Many Americans, it seems, are so easily manipulated emotionally and politically, that it frightens the rest of us — and people in other countries — who know better.
Americans are also largely untraveled. If I recall correctly, Pres. George W. Bush had never been to Europe before he was elected president. Even today, only a third of Americans have a valid passport and only 38% have ever had a passport, even though a passport is now required to visit Canada and Mexico.
My family is quite the opposite. My sister Janet married a Swede whom she met in Turkey on vacation from her job chartering boats in Greece. This December she will celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary in Sweden where she and Staffan have retired. I attended their wedding in Stockholm’s “old city” in 1971 and have visited them twice since. I have also visited the other Scandinavian countries except for Norway, all of which happily thrive under “democratic socialism.”
A few months back, I described how Janet’s husband Staffan had a major surgery which involved a lengthy hospital stay and the flying in from Atlanta of a famous heart surgeon. The cost of that operation and hospital stay was under $100, thanks to Sweden’s socialized medicine.
I was reminded of that story on Monday, when “The Hartmann Report” consisted of a lengthy description of democratic socialism in the Scandinavian countries and increasingly in the rest of Europe. (I recommend Thom Hartmann’s “daily rant” on Substack.com.) The headline was “Why America Can’t Have ‘Nice Things’,” and the subhead was “So, if the majority of Americans want Scandinavian/European healthcare, schools, unions, wages and taxes-on-the-rich, why don’t we have these things?”
It goes back to how easily Americans are manipulated by those (primarily the wealthy) who don’t want us to have what Swedes and other Scandinavians have because it will mean they will pay substantially higher income taxes.
Income taxes are far more progressive in those countries than they are here, but the result is a universally higher standard of living — and zero bankruptcies due to medical debt, which is experienced by over a million American families every year. The result is also zero stress about being “one paycheck away from homelessness,” which describes the situation for far too many Americans.
I’ve posted Hartmann’s Monday “rant” about Sweden (which contains many links to supporting information) below in this blog. It’s a real wake-up call which you’ll want to share with others. We don’t need to have so much inequity and suffering in America.
It is truly disheartening that so many Americans have succumbed to disinformation by Donald Trump and his enablers that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have a “radical socialist agenda.” Come on, America, wake up! You are being duped by interests who don’t want you to enjoy “the good life,” because it will cost them money.
NOTE: This column is costing me over $900 per week to publish in the Denver Post. Please consider donating to my GoFundMe campaign. Find it at FundTalkingTurkey.com.
Here's further support provided by a reader:
2021 Happiness Index (Scandinavian countries always rank in and around the top 5)
2021 Economic Freedom Index