Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Published on March 31, 2010 By Draginol In Politics

The answer is almost always: No, actually it doesn’t.

In almost any debate, we’ll hear about how the “United States is the only X that does Y [or doesn’t do]”.

Except that’s not the case when you compare apples and apples.

One of the constant, long-time, ongoing debates in the United States is one that Europeans now find themselves in as well – where do the “states” stop and the “union” start?

When you dig into countless numbers of political topics, you find that opposition to a given policy starts to melt away when it is suggested that the issue be left to the states.

The reason for that is because the United States, like the European Union, is made up of demographically very different members.

The living standards, culture and priorities of someone in say New York or Massachusetts are very different from someone in Utah or Iowa or Mississippi.  So when someone looks to impose a new federal program – whether it be education, health care, welfare, etc. you get into quite a bit of debate on the issue.

Europeans often enter these debates without realizing that what they advocate for us they would very much likely oppose if forced upon them.

Let me give you an example: Welfare.

We should help the poor right?  Only the greedy oppose helping the poor.  Europeans have great social welfare programs right? No. They do not.  Some EU member states have generous welfare programs just as some US states have generous welfare programs.

The EU advocacy site, Europa, has a lot of useful information on the wealth of Europeans that you may find very enlightening.

For instance, the per person GDP in Denmark is 29,600.  Bulgaria’s is 8,600.  Should the EU start adopting laws that transfer massive amounts of wealth from Denmark to Bulgaria?  In the US, anything less than 15,000 per person is considered poverty level.  In the United States, the average person in Bulgaria would qualify for Medicaid (the US’s already existing “universal health insurance”). 

Consider the reaction of the Dutch, Danes, English, and Swedes if they were asked to endure a massive tax increase in order to pay for new anti-poverty programs that would go entirely to 10 EU members? I suspect there’d be riots.  But wait, the Dutch are “rich”. They average 28,200 a year.  Meanwhile, those poor people in Portugal are only living on about half as much.  What about compassion? What about caring for your fellow man?

I happen to agree with Europeans on that issue, there shouldn’t be massive “entitlement” programs imposed on the entire EU as a whole. Blanket policies are bad policies.  The same is true of the United States.


Comments (Page 2)
on Apr 07, 2010

People got cut off in the past from their culture of origin, and they had to embrace American's culture. I am sure it was easier to get access to German movies back in the 1920's in France than in USA.

Not the entire case, my grandmother, who was Slovak would not teach or allow her kids (my mother and seven others) to learn or speak anything but English. Her belief was "you are an American". I can only surmise that when she came over as an orphan at age 6 in 1911, it was not a good thing to be different. Her husband (my grandfather) was an immigrant Italian. He died in a coal mine accident in 1944, when my mom was 4, third from the youngest. I just think there is a different atmosphere for immigrants today, especially for Hispanics. Many things are done to accommodate them, in their native language, so some never need to learn.  

on Apr 07, 2010

Not the entire case, my grandmother, who was Slovak would not teach or allow her kids (my mother and seven others) to learn or speak anything but English. Her belief was "you are an American".

Well, you have to admit that people who did not integrate in the common american community would have had a somewhat bad time in their new neighbourhood. I think it was more a matter of necessity to get a job and to have friendly neighbours than something else.

However, many chinese immigrants were hardly integrated because they couldn't get citizenship anyway, and kept among themselves. It took a way longuer to make them see themselves as "american" than their european counterparts.

on Apr 07, 2010

However, many chinese immigrants were hardly integrated because they couldn't get citizenship anyway, and kept among themselves. It took a way longuer to make them see themselves as "american" than their european counterparts.

Sure if you want to call someone "shanghaied" in China (in other words sold as an indentured "servant") an immigrant. Most people brought to a place against their will, are not inclined to assimilate.

on Apr 07, 2010

Most people brought to a place against their will, are not inclined to assimilate.

The grass is always greener syndrome.