture, religion, or values; the increase in crime; the decline in government trust as such burdens and crimes are downplayed (if not outright denied) by governments and the media...and you'll see that attitudes are changing all across Europe. Hence the rise in populism they are now experiencing. There is a very real and growing...and undeniable...discontent all across Europe today.

Trying to impose European measures here, even as they are experiencing large cracks within their systems, denies the very things that made their systems palatable to the public in the first place. They were able to institute systems of strong social protections precisely because their populations had high levels of homogeneity. We do not have a homogeneous society. Nor do we have a level of trust in our government that they did when those systems were implemented.

As always...JMHO