America

Beryl Gorbman
The Yucatan Yenta
www.yucatan-yenta.com

Most often in the past decade or so, I have felt like a somewhat disgruntled American who moved to another country because it has a more human pace and because the politics, though they are flawed, are not mine. The politics of the US, except for the last 18 months, have made me feel unsafe and and more foreign than I feel in Mexico.

But the mid-term elections this week have put me into a whole other place. I am horrified and disgusted. Disgusted that so many Americans have chosen the path that leads backwards, that clever planners have cashed in on the public’s innate racism and fear, that they are selling their agenda on phrases like, “take back the country.” I have never been so glad that I’ve moved.

I still spend a lot of time in the US, but when I’m there I am insulated by my circle of friends most of whom think like I do, and the rest agree to disagree. At least up until now, that has been enough. In a way, it’s easier than watching CNN International or reading Mexican newspapers and getting the view from outside the US.

Yesterday in the El Diario, Carlos Fuentes, renowned Mexican author and Mexico’s ex-ambassador to France, remarking on the election and on Sarah Palin, called it the “temporada de idiotas,” season of idiots, in America. He is laughing at the US. I imagine this reactions is mirrored by intelligent observers all over the world.

Our international critics had a ball with Bush – there was so much to make fun of, so many ways to show how dumb he was. But Palin pushes ignorance a quantum leap ahead. In his column, Fuentes talked about some blather Palin was uttering about remaining true to “our founding fathers.” A reporter asked her who these founding fathers were and she couldn’t name one. And all she had to do, Fuentes commented was look at all the stuff in the US named Franklin, Washington, etc. but she had no clue – even when give a minute to think about it.

Every time I hear her voice, I feel like screaming.

This temporada of idiocy has a direct correlation to the fine American tradition of voting down educational initiatives in the US all these years, and now we are paying the price with a nation of uneducated citizens.

The new guys want to repeal the health care law. You mean to tell me that the average Joe LIKES having pre-existing conditions bar them from coverage? Does “Joe on Main Street” really want to give back tax advantages to the rich?

The tea party. The only thing good about it is that they are so far off that even the establishment republicans are embarrassed, trying to figure out how to handle them. Well, too late boys – you let them lead you to victory, and now you have to deal with the consequences, which we can only hope result in a complete fragmenting of the repubican party. You can’t even call the tea party right wing. They haven’t thought out their philosophies well enough. They are, as Fuentes says, idiots.

But it’s horrifying that millions of other idiots voted for them.

Yes, times are tough, but who created this? Who gave the finance industry carte blanche to blast its way through the housing industry and much more? Who weakened regulations for the oil companies drilling in the Gulf? Who incorporated “shock and awe” and made it okay for American networks to have theme songs and graphics when the US invaded Iraq? No one in their right minds could think this would all be fixed in 18 months. But they aren’t in their right minds.

Much of this lamentable turnaround is because of the racism that is endemic to America. It’s a fine, old tradition and not easily eradicated. As I’ve said before in this blog, it’s my opinion that President Obama was elected because a lot of people who ordinarily would have voted republican, could not bring themselves to vote for that ridiculous republican ticket. Even they were offended. But since then, they apparently decided that it is truly untenable to them to have this uppity black man in the white house after all.

Hatred of black people in America is a strong thread that will prevail for at least several more generations. It is especially strong during times of national stress, just as naziism gained strength when Germany was quaking from World War I.

The only things that will lessen American racism are that many young white people are growing color blind and that the dreaded immigration, though it causes its own complications, will weaken white supremacy in the United States.

For now, the republican mainstream has been taken over, usurped by a popular movement that defies democracy and civility. These are people who have no intention of compromising, finding a common way. They want to slap that black man right out of the white house as efficiently as they can.

It is a tragedy that Americans can’t see a bit into the distance – to where the President is trying to take us. His own modesty and civility is losing ground for him in the cutthroat world of hatred that is politics. His failure to say bad things about other people is admirable but it isn’t working. (Can’t he find some shills to say this for him?)

If the democrats run Hilary Clinton for president in two years, she might win. She has no compunctions about laying blame on other people. Yes, she’s a woman, but at least she’s white and has kept herself within the establishment, even distanced herself from President Obama. She is smart and knows how to behave. Plus Palin too is a woman (of sorts) so what’s the difference? And the old-school republicans by then will be so thoroughly maddened by Palin that Clinton might prevail.

Hilary Clinton is okay, but she doesn’t hold a candle to Barack Obama in terms of elegance, articulate speech, dignity, integrity, vision, and pure intelligence. I am SO unhappy at the prospect of his possibly being a one-term president.

If Clinton runs for president, this could be the second presidential election that the democrats might win because the republican rivals are untenable. But the next two years, getting there, will be one of the most topsy-turvy political times in the last hundred years. The tea party line of “reasoning” will provide plenty of humorous moments. Drunkenness, undisputed ignorance, etc. will provide entertainment that will help us get through this dark period. The late night comics will have a blast. Jon Stewart will be in heaven.

I will laugh too. But it isn’t funny.

I love my country. At least we are free enough to have these very open elections. We can say what we want and go to the polls without fear. We have the luxury of being indignant and writing crap like this without anyone killing our relatives. And the idiots among us have the right to be idiots. If I lived 100 years from now, I’d look back at this period of American history and see it as colorful.

Note: A reader emailed me this morning that she’s thinking of giving up tea drinking, so as not to give the wrong impression.

About BG

Beryl Gorbman is a writer and private investigator who divides her time between Seattle WA and Merida Yucatan Mexico. She has published two works of fiction, 2012: Deadly Awakening, and Madrugada. They are both available on Amazon and other outlets. Also at Amate Books, and Casa Catherwood in Merida. You can read about them in various articles on this site.
This entry was posted in Merida Expat Life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to America

  1. Powerful, intelligent words. Rare today. Thanks.

  2. If you’re discouraged, you can always read some Tea Party literature, like Paul Rawlings’ recent conservative thriller “Till the Eagle Screams”. It even has right-wing sex, in case you’ve ever wondered what it’s like.

    In this scene, our hero, a conservative Texas sheriff, and his lady friend find refuge from the horror that is New York City during a bewildering visit to appear on a talk show (don’t ask):

    “The room was not chilled when they got back but they were. They clutched each other in bed tighter than they had in two years. They were in a foreign place. They had been to unusual places and were swamped with odd sense impressions. Somehow the oppressive dark thoughts that usually hovered over their intimacy did not descend. They hugged and soon united physically and were briefly enraptured. For him it was very soon over. He was very pleased and soon he was asleep. She was happy the barrier has been lifted. Then she began to feel guilty. And cheated. She still had a restless physical yearning and a conviction that such a hasty fling was inadequate for the momentousness of the event.

    She exerted her strong will to keep from crying. If it woke him it would be complicated and might lead to disordered talk. If he lay there deeply breathing while she was in anguish, he was an unfeeling bastard.

    And so it goes.”

    You can even get it on your Kindle. It’s only 12 bucks and I guarantee you’ll be entertained.

    http://www.amazon.com/TILL-THE-EAGLE-SCREAMS-ebook/dp/B003ODIYDU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=A3E7N7CJV8GS51&s=digital-text&qid=1288932257&sr=8-2

  3. Also, I’d refrain from calling it “the ‘El Diario’” if I were you. You remember what happened last time. Some of the blood feuds that were formed still run very deep.

  4. Debi says:

    well done, and well said! Thanks Berlina

    abrazos
    Debi

    In the community from where We moved here to MX, and where we still vote – the fair citizens once again voted down a number of measures to increase the City’s ability to keep certain taxes. In a falling economy where sales tax revenues aer nearly non existant these nimwits think that saving 200USD per year will make enough of a differnce in their lives that continuing to allow parks to dry up and close, to eliminate public maintenance, and to deny services to the truely needy. GADS – it does make you want to scream.

    Thanks for the rant space!

  5. Shoshana Powell says:

    temporada de idiotas — This phrase reminds me of a headline that appeared in a London newspaper after Dubya won reelection in 2004: How could 54 million people be so dumb?

  6. Shoshana Powell says:

    This essay was beautifully written, Beryl. You have given voice to the frustration I feel when I see people falling for tossed-off phrases like “death panels” (thank you, Mistress Palin!) and be lead down a dead-end, their fear and emotions so thoroughly engaged that they become unable to listen to reason.

    Along with the anger you so well expressed, and which I share, I also have to admit to a feeling of genuine fear. Im afraid that these Tea Party people are going to take a page from the George Bush International School of American Presidency and run with it so far to the right that we all fall off the edge of the world.

    I would love to move to Mexico, but am wary of the drug wars there. This is probably a needless fear, but I do have to admit that it exists in me.

    • Shoshana Powell says:

      ———If the democrats run Hilary Clinton for president in two years, she might win.———-

      Beryl, are you anticipating that Barak Obama might remove himself from consideration in 2012? Or that the Democratic Party may actually usurp his position as presumptive nominee or ask him to step aside? These are thoughts that never occurred to me.

    • BG says:

      No, not a needless fear. The drug wars aren’t in Merida, but it there is no guarantee they will never get here. Maybe we should all move to…let’s see…I’m thinking…
      How about Samoa? Or Greenland?

  7. I think (and hope) Barack Obama will run in 2012. From the primaries on, he has proven the best candidate the Democratic Party has been able to come up with since the 1996 election. And if Hilary is chosen I’m going to have a serious conundrum on my hands as a voter. Her behavior during the ’08 primaries was abhorrent, the claims of “reverse racism” coming from her camp made me sick to my stomach and I just don’t think I can vote for her with a clean conscience.

    • BG says:

      Well, I would vote for her because the alternative is too awful. And I like her husband. b

      • I certainly wouldn’t vote Republican if HilaryClinton were chosen to be the Democratic candidate, but I think I’d sleep better knowing that I didn’t vote at all than to vote for someone I feel turned Democrats against one of their own on account of his race.

  8. suk banks says:

    BG, I can’t stand palin but she must have something we don’t know. I agreed with u 100%.

  9. I’d very much like someone — anyone — to explain to me precisely why these comfortable and privileged white people are so very, very angry.

    When you listen to how Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and their Tea Partying co-travelers carry on, you’d think American history were characterized by one brutal crack-down after another implemented by a vast, sinister, and arbitrarily brutal federal government determined to eradicate laissez-faire capitalism, individual liberties, and evangelical Protestantism.

    How often does the American government “interfere” in the everyday lives of it citizens?

    Why is Medicare widely popular, while a national health-care initiative is angrily, even violently, rejected as an attempt by “Big Government” to insinuate itself into the most private aspects of American lives in order, I guess, to “control” them, and establish “death panels” aimed at reducing the numbers of elderly evangelical Protestants?

    Why is an American national health-care program viewed as a hideously evil socialist/communist scheme by so many Americans while all of America’s staunchest and most loyal allies have a national health-care system?

    Does ostentatiously Zionist Sarah Palin know that Israel has a national health-care system?

    How can it be that Germany, which at present has the strongest economy in Europe, and historically low unemployment, also offers nationalized health-care to its citizens?

    Is Germany creeping toward Socialism or Communism, or even National Socialism?

    Is Germany in any way anti-capitalist?

  10. What’s this about a blood feud over El Diario? How come I wasn’t aware of this, blissfully removed as I am from all the fun down there in Gringo Gulch. :(

    I enjoyed this article on the latest elections in the US of A and would concur with most of the article except maybe the insertion of an H into Saritas last name.

  11. JC says:

    God, Allah, Jehovah, help us!
    Spare us the Trailer Trash of America.
    Save our homeland from the Fundamentalists and Bigots.
    Amen.

  12. richard pauli says:

    Thanks so much for the superb rant.

    The sociopaths may have completely taken over. Sadly, this may not be the end of it all.

  13. SW IN CA says:

    Yes, I agree with your view,
    Yes, I am ashamed of my country.
    Yes, I am afraid of what will happen in the next few years.
    “Barack Obama in terms of elegance, articulate speech, dignity, integrity, vision, and pure intelligence” has been a relief, a pause, a welcome change after the disgusting, insidious bush years. In addition to all the crap happening in the U.S. as a traveler, I would like to travel outside the U.S. without fear.
    But what can I do about all this?

  14. BG says:

    Here’s a wonderful editorial by Paul Krugman, of the New York Times. He says kind of what I said, but much more intelligently and with a more global view. Thanks for sending it, Louise.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/05/opinion/05krugman.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

  15. Valerie Pickles says:

    I dont know much about american politics only that what happens in the USA ususally affects Canada……NOt too long ago it wasnt necessay for Mexicans to visit Canada with a visa but not now all is changed… As for Sarah …………. Ive had lots of people from her part of the world ,visit and eat here and THEY LOVE HER!Yikes….
    I enjoyed reading your article beryl thanks

  16. Jodi Dills says:

    Our mutual friend Bob Bruneau posted this on FB. Glad I read it and reposting, if you don’t mind. I moved back to Seattle one year ago from Puerto Vallarta (12 years there) and participated in this last campaign and election. I’d have done more if I could. It’s a shame and a sham what our country has become and I largely blame the media.
    Just want to say a couple things:
    Hilary won’t run against the incumbent prez; that just wouldn’t happen. And she is doing a great job of Secretary of State.
    And yes, it IS about race; many people are fooling themselves in vehemently declaring it is not. There are few among us who don’t have some feelings of bigotry towards one cultural group or another. Then there are those who openly despise others, due to their own insecurity and indoctrination. We can only hope for a larger and mellower melting pot as time goes on.
    Go to the website http://www.roc4life.com/profiles/blogs/wtf-has-obama-done-so-far to see what our president has been up to the first half of his term. He has done an amazing job but do you hear the pundits talk about any of it?
    I’m a big fan of Paul Krugman. Non-hysterical facts. A bit of opinion. Good stuff.
    Thanks for taking the time to write this, Beryl. I’m glad you posted it and Bob re-posted.
    Your friend in Seattle, Jodi Dills

    • BG says:

      Nice to meet you, Jodi. I have felt the tug – that I should go f/t to Seattle and work for the politics I believe in. Maybe I will go to work on the presidential election. I’m glad to hear you say Hilary won’t run against the President. But it does seem to me that she could get behind him a lot more.
      b

  17. Mary says:

    I hate to tell you, but “Take Back America” refers to the control that the privately-owned Federal Reserve, banks and Wall St. in general has.

    No racism at all unless you are black yourself since the banks, et al, are close to 100% white.

  18. BG says:

    I just had a long talk with my brother, who says that my rant is naive, and obviously written by someone who isn’t going through the day-to-day agony of living in the US. He says that in Seattle, where we live, one out of 100 houses is in foreclosure. At the same time, they had 15 items on their ballot this election trying to raise taxes on various goods and services. None passed.
    I guess I am out of touch. He thinks that one of the mistakes the President makes is having a poor PR system, so people are not aware of the things he’s doing. The health care law goes into effect in stages, and when people don’t see immediate results, they think nothing has changed.

  19. suk banks says:

    BG, as we are 30% tax bracket, I don’t mine but what about all the billionaire, they should paid more tax than us. Our country is broke, as y know. Hey, rich folks, help our country, y can’t take it with y so pay the tax & do not hire expensive lawer or CPA to hide them your tax, it is not fair. Be fair, save our country. Do y want china control our financial. I do not trust china bc they are greed & they are not doing fair game. I know I am a Korean & they messed our country. I never never trust them & I do not but any made in china stuff. I looked all levels, it is made in china,it dors not matter how price cheap I am not buy. I only buy made in USA. It is very hard to find it but that is suk’s motto. Guys, buy made in USA. We need save our country.

  20. BG says:

    oFrom my friend Bob Bruneau’s facebook page, where he published my rant.
    b
    o Ivan Sherman likes this.
    o

    Mavi Lugo De Graf -I really don´t like into the politics of another country, but man, I really agree with his writing!
    18 hours ago • LikeUnlike

    Ivan Sherman What a wonderful expression of what is going on in the US! I will re-post this!
    9 hours ago • LikeUnlike

    Christopher Riordan Hi Bob, Please tell your friend that there is one US resident that agrees with this 100%.
    5 hours ago • LikeUnlike

    Pamala Wernick Theriault Hi Bobby…what a great blog..thank you!!! We are hoping to head to P.V. in the next 2wks…we will be in touch. xoxo
    4 hours ago • LikeUnlike

    Bob Bruneau My friend is Beryl Gorbman, and she lives in Merida. She is a great writer, with some offerings at Amazon.com. I just downloaded “2012, Deadly Awakening”, a mystery surrounding the Mayan calendar and the end of civilization in 2012. It’s fun and moves quickly!
    4 hours ago • LikeUnlike

    Lee Dayfield Outstanding blog post. This is exactly how we are feeling and why Paul talks about being in Nica so much.
    4 hours ago • LikeUnlike
    Comments on USA mid-term elections

    http://gorbman.com/2010/11/04/america/

  21. Marc Olson says:

    Good analysis and well put. I am enjoying your blog.

  22. mexicano says:

    Hey guys! I hate to spoil the party, but hasn´t anybody noticed that just about every policy Obama has pursued is either unpopular, impractical or unaffordable – usually all three? Maybe, just maybe, these factors have played a tiny little part in his recent change in fortunes.

    Oh, wait a minute! I almost forgot. You´re all baby boomers – the guys that made a mess of the biggest success story in history. You´re the guys that tore up all the rule books and trashed the accumulated wisdom of centuries in favor of the destructive, inhuman philosophies of second-rate minds who had nothing to offer but an outlet for your frustrations and your incompetence. You´re the guys that forced the next generation to bail you out of the mess you´ve made. You´re the guys who consistently ignored reality, shirked your responsibilities, lost your nerve and passed the buck.

    The baby boomers – the most overindulged, overrated, self-infatuated, and destructive generation in history. The generation of spoiled children that never grew up. The generation that knows only how to insult and besmirch your opponents … Then again, what would I know? I´m just one of those stupid, fearful, hateful, racist idiots that disgust you so much.

  23. @ Mexicano

    Not a baby boomer here, but if we want to talk about unpopular, unaffordable and unpractical, perhaps the Iraq war deserves to be brought up?

    • Or is it not Big Government Spending as long as you’re blowing people up in the name of freedom and no-bid contracts?

      • mexicano says:

        @ Expats Anon

        Sorry, I can´t really help you with that – the Iraq War was wrong, wrong, wrong!

        Maybe you can help me, though. How do you feel about Obama “blowing people up in the name of freedom” in Afghanistan and Pakistan?

        • Well, I think it’s a dishonest question because we all know that Obama didn’t exactly start those battles.

          What I don’t understand is how anyone can be so critical of a president who was handed a country in crisis. Bush bled the United States absolutely dry and brought it to the breaking point. He trashed the economy. He spent and spent and spent on pointless wars until the US couldn’t possibly take on any more debt. He polarized the people and encouraged a culture war, to the point that Americans felt not only little in common with their countrymen, but actually felt active hostility and fear toward them.

          The current GOP wants to rewrite history and make all of the United States’ current problems Obama’s fault. But those of us with a memory can recall that the financial crisis began under Bush, as a result of his massive deregulation of the banks and legislated cash-grab for the wealthy.

          As far as I’m concerned, any president who was able to keep the country from completely dissolving after Bush’s destructive reign is a competent one. Barack Obama is beyond competent. In fact, when I look at what he’s actually done in the past couple of years, I think he’s a damn good president.

          • mexicano says:

            @ Expats Anon

            In your first response, you ignored the points I´d raised and promptly changed the subject (always a useful tactic that – your political science professors must be proud). No matter, I didn´t cry foul and responded.

            In your second response, you used another dubious tactic, arguing that BO didn´t start “those battles” [sic] therefore the question is somehow illegitimate … Well, he´s been president for two years now, and he was well aware of what he was taking on when he ran for the presidency, and he didn´t start the war in Iraq either but has somehow managed to stop combat operations there, so that´s a pretty feeble evasion … I repeat, why is it wrong to kill people in the name of freedom when Bush does it, but not when BO does it. Why does he get a pass? Hypocrisy? Double standard? An inability to comprehend the question? … You tell me.

            Next, without going into too much detail, the financial crisis stems from many sources, but if you go back to the history books you will see that Bill Clinton, Barney Frank, Barrack Obama and a whole host of other Democrats played their part (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, anyone?).

            Similarly, if you think the culture war was started by Bush then I think you´ve got a lot of catching up to do. The culture war long ago celebrated its centenary, some might say its bicentenary, depending on where you want to start. The works of Rousseau, Marx, and the Frankfurt School, for example, all predate Bush´s birth by decades.

            Lastly, as my alias implies I am not an American. Nor am I a Republican. I did not vote for Bush and was not impressed by his presidency. In short, there is no point in hanging his crimes and other failings on me. My position remains that, with a few honorable exceptions, there has been a gross dereliction of duty by the whole baby boomer generation. They have caused this mess and it pretty pathetic to hear them moaning about it.

  24. Dany Ream says:

    Beryl,
    Loved, loved this…wish I could be so eloquent. My favorite kind of rant. Need I remind some people who are upset about spending and bailouts that the TARP bill was signed into law by none another than George W, before he left office! Another great read!!!!

  25. @ Mexicano

    With your venture into the Ad-Hominem, this will be my final response to this thread. Nothing obligates me to discuss your theory about the Baby Boomers. I didn’t ignore anything or change the subject. I spoke about your claim that everything Obama did has been unpopular and impractical. I didn’t any way assume you were an American or that you voted for Bush. That was your imagination talking. I’m sure we could draw the genealogy of the Culture War all the way back to the dawn of Western Civilization if we really wanted to, but I hardly see how that would be productive.

  26. mexicano says:

    @ Expats Anon

    I didn´t expect a straight answer and I wasn´t disappointed. Truly you are a master tactician when it comes to evasion and denial. As for my “venture into the Ad-Hominem” [sic], well I´m not even sure I can even pinpoint it. Maybe you could help out? Or maybe not. Maybe it´s just another example of your unwillingness or inability to stand your intellectual ground.

    Reverting back to the original post, I came across this article yesterday by Greg Gutfield –

    The West is witnessing the continuation of the first real global tantrum – stretching from Greece, to France, to Berkeley, to London. The babies in every country – so used to entitlements – are now being told that the piper must be paid. But because no one taught them the basics of finance – their only reply is “wah, wah,” and “wah.”

    He missed out Merida, but otherwise I think that about sums it up.

    • BG says:

      Mexicano – Either you are far older than I am or far younger. In either case, you consider your perspective superior. Before you call us all whiners, please look out of your seemingly privileged frame of reference. Not all of us were brought up with silver spoons, to say the least, and yet we are still unhappy. Not whining, but deep down angry. We are not all coddled or spoiled or accustomed to entitlements. It really gets to me how many of the comments I get are so bound by a privileged, white perspective.

  27. mexicano says:

    @ BG

    I´m intrigued that someone who knows so little about my upbringing, class and race can put as much emphasis on them as you have. As it happens I´m a mestizo (which, I´m guessing, makes me a lot less “white” than you); come from a lower class background; and whatever privileges I have enjoyed in life have been earned. Anyway, I thought race wasn´t supposed to play a part in our make-up any more. Isn´t that racist? Sometimes I get so confused by all these new-fangled concepts!

    But enough about me, let´s talk about you. Of course you´re angry. The dreams of hope and change that you´ve harbored all these years are proving to be as false and destructive as people like me warned they would be. Quite simply, the wheels have come off your liberal, big government wagon and it´s lying broken beyond repair in the ditch. For better or for worse, the free ride is finally over.

    The normal adult response to such a situation would be to admit something has gone terribly wrong, re-examine the evidence, and try to avoid repeating the same errors in the future. But that has not been your reaction. Instead you are clamouring for more of the same (more spending, more regulation, more central control) whilst searching frantically for scapegoats (in the form or rich, white people, apparently). This is the behavior of the immature child, the spoiled toddler who won´t accept responsibility for the destruction it has caused and points the finger of blame at someone else. It is also typical of the baby boomer mentality.

    If this perspective comes across as “superior”, then it isn´t meant to. It is only meant to be an accurate reflection of what we used to call the truth.

    • BG says:

      Perhaps you are right. Here all along I’ve been thinking maybe there was some little contribution I could make to make the world a better place. Not so, you say. It will be fucked no matter what I do, so best to leave society to its own destruction, as you seem to be suggesting. I’m a spoiled, whining, brat who can’t have her way. All of those rose-colored hopes for my country are fading and it’s all my fault for thinking that there could be a better world. Even though I’m too old to have the excuse of being a baby boomer, I’ve nonetheless been horribly optimistic, stood up for what I thought was right, and generally been a cranky pest. I fully accept responsibility for America’s failures. The selfishness and greed of the government leaders had nothing to do with it. Their selfishness and greed paled next to mine. Because for the last eight years, I’ve been in heaven, under George Bush, where all has been as I wished. What’s wrong with me? Thanks for the slap of reality,
      b

  28. mexicano says:

    Oh, that´s good, bg! How very clever of you to blend self-righteousness and sarcasm to such good effect! For a minute you almost had me believing that a valid point was being made. But, of course, you then blew it completely with the bit about the politicians and their greed and stuff … Well all I can say is that´s pretty rich coming from someone who tirelessly advocates bigger government! No wonder the world is in such a mess!

    In short, bg, if you really wanted to “make the world a better place”, then you might want to start by trying to understand what it is in your nature that prevents you from seeing this obvious and very dangerous contradiction at the heart of your argument. I think I know the answer, but that is a topic for another day.

  29. @Mexicano

    I’m terribly glad to see that you’re so comprehensively well-versed in macroeconomics that you’ll be able to answer some questions that have been troubling me.

    Given your expertise, you’ve certainly read and studied the work of Fredrich Hayek, the economist now universally regarded as the world’s most lucid and aggressive defender of laissez-faire capitalism against the encroachments of socialism and Big Government.

    Since Hayek passionately opposed the very things you passionately oppose, such as “Big Government,” would you please be so kind as to explain precisely why Hayek, in The Road to Serfdom, his most famous work, had the following to say on the topic of national health care:

    Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance, where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks, the case for the state helping to organise a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong. …[T]here is no incompatibility in principle between the state providing greater security in this way and the preservation of individual freedom.”

    Also, how is that Germany, a country with all-time low unemployment, an astounding GDP, a robust domestic market, and strong, active, well-respected labor unions, is able to offer its citizens a banquet of social services, including national health care, far more lavish than anything ever dreamed by even the most wild-eyed Big-Government-loving American Baby-Boomer?

    I’m sure that I, and many other faithful followers of the always-delightful and ever-provocative gorbman.com, will be much improved by your cogent thought-provoking answers.

  30. mexicano says:

    @HDN

    You are correct in your assumption regarding my appreciation of Friedrich von Hayek. While I would dispute your claim that he is “universally regarded as the world’s most lucid and aggressive defender of laissez-faire capitalism”, I have read several of his books and have one on my desk as I write. Truly, he was an inspirational genius who contributed greatly to the left´s intellectual demolition, and it´s a great pity more people don´t read his work.

    However, this is not to say that the man never put a foot wrong, nor does it mean I have to agree with every word he ever wrote. The section you quote is a good case in point. This passage comes, of course, from his one of his earlier works, and in later years he recanted. In “The Constitution of Liberty” (1960), for example, he writes –

    “There are strong arguments against a single scheme of state insurance; and there seems to be an overwhelming case against free health service for all”

    Regarding your other point, I have to admit I do not really understand your obsession with Germany. The country, as we all know, was the first welfare state in the modern age (under Bismarck), but that led directly to something we call World War I, which in turn led to something we call World War II, which in turn led to something we call The Cold War. Germany was on the wrong side in all three (well, half of Germany was on the right side in the Cold War, but only just and only thanks to the Allies). Some track record! I hope you´ll excuse me if I don´t accept your claim that Germany is the role model we should all be emulating.

    But, that aside, the reason that Germany can afford such luxuries has been well documented, not least by Mark Steyn, and that reason is the American tax payer. Here he is in America Alone (a book I heartily recommend to you) –

    “Euro-Canadian socialized health care is, in essence, subsidized by American taxpayers: since the end of World War Two, Washington has assumed the defense costs of its allies, thereby freeing up those countries to spend their revenues on lavish social programs”

    Furthermore, your claim that Germany´s unemployment levels are at an all-time low is false – according to Wikipedia, for example, it was 1.2% in 1960 – and, at 7.5% it is hardly something to be proud of. Bush, for example, was rightly and roundly condemned when the unemployment rate in the USA reached 7.2% toward the end of his second term.

    Lastly, Hugo, let´s take a quick look at the bigger picture for a moment shall we … Despite all the support provided by the USA in terms of defence spending, the European social welfare state that you so admire is now utterly bankrupt, both financially and morally. The riots have already started and we haven´t seen anything yet. It has been so disastrous, in fact, that its populations cannot now even be bothered to breed enough to replace themselves at a rate sufficient for them to survive as peoples. As a result, they have had to import foreigners in such enormous numbers that they will soon be minorities in their own countries. Then they will cease to be altogether. Now, to you liberal-minded types, that may be a great result. But for me they aren´t worth “spit” (as I think you Americans are fond of saying).

    I hope that was cogent and thought-provoking enough for you.

    Mexicano

    • BG says:

      To quote a well-known articulate american hero, “Can’t we all just get along?”
      No. the answer is No.
      This is a terrific discussion and I bet you guys would like each other should you ever chance to meet in person.
      b

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