I joined the Peace Corps in late 1980. I have lived overseas since early 1981. As an expat for decades I have learned that an inevitable sense of patriotism attaches to you when you depart the shores of your birth. Additionally, as an expat, I have found that I have been more than normally interested and aware in the daily news of the planet. Being “away” made it imperative I stayed informed.
To date it has been my habit to watch, listen to and read a fair bit of news. My modern life gives me a variety of visual opinions such as FOX, CNN, BBC, Aljazeera, local and cable network news. I read hard and online versions of The Guardian, The Economist, Time, New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and review various local papers like The Des Moines Register, The Strait Times, La Monde, The Age and, of course, the Solomon Star.
Right now my study has been focused on how confused the USA is and how lost and delusional the Obama Administration is. And I follow what I see as a social dilemma within the US of A. Perhaps even a crisis of identity of sorts?
I don’t want to go into detailed discussion or review stats or what has happened. Rather I wish to try to muddle through a big WTF I have.
One thing that has stuck with me as an expat is the contrast between the attitudes and values of different Anglophone societies. I offer a simple dictum that I learned young… just because we all speak the same basic language does not mean have a lot in common.
I have a residence in Australia and note this as being the most regulated land I have ever lived in. Australians are a funny group which I am still studying. They almost expect to be told what to do. They want, vote for and shall continue to expect a socialistic, even paternalistic government. It is important to note here that there is a lot I like about the Land Down Under and enjoy my safe, suburbian, old fart life style.
I have a residence in the Solomons which, as a LDC, purports to have socialized services such as education, medicine, etc but only so far as the very limited and resource poor system allows. The place is such a basket case that there is no effective police force in the country. The main city is pathetic. Sewer systems do not exist. Roads are a nightmare… If you can’t offer basic communal services or safety and security, an administration is doomed to fail when trying to do “much more”. So suffice it to say that, for the wrong reasons, the Socialist Attitude the Solomons was founded on, inherited from the Brit model, simply is not working.
I am a supporter of a medical system that offers care for all. A society as a whole can only be civilised if and when it cares for all members of that society. But how, where, when?
The immediate flaw in any such system is that many who CAN indeed contribute positively to society choose to become dependant. If it is easy to see a Doctor for my sore back I may end up going a lot. Indeed, if it is easy to kick back and be cared for by the Nanny-State, then why work?
So, where is the USA? I believe the USA spends more per head for medicine than any country in the world.
And we need to spend more.
Ok, that’s ok, but who pays for it? The bloated government systems are unaffordable as is. Why or how can we increase the cost of government, now?
I guess, when describing my political leanings, I am probably best described as a conservative hippie. Whats that? Well, to begin with I ain’t a liberal hippie.
I was raised very old-fashioned. A large family in the midwest. Of immigrant stock. Shallow roots, really. And the melting pot meant the mixed ethnic heritage was diluted into a positive sense of Americanism. A midwestern sense of conservatism as defined by hard work, unrestricted opportunities in life, and the ability to feel proud of what one has achieved through their own ability and initiative.
What can be more American than being from Iowa. The Bible-Belt? the land of grain and seasonal labour?
Bred, born and buried in Iowa, that’s the family I come from. I am a rare example of an Iowan that got out. Not many do.
My parents are celebrating their 68th wedding anniversary this month. All up, counting all in-laws and outlaws, they have well over 100 off spring. My father used the GI Bill to get a degree. Worked a white-collar job during the day and tended bar at night. When asked why, he said “..it got me through university, guess it’ll work to educate my kids too”. He was the essence of midwestern conservatism and voted republican as often as he did democrat. Welcome to Iowa.
My mother was always working/ cooking somewhere. Her thing was cooking and she was always in demand for weddings, and such. She sent 3 sons into the US military and one into the Peace Corps. She, like my father, grew up in the depression era, knew what a tough life was and worked hard for a better life.
Medical bills were the bane of our household. My father’s white-collar job was with the Government so he never made much and his benefits were minimal at best. A trip to the hospital tossed any monthly budget into a spin. And with o many kids there were very regular trips to the Doctor’s Office and the ER. We were very well conditioned to NOT run off to the Doctor’s. A visit to the Doctor’s was a last resort sort’a gig. And that’s how folks in my neck of the woods lived. No one was exempt.
So, I agree that the US needs a change in the health care system. But I don’t think we are anywhere near being where we need to be.
Times change. Demographics change.
And now the Central Government/ The political party in control is making what appears to be a paternalistic decision in regards to what THEY think is best for the rest of us.
And it was done by what I see as “sleight of hand”.
This is where I start getting this WTF feeling.
We need to be discussing choices and option not trampling on civil liberties.
Liberties which founded the USA.
As a Conservative Hippie I am not real keen on government control, censorship or, dare I say it… Political manipulation through lies and conjecture to achieve political and social gains. I have little trust for government. My life’s experience is that politics and politicians have evoked more harm and damage on those whom they serve than one may measure.
So WTF? Something like 600 million has been spent with no return what so ever. Someone somewhere has gotten very wealthy over all this but they have not performed. If you take pay for non-performance it becomes a con-game.
It all sounds like a con…
And who pays?