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MSNBC: See How Great Europe Has It

From the Democrats’ lickspittle slaveys at MSNBC:

In Europe, social safety net softens the slump

Aid for unemployment, health care and further education cushions blow

By Jennifer Carlile
May 7, 2009

EPPELHEIM, Germany — With its tidy villages, orderly cities and atmospheric scenery, there are few outward signs that the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, home to historic Heidelberg and the famed Black Forest, is a victim of the current economic crisis.

But with the auto industry here hit especially hard — this is the home of Mercedes-Benz — things are tougher than they have been in decades. Unemployment is up 70 percent in the past year (albeit to a relatively low 5 percent total) and many employees have been forced to cut down their hours.

Misery below the surface, perhaps? Not at the bustling Fuerstenberger home just outside Heidelberg, where little has changed for the family’s four children despite neither parent currently working.

“If we were in Detroit, we could worry every minute,” said Sarah Fuerstenberger, 37. “But here, we’re safe because of the system."

While economic forecasts are just as dire on this continent as in the United States, Germany’s citizens — and, indeed, most across western Europe — can count on a broad government safety net that includes generous unemployment checks, universal healthcare and inexpensive university education to tide them over.

“The German government is really good about taking care of people; we know we won’t be starving one way or another," she added.

With "Jobs Bloodbaths" in the headlines, tax money being used to bail out private banks and iconic car companies such as Britain’s Mini, France’s Renault and Italy’s Fiat laying off thousands, news here is similar to that across the Atlantic. Unemployment is also the same — around 8.5 percent across Western Europe and the United States.

However, Europe fiercely resisted President Obama’s calls for it to increase its stimulus programs last month at the Group of 20 industrial and developing nations summit in London. That’s because leaders here argue that their existing social welfare initiatives are already keeping people afloat as well as stimulating demand.

Of course, these ongoing European programs come with a cost — higher taxes, which critics say can sap economic vitality.

Fewer hours, same pay

At the Fuerstenberger home, where each of the four children has their own bedroom and Wii Fit and Mario-Kart are in near-constant play, the safety net certainly appears intact.

“I hadn’t even thought of the word ‘recession,’” said Sarah, a Detroit native who has lived in Germany on and off since college.

Sarah, a technical writer and translator, met her German husband, Jan, while working at Volkswagen’s North American headquarters in her home city six years ago.  She and her two children from a previous marriage soon left the United States for his hometown of Eppelheim, where the couple added two more kids to their brood.

Jan, a 32-year-old a mechanical engineer who is on paternity leave before taking up a new job offer, and Sarah, who is on maternity leave from her career at software giant SAP, support all four children without help from her ex-husband.

Short-time option

Beyond the usual unemployment and health benefits, the German government has employed some creative measures to combat the recession.

At the end of last year, for instance, Jan’s former employer, Borg Warner, which makes friction plates for automatic transmission systems, initiated kurzarbeit or short-time work.

“Different departments worked eight or nine hours less than the usual 40-hour week,” Jan said.

Fortunately for the family, "closing days" and even "closing weeks" did not carry the same monetary losses as they would in Michigan.

“The company pays the hours you worked and the gap that’s between the actual hours and the usual hours is paid by the government,” he said, as the couple enjoyed a quiet evening in after putting the kids to bed.

“For us this year, it was good,” Sarah added. “We had more time and it wasn’t a cut in pay.”

‘All are happy’ with kurzarbeit

The policy of kurzarbeit, which allows the government and companies to devise 18-month plans to cover most or all pay lost to reduced hours, has kept some unemployment at bay. In particular, it has allowed manufacturing giants like Siemens, Volkswagen and BASF to cut their production levels to match lower demand without having to initiate mass layoffs like those carried out across America’s Rust Belt.

“It’s a good instrument to use to react to the recession and still keep our good, qualified workers,” said Georg Haux, a spokesman for Siemens, which had 7,000 employees in kurzarbeit in March. Haux said that with the government subsidy, the company guaranteed workers 85 percent of their normal pay no matter how drastically their hours were cut.

Across the country, more than one million people will be in kurzarbeit by summer, up from 50,000 people a year ago, according to Karl Brenke, an economic adviser at the German Institute for Economic Research.

“Nobody is against it  — not the trade unions, not the [workers' councils], no political party. All are happy,” he said, adding that employees were relieved to keep their jobs and that the measure allowed companies to react quickly if production levels rose again.

Even with the policy, jobless numbers have gone up. But, despite the 70 percent rise in unemployment over the last year, only one in twenty people in this relatively prosperous state is currently out of work.

“In the case of unemployment, people have a higher income than the same group of people in the United States,” said analyst Brenke.

Paternity leave

Worried that kurzarbeit was a sign of worse things to come, Jan decided to go back to a former employer, KST-MotorenVersuch, that had been eager to rehire him. To widen his employment opportunities, he decided to leave the role of test engineer and go into sales — but not before taking more than two months of elterngeld, government-paid parental leave.

These days Jan can often be found in the kitchen, keenly following recipes from celebrity chefs, making chocolate chess sets with 9-year-old Emma and baking apple pies. He changes diapers, runs after speedy toddler Olivia, and appreciates his one-on-one time with each of his children.

In Germany, couples can divide 14 months of paid parental leave between them. Beyond that, a mother’s job is secure for three years per child.

“Because we had two (in quick succession), I could take six years off and have a safe job,” said Sarah, who will probably stay home until 8-month-old Noah is three.

To boost the birth rate, all families receive around 150 euros ($197) per child per month until they are in their twenties. And, under Chancellor Angela Merkel’s stimulus package, families will get an extra one-off 100 euro ($131) child benefit this July.

The benefits influenced the Fuerstenbergers’ family planning even before the crisis.

“I think if we were in the States, we may not have … and it sounds terrible … had the opportunity to have a fourth child that quickly or be sure we could afford it,” Sarah said.

Now, hearing about Detroit’s woes and her dad’s fears for his General Motors’ pension, she takes added solace in the financial security offered in Germany.

But, Sarah said, even with the economic security provided by the state, government-funded health insurance is the biggest relief for the family.

Universal health care

Unlike the tens of thousands of Americans who have lost their coverage along with their professions, the Fuerstenbergers can access health care irrespective of their employment status.

“We don’t pay anything for any of (our) medicines, for doctor’s visits, nothing,” Sarah said, adding that she worried about her sister in Detroit, who had had several periods without health insurance.

“People shouldn’t become poor if they need health care,” said Joe Kutzin, a World Health Organization adviser, adding that a 2005 study published in the journal Health Affairs found that medical causes were at the root of about half of personal bankruptcy cases in the United States in 2001.

It’s ironic, he said, given that Americans spend more per capita on healthcare than anyone else in the world.

“Despite our high levels of expenditure, the U.S. simply does not do as well as many other high income countries in preventing deaths from causes that are amenable to medical treatment,” he said.

Highlighting the issue, a WHO report released in 2000 ranked the systems of 191 nations, putting France at the top and the United States down at number 37.

‘Grateful’ for health care, education

At their pretty row house surrounded by gardens and horse paddocks, Jan’s sister, Susanne Fuerstenberger, a doctor, recalled a visit to New York City.

“It made a big impression on me,” she said of seeing a young man begging on the subway with a sign saying that he needed insulin.

“I’m grateful that here I don’t have to send someone away and know that they won’t get the (long-term) treatment they really need.”

As a profession, Susanne said that medicine was not as well paid in Germany as in the United States. She pointed out, however, that Europe’s doctors do not have six-figure student loans to pay off.

When the 35-year-old studied medicine here, all students paid the equivalent of just 100 euros ($131) a semester. They now pay up to 500 euros ($657).

“Education must be equal for everyone regardless of the size of their wallet,” she said. “It’s one of our basic civil rights in the constitution.”

Due to government subsidies, tuitions in Western Europe are considerably lower than in the United States, with many universities — especially in Northern European countries — not charging students anything, and even top-notch U.K. institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge capping their fees at 3,000 pounds ($4,374) a scholastic year. (Yale and Harvard charge around $35,000 for tuition.)

Paying for privileges

While Europe’s social safety net is softening the slump, it does of course have to be paid for.

According to the OECD, the total tax revenue as a percentage of GDP is 28.3 percent in the United States, compared with 36.2 percent in Germany.

The cost can be seen in workers’ paystubs. "For example," said economic analyst Brenke, "a single worker with an average salary — about 16 euros ($21.31) per hour in fulltime work — pays about 52 percent for taxes and the social security system.”

This compares to an average of 30 percent in the United States.

With her family paying roughly that amount, Sarah said, “sometimes I think it’s not worth it when I look at what ends up in my bank account, but in times like these, I appreciate it."

We posted the entire article just to show how shamelessly blatant our one party media has become.

No wonder people no longer want to pay for the privilege of being propagandized to.

Oddly enough, MSNBC failed to explain why there were huge riots in Berlinon May Day, as well as all across Germany at many other times in recent years.

From the ramparts of the Associated Press:

273 German police injured in May Day riots

May 2, 2009

BERLIN (AP) — More than 270 police officers were injured in this year’s May Day riots in the German capital, prompting criticism Saturday of Berlin security officials and calls for more officers.

Though the majority of the 273 officers suffered only minor injuries Friday, 14 were badly enough hurt that they will need to take time off work, said Berlin police chief Dieter Glietsch. He did not have more specifics.

In all, 5,800 police officers were on hand to try to keep a lid on the violence that has become a yearly ritual in Berlin. They used tear gas, pepper spray and water cannon as some of the roughly 5,000 leftist demonstrators, marching under the motto "capitalism is war and crisis," threw stones and bottles.

Dozens of demonstrators were injured but there were no exact figures; 289 were arrested. A bank and a fire station had windows broken.

This year’s demonstrations turned violent earlier than in previous years, leading to more injuries and arrests. Last year, 112 police officers were hurt and 150 demonstrators arrested

Konrad Freiberg, the head of Germany’s other major police union, said forces had been cut back by 10,000 officers across the country since 2000, making it difficult to muster enough police for major confrontations.

"On days like May 1 we are on the fringes of our capacity," he told Bild newspaper. "This is a political issue… The state must recruit more police despite the economic crisis."

Why is that, if everyone is so damned happy?

And note that the Germans somehow don’t have enough policeman – because of cutbacks.

(Thanks to TerryAnne for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, May 7th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

47 Responses to “MSNBC: See How Great Europe Has It”

  1. Gee, they why did my GERMAN grandparents work so hard to become Americans if Germany is such a swell place? Why did my mom and her sister and brother work so hard to become Americans? (My uncle is a very successful businessman even in these hard times, though he gives credit to the German education system and apprenticeships.)

    Saying that, do y’all suppose it’s too late for me to claim dual citizenship (American and German)? My mom is German by birth, I was conceived over there … I haven’t paid a dime into the system. Oh wait, that sounds kind of like an illegal alien!!

  2. aaron4801

    It’s funny how the left wants to copy all the European ideas that are costing massive amounts of money (health care, labor laws, etc) but none of them wants to copy the things they are doing that SAVE money (lower business taxes, nuclear power).

  3. Note to Germany and double digit unemployment and escalating inflation (stagflation):

    See Ireland.

  4. heather08

    If no one is working, where is the tax money coming from? And it must be nice to live in a utopia where there is no fraud or waste from government funding of things like health care, higher education, etc. I guess the Germans are just more honest than the Americans, where there are doctors and dentists who engage in Medicaid fraud and trade “schools” that take government guaranteed loans and then go out of business.

  5. pdsand

    They do a damn fine job of taking care of German citizens. However, I don’t think they’re also taking care of the rest of the world through foreign aid, and 20 million of mexico’s finest that have invaded their country.

  6. proreason

    Can you spell, e n o r m o u s n a t i o n a l d e b t.

    And do you think the next owners of Europe, the muslims, are going to pay that off?

    Expect 90% of Europe to be banging on the gate of the United States in 10 to 20 years; that is, the ones who haven’t become so old or fat and lazy that they will haul their desperate carcasses over here.

    Unless, of course, the TMCC succeeds in its quest to reduce this country to a banana republic, or it’s other quest to solve global warming with a nuclear winter.

    • U NO HOO

      “And do you think the next owners of Europe, the muslims, are going to pay that off?”

      Good point.

  7. Reality Bytes

    Government supplied apartment: $0.00

    Government supplied hospital bed (with 7 other beds sharing the same room): $0.00

    6 Months off staying home with your kids: $0.00

    Reading a good book under the lamp shade that used to be Uncle Morty: PRICELESS

  8. Colonel1961

    How could human beings sit there and say those things? Have they no shame? Are they truly that stupid or just dangerously naive? God help them. Because, I know that I won’t…

    • catie

      I hear what you’re saying Sir but we’ve saved their arses twice and we’ll do it again. They are both I guess.
      About 14 years ago I had an exchange student from Germany. I still remember his name and his face even though others are blurs. He was in my US Government class which is a Senior level class. Old Peter couldn’t find an “Host Home” that would keep him for more than 2 months at the max. He would always tell us how wonderful everything in Germany was and what a fabulous country it was as well. I generally stayed out of it and let the kids explain to him how wonderful our country was. Finally the day before the final exam when we were reviewing Peter popped up with some stupid statement and I said “Peter, if Germany is so damn great why have you lost two World Wars, why did the USA have to rebuild your stupid country after the war and why do our men and women still have to stay in your country?” He was speechless and the class stood up and cheered.

    • Colonel1961

      Thanks, Catie – my point exactly. But they’ll never receive my support in any way shape or form. Heck, I’ve already cancelled my LSE trip – I guess BMWs are off my list now, too.

  9. Helena

    Yes, the full court press in on.

    From the New York Times:

    Going Dutch – How I Learned to Love the European Welfare State

    By RUSSELL SHORTO
    Published: April 29, 2009

    “…For the first few months I was haunted by a number: 52. It reverberated in my head…. For it represents the rate at which the income I earn, as a writer and as the director of an institute, is to be taxed. To be plain: more than half of my modest haul, I learned on arrival, was to be swallowed by the Dutch welfare state. Nothing in my time here has made me feel so much like an American as my reaction to this number. I am politically left of center in most ways, but from the time 52 entered my brain, I felt a chorus of voices rise up within my soul, none of which I knew I had internalized, each a ghostly simulacrum of a right-wing, supply-side icon: Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp, Rush Limbaugh. The grim words this chorus chanted in defense of my hard-earned income I recognized as copied from Charlton Heston’s N.R.A. rallying cry about prying his gun from his cold, dead hands.

    And yet as the months rolled along, I found the defiant anger softening by intervals, thanks to a succession of little events and awarenesses. One came not long ago. Logging into my bank account, I noted with fleeting but pleasant confusion the arrival of two mysterious payments of 316 euros (about $410) each. The remarks line said “accommodation schoolbooks.” … Every quarter, the SVB quietly drops $665 into my account with the one-word explanation kinderbijslag, or child benefit….

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05.....ean-t.html

    Surrender to the collective, join us, join us, join us

    • oldswimcoach

      Hey Russell – So they take 1/2 of your income, but it’s OK because they give you ~$3,500 back per year?

      You just bought into the concept that The money you earn is not yours, the government giving you your own money back is benevolence, and people that don’t earn a given standard of living deserve it (on your labor) simply for failure to wear a condom or get a job.

      Sounds like utopia to me… Where do I sign up, and what psychotropic drugs come with the program to keep me from thinking – you obviously got them.

    • Helena

      Exactly, swimcoach, You’re too irresponsible to handle your own money and you’re not aware of your own needs anyway, so just hand it over and we’ll dole it out to you as you “need” it. So, my question is, if it’s so damned wonderful and life is so pleasant, why is the native European birth rate dropping like a stone? Don’t they want to bring children into this paradise? Or is it that they’re so blissed out on the government drugs that they figure the state will take care of that, too?

  10. BannedbytheTaliban

    Here is how it works:

    Say you make 10 marks an hour. If you work a forty hour week without government invention you would make 400 marks. You could then spend that money on what ever you want, private health care, savings (you know, in case you loose your job), a house, car, or what ever capitalist endeavor you desire.

    But some idiot decided to vote for politicians you are going to “take care of you.”

    So they tax you 60% to pay for social programs.

    You still make 10 marks an hour and but now take home just 160 marks a week and the government takes 240 marks. You can no longer afford health care or to save and need the government to do it for you. On top of that, you decided to make up the difference by working harder, so they pass a law so can’t, but they will pay you for staying home.

    So now you work only 20 hours a week, bringing in 80 marks, but the government, from the 120 marks they have already taken from you, will give you 80 of those to stay home and be lazy. Now you are more dependent on the government, no only for health care and savings, but basic income as well.

    Meanwhile the potentates become rich off the sweat of your back and dance around to the Rolling Stones’ “Under my Thumb.” Oh, and they are first in line for that health care you have to wait for, or they just take more of your money and fly to America where they will get better treatment. They also don’t worry about loosing their job, you have become so dependant upon them you have no choice but to continue to elect socialist. And all it has cost you was your freedom.

  11. BatK

    Why is it that liberals worship Europeans so much? Is it because it gives them a sense of superiority over “regular” Americans”? Our parents and grandparents LEFT that place for a reason….

    • oldswimcoach

      Because they have never lived here – except as college students. Beer is cheap, education is free and comes with small stipends to live on and prostitution is legal – every 18 year old boys dream come true! So, of course Europe is perfect!

      Socialism is hardest on the mid career folks with the greatest expenses for family obligations. The solution pretty much Europe wide has been to stop having children and import unskilled labor from Muslim nations (the European version of Mexico for the US).

      The cultures of Europe will be gone in another generation or two, and the economic engine will be so hobbled that it will cease to function. At that point, I am not sure we (the US) will have any strategic national interests here to cause us to squelch the almost inevitable Muslim insurrection and Sharia law implementation throughout Europe. Not an apocalyptic vision, but certainly a scary one for the future of Europe.

  12. madmax

    What a bunch of Bo____. I thought Fiat was a much more solvant company. Bo is forcing the sale of Chrysler to Fiat. Funny how the press finds an American that defects to a socialist country and is living so much better. Six years before you return to work after multiple pregnancies? How many kids do you have to have to stay out of work to reach retirement? Free health care? The final solution senior care must really be paying off.

  13. Confucius

    “At the Fuerstenberger home, where each of the four children has their own bedroom and Wii Fit and Mario-Kart are in near-constant play, the safety net certainly appears intact . . . .”

    If these are the criterion for an intact safety net, then we’re good. Hell, we’re better then good. Our kids also have computers, cell phones, GameBoy’s, scooters and free cheese sandwiches for lunch!

    What else you got Jan and Sarah–a.k.a. Europe?

  14. MinnesotaRush

    Ssshhhh. Don’t tell anyone. They’re funding this crap with money stolen from Ireland and of course, the IMF (et al).

    “With its tidy villages, orderly cities and atmospheric scenery, there are few outward signs that the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, home to historic Heidelberg and the famed Black Forest”

    Just so idyllic sounding isn’t it? Kinda like the cries of the Sirens. (think crashing on the rocks)

  15. Steve

    Also, Germany and the rest of Europe do not pay one thin dime to protect themselves.

    Consequently, they have billions to spare that we do not — to pay for years of maternity and paternity leave.

    They also deport their illegal aliens.

    • BatK

      So when the Muslims violently revolt and attempt to take over Europe, how exactly will the Europeans be able to do anything other than watch it happen? Shoot, when that Danish cartoon came out, it looked like the Europeans were held hostage in their own countries.

      Do the libs REALLY believe that by making nice with the Muslims that they will somehow avoid the Islamic vision of global domination and submission to Allah? Do the libs just view the Muslims as a convenient tool to wipe out their own mutual enemies, but foolishly convince themselves that they are somehow “smarter” and will be able to control the Muslims once THEIR OWN dream of global domination is in effect?

  16. Media_man

    The WSJ today (May 7) featured a front page article on how the jobless in W. Europe are hardly affected by their unemployment compared to America’s jobless, who face financial ruin immediately. They featured a recently unemployed German who was going on a trip to Greece with his wife and wasn’t the least bit concerned, as his unemployment comp was pretty much the same as what he was getting paid for working (for up to a year).

    The odd part isn’t the article, but that all of these same peices are hitting the media at the same time.

    I’d love to know which publicity agency is shilling these stories and who is paying them. It’s gotta be Soros or one his ilk.

  17. proreason

    Look guys, the debt in European countries is many times what it is in the U.S., and it’s unsustainable, even though they spend virtually nothing on defense.

    Ponzi schemes always look like they are working for while.

    But when they crumble, there is a disaster.

    And as if their welfare state ponzi schemes aren’t bad enough, the people coming in at the lower levels of the pyramid are Muslims.

    Their problems make ours look like tinker toys.

    And although they go blissfully on as their civilization approaches inevitable obliteration, their doofas smiles should not affect how we fight for a non-delusional future for our famlies.

    Frankly, the situation in Europe is another thing to be really scared about, as if Israel and Pakistan and The Moron’s criminal activities aren’t bad enough. Even though Europe has been pacifist for decades, historically, they are warrior cultures that have only become pacifistic after the cataclysms of WWI and WWII. At some point, the bills will come due and the shrinking native youth are going to realize that their backs are REALLY against the wall. They could choose to wipe out the Middle East and rub out their Muslim immigrant populations in wars that will make the 20th centrury look like sweet whisperings. You may laugh at the thought. But keep it in mind.

    • heykev

      I would agree Pro, the birth rates in Europe will NOT sustain any culture buy Muslim culture. Muslim’s were defeated by Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours in 732. They now are on the verge of taking it over without a single shot being fired.By 2050, all of Europe will contain primarily Muslim’s.

      Here’s a song that reflects the sentiment we are all feeling by my (facebook) friend Scott Wesley Brown called “When America isn’t America Anymore” Listen here: http://www.tangle.com/view_vid.....90e122b138

    • Media_man

      Mark Steyn seems to think if anyone is going into the gas ovens, it will be the Berbers (N. African Muslims) feeding the ovens, not the other way around. I agree. Old Europe is sliding toward extinction, so they’ve spared them the hassle.

      Ralph Peters seems to side with the notion that the Europeans will shake off the torpor and resort to fascism, mass deportation, etc. No way that will happen. Thanks to the social programs and massive political lobbies of public employee unions, the liberals will run things forever, a political formula that’s pretty much guaranteed to work here to.

    • proreason

      I’m with Ralph Peters. Thousands of years of warrior culture will re-emerge in Europe when things get desperate enough. And Europeans understand modern technology. People in the Middle East will be back in the stone-age within 50 years if they are ever able to overcome the west. They can’t even maintain modern equipment without large doses of western assistance.

      Steyn’s point is based purely on demographics.

      But I think violence combined with technology will overcome demographics. The wake-up call just hasn’t been loud enough yet.

      The scariest thing is that we may know the answer to that question sooner than anybody thinks.

  18. AmericanIPA

    This is the main reason why we need to shut down military bases in Europe and open new ones in countries which beg us to relocate there. We’re only contributing to more worldwide welfare by being Europe’s defense force.

    • A valid point. Let them defend their way of life sans the US of A, and if stuff gets bad again let them either beg us for assistance or challenge us from a point of mistaken decision making.

  19. Trogdor

    Looks like the government if feeding them plenty of schnitzel too. So they can sit around in their houses/apartments and play video games. Nice utopia there. How about going outside and visiting the world? Oh, you have to work hard to make enough money to travel…forgot.

  20. grits

    I lived in Germany as a US military spouse for 6 years. I’d been there all of 6 days when I told my husband I understood how the 3rd Reich happened. The national personality of traditional Germans (not those who lived under communism for 50 years) has little in common with that of Americans. Germany has lots of rules, and the German people like rules. There are rules for when to shop, when to be quiet and when to put out your trash. It’s against the law to flip someone off in traffic – and anyone who sees you do it can turn in your license # to the police and you’ll receive a ticket in the mail. Same goes for parking in the wrong place, driving faster in the right lane than the cars in the left lane, putting your glass bottles into the recycling bin during quiet hours…. Rules are honorable and followed blindly. When the government makes a new rule, people don’t protest or cheat, they immediately capitulate – and turn in the neighbors who don’t. Socialism appears to work there, even though there is massive gov’t debt. People blithely pay the taxes because that’s the rule. It’s fine to have your work hours reduced and keep your pay the same – that’s the rule. Fewer people game the system because it’s socially unacceptable to do so. A Geitner type wouldn’t be able to get a mortgage, let alone a cabinet post. We traditional Americans don’t get it – because we just aren’t wired that way. We also see how dangerous it is. That’s why Hitler said, “How lucky for rulers that men do not think.”

  21. BillK

    I’ve mentioned before that the left and so many Americans in general love this idea because it absolves them of all responsibility.

    Simply put, your earned money all goes to the Government, and in exchange you’re given an allowance on which to live.

    Or, it’s just like living with Mom and Dad when you’re 16 – they’ll take care of the big expenses and you’ll be allowed to keep a small amount for discretionary spending.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Bill,

      That point is definitely key. I’ve noticed these past decades that Americans, too, prefer the “easy out” with regard to such things.

      Take, for example, a recent road racing incident that resulted in the death of a mother and her child. She had pulled out in front of two clowns involved in an impromptu “race” that clearly was an act if irresponsibility.

      However, in the ensuing media madness and “outrage” the issue of a stoplight at that particular intersection came up.

      Regardless of the fact that a stoplight wouldn’t have changed the outcome one bit, to the huddled masses who can no longer think critically, it seems logical. Yet, if two bozos are unwilling to adhere to the existing speed limit, what makes anyone think a glowing red light will suddenly make them realize they are going too fast?

      Regardless of the fact that a stoplight is my personal sticking point at none-too-busy intersections where people have no idea who’s supposed to go next at a four-way stop. If you notice, at the grocery store, people walk the exact same way that they drive….no regard for anyone else.

      Mental laziness and lack of critical thinking. “It’s just too hard” so “let someone (or something) else do it”. That way, I don’t have to think as it’s already decided for me.

      Like electricity, the brain will choose the path of least resistance. Resistance, in this case, being the necessity to think.

  22. BigOil

    “If we were in Detroit, we could worry every minute,” said Sarah Fuerstenberger, 37. “But here, we’re safe because of the system.”

    What’s wrong with a little hardship from time to time? It’s often the failures we are allowed to experience in our free society that make the successes that much sweeter. Sitting around allowing others to take care of you seems like a very empty existence.

    • Liberals Demise

      RIGHT YOU ARE, BigOil!!

      The very essence of the fabric that makes this nation unique is rugged individualism.

      “THAT WHICH DOES NOT KILL US MAKES US STRONGER!!”

      I submit to all that don’t like our style of government to exert your “Freedom of Choice” and move to where “YOU” will most be happy!!

      Leave this country alone! Do not push your preference upon those that don’t want to be trespassed upon. In other words…….

      “DON’T TREAD ON ME!!!”

  23. 12 Gauge Rage

    It’s nice that this family isn’t experiencing economic hardships but it won’t stay that way for long. Europe is one of the most heavily welfare funded continents in the world. Already cracks are showing in the foundation but the governments simply do a patch up job to create the illusion that all is well. As Europe’s taxable segment of society retires or dies off there will be less people to tax to fund their elaborate cradle to grave welfare programs. Then things over there will really get interesting if not violent.

  24. Liberals Make Great Speedbumps

    Hey Jan and Sarah, I’ll check back with you to see how you’re doing in a few years. I’m curious to see how you both will feel about your utopia when the ragheads overrun your country and decide to behead your four kids while you watch.

  25. artboyusa

    “They also deport their illegal aliens…” I wish! Once you’re here, you’re here to stay, believe me. Not only do they let the wrong people in, they keep the right people out. For example, in the last few years the UK has somehow acquired a quarter of a million Somalis (just the people to make a positive contribution, right?) but the government is fighting tooth and nail to keep out a handful of Gurkha veterans who want to settle here, while still letting in every Tom, Dick and Mohammed who can stow way on a truck and mumble “asylum” as soon as they cross the UK border. Some of us feel the Gurkhas have earned the right if anyone has and are working to get a fair deal for these heroes (see http://www.gurkhajustice.org.uk for details) and even the French allow Foreign Legionairres to become by French citizens “by right of shed blood” if they want to.

    Back in the late 80s, after the plans to hand Hong Kong back to China were announced, the UK government (of Margaret Thatcher, I’m sorry to say) wouldn’t allow any Hong Kong Chinese to emigrate to the UK even though they held UK passports (who needs thousands of well educated, highly motivated and family oriented new citizens? Not the UK, apparently) so they all went to Vancouver instead. It was pure racism and pure stupidity on the government’s part.

    On the main topic, after 18 years over here I think I’ve worked it out. In return for a moderate degree of personal security the Euro deal is that you exchange your right to be in command of your own life to any serious degree and surrrender that right to an all powerful State which treats you as both a dependant (to be indulged and bribed in exchange for your vote) and a potential threat (who must be continually bullied, nagged, harassed, surveilled and intimidated just in case you ever get any funny ideas about ever challenging that State or questioning its right to boss you around). Living here is like being an adult baby; forever dependent, forever “looked after”.

    You really, really don’t want this in the US, especially since I plan to return someday and I’d like the place to at least distantly resemble the country I left.

    • Liberals Demise

      Sorry Artboy…..you are 108 days too late! (I do believe we have some old pictures somewhere)

  26. artboyusa

    Gee Lib, is that all? It seems longer somehow…much longer.

  27. BatK

    Talk about things being “good” in Europe…friend is over there now and apparently all CNN Euro style can only talk about is our Swineflu “epidemic” (only they call it HNH1 because the word “swine” is somehow “offensive” – yeah I know)… propaganda is certainly an art form and the Commie News Network, er Crescent News Network, er Crap News Network certainly knows how to sell their version of “news”

    NBC is just ridiculous… CNN at least makes a pretense of it being “news”

  28. Helena

    “some of the roughly 5,000 leftist demonstrators, marching under the motto “capitalism is war and crisis,” threw stones and bottles.”

    Now this is rich. They’re throwing things because they have TOO MUCH Capitalism?

  29. 12 Gauge Rage

    Europe is just like the story of the frog being slowly boiled alive in a pot of water. The government takes a little bit of your money and freedoms and you adjust. And it keeps doing it until over a long period of time you’ve given away everything that made you free. And the bitter realization was that you were unaware of it while it was happening before your very eyes. It still amazes me how some Europeans look at you funny when you complain about how much the government takes away in taxes-in light of how much they pay. It’s almost as if they view it as peculiar that a person should want to keep most of the money that they earn.

  30. pdsand

    I’m always reminded of the Michael Moore Sicko movie, where he goes and marvels over the French lady that has a government worker come and clean up her house once a week. I’m sorry, but even if it were available, I would not want that kind of babying from the government. I can’t imagine the mentality of someone who thinks that’s a good thing.

  31. GL0120

    Big deal, quit your job, go on welfare, and you can have 52 weeks of paid vacation, increased payments for every little bastard you can pop out, free health care, free or deeply subsidized housing, food stamps, and if you live in Massachusetts, a car that comes equipped with gas, insurance, and AAA!
    Europe has nothing on American freeloaders.

  32. Squito

    Ugh. I remember telling my parents when I first heard about “vegetable heads” that if I ever got in an accident and ended up brain dead, to pull the plug. I couldn’t (and still can’t) stand the thought of simply living off of others as a leech, with no control over my life.

    These guys aren’t comatose, but they may as well be mindless with this kind of dependency on the government. How can they consider this living?


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