:: Monday, October 04, 2004 ::

Land of the Free

The Sunday Herald is by far the best read amongst the Sunday papers. They have great investigational journalism and their coverage of politics is insightful, never more so than when Iain Macwhirter is the writer. This week he was getting to grips with the real America. The millions of have-nots, the poor and illegal immigrants. Most of them don't or can't vote so the politicians don't give a damn about them.

If you ever wonder whether the NHS is worth it, go to America. If you think welfare is a burden, go to America. If you think America is an economic powerhouse, go to America.

The average American works harder and longer than Europeans for less money. According to Larry Brown of Brandeis University, the average wage is lower than it was 30 years ago and the middle classes are working weeks longer each year than they did in 1979. We’re taught to think that Germany is an economic basket case, but it exports far more high-quality goods.

America’s economy is running to stand still. The US Federal Reserve is sitting on a precarious $5 trillion dollar deficit financed by Asian banks. America’s economy has no visible means of support.

It’s bizarre; America is the most powerful military and economic force on the planet, but everywhere I went I found insecurity. Wine growers in California, professors in Arizona, taxi drivers in Boston, they are all nervous, on edge, hyper. Yes, of course, America has always been an edgy place. But right now there is a state of high anxiety. Code red.


:: Alister | 10:13 am | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | |

2 Comments:

I am from America and I found this post almost laughable. To cherry-pick a few people so as to make a point about all of us is quite disingenuous. Also, as far as our economy and how long we work. Our economy grows more than most if not all of the European nations combined. We chose to work as long as we do because we understand as a people that this is how our so called poor have more and live better than most so called rich or well to do peoples of other countries. Yes, we are not perfect and yes we have our short commings but you would be hard pressed to convince any of us to trade places with any in the rest of the world. I find it odd that here in America we look at the good of the countries outside of our borders knowing full well of their own huge failings and yet those very same people defame us. Would you prefer we looked at you in the same light as you us. Perhaps, we should. Why do you hate us so? Surely you don't mean to tell us that if given the chance in world affairs your countries would trade the security of your nation and its prosperity so that another nation would have the advantage over you. America, though not perfect, is good for the world. Without us the former and soon to be again soviet union would have utter control over most of the world that would make the so called trivails from the US seem like a cake walk. Spare us, please. Our debt is only a fraction of GDP. It may seem large to some but in the end it is all relative. To some a hundred US dollars may be alot. To us it is a days work. Relative. We spent 8 billion dollars the first day of our christmas holiday season. To some it is a countries yearly GDP. Don't hate us. We may return the favor one day. America strives to do good in the world. Not evil. And if you ever need, we all know that it is America not anyone else who will be there for you.

By Blogger rueberry, at 5:20 am  

I'm glad you are at least asking why people hate the US. I don't hate it, I love many aspects of American life and culture. The music and films, the politics of MLK and Malcolm X, the fists of Muhammed Ali, the work of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. Plenty to love about America. Plenty to fear as well thanks to the neo-con cabal you have handed your country to, the corporations and military interests. From Iraq to Venezuela the US marks the map with blood. The return of the Soviet Union? Alas, Russia is a gangster capitalist state with its own ethnic power struggle and ambitions. The days when the USSR was there to keep you in check are gone. Now you do what you please, building an Empire. Why do people hate you? Why did the Indians hate the British?

By Blogger Alister, at 3:01 pm  

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