Monday, September 04, 2006

Vill du ha'at som i Sovjet eller?

Bill Clinton was talking about poverty on CNN on Sunday night - poverty in an international sense, and poverty as in good ol' American poverty.

Today (thanks Annaa) I came across a discussion in Sweden about the perceived need in that country to dismantle the welfare system, cut taxes, and people's ability (or not) to pay for all sorts of different services out of their own pockets once they have enjoyed those same tax cuts. (DN-artikel, in Swedish.)

This, the United States of America, is a country where not everybody has the right to sick leave. Where in an average workplace you may be asked to donate some of your total of ten vacation days to someone who needs medical treatment. I could make this a really long list of rights people do not have. The short version of that list is this: Surgery without paid sick leave. No legal maternity leave.

When I was growing up in Sweden the general question to ask Leftists was something along the lines of "Do you want it like in the Soviet Union then?" ("Vill du ha'at som i Sovjet eller?"). Now the question is different, and it needs to be asked of those on the Right: Do you really want it like in the United States?

Swedes really want to import the problems Bill Clinton was talking about? While at the same time doing away with a system the rest of the world envies? A system that actually works, in that it creates healthy, educated people? Makes absolutely no sense to me.

And don't get me started on the American eduational system, and the differences between public and private schools, rich and poor, wrong side of the tracks and right.

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