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Why Europeans Think We're Insane

"It wasn't until I left America that I started to realize how badly the American plutocrat owned media lies to the American people through its disinformation campaign."

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This is the carrot-and-stick method of galvanising your population: work hard and you can make millions; don’t work and you’re in real trouble. If you were after some evidence of how the US has managed to enshrine hard-working values in its citizens, this chart is probably a good place to start. And these figures matter.

In my experience as an American expat living in the European Union, the uniform response of Europeans seems to be shock at the fact that Americans while unemployed have no medical insurance. This fact almost never appears in the American plutocrat owned media, except in very forgettable sound bites.

The United States of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy
Author: T.R. REID

Chapter 6 The European Social Model (p. 148 - 149)
The helping hand of the social model is particularly evident when a worker becomes unemployed. Americans on the unemployment rolls tend to get a monthly government check, together with help in buying food and paying heat and light bills. At some level, when his savings fall low enough, an American worker may also apply for free government-supplied health care through Medicaid. In Europe, by contrast, a worker is "made redundant"- that's the brutal British term for being laid off - will get a housing benefit, a heat and light benefit, a food benefit, a child care benefit, a monthly unemployment payment that is almost always higher than the American standard.

The European, of course, will have the same access as everybody else to the public health care system. The American system, in which you lose your health insurance when you lose your job, strikes Europeans as exactly backward. "I don't understand your approach to health," a junior minister in Sweden's health department told me once. "It seems to me that your country takes away the insurance when people most need it."

The chart below which the Telegraph is referring to shows America ranking last in terms of unemployment benefits.

"In the United States, the figure varies from state to state, but overall a couple with two children and an income a little below average will have about 50 percent of earnings replaced by public assistance in case of unemployment. In France, the replacement ratio for the same family is 86 percent; in Britain 83 percent; in Germany 74 percent; in Sweden and the Netherlands 90 percent."

(The United States of Europe by TR Reid, 2004; page 149)

Here the German magazine Der Spiegel says America is in decline.

(Spiegel) - A Superpower in Decline - Is the American Dream Over?
The unemployment rate in the United States is at about 10 percent. But when the people who have stopped looking for work and are not registered anywhere are included, the real number is likely to be closer to 20 percent. For the first time since the Great Depression, Americans have a problem with long-term unemployment.

Did you know that 132 million Americans have no dental insurance, whereas everyone in the European Union has access by law to some kind of dental plan.

The statistic that is being widely reported in the European press is that we have 59 million medically uninsured in America. From a country that boasts 403 billionaires, this is a scandal! While we can all be proud Americans, we don't have to be proud of the inaccessibility of the US health care system. We can do better than this.

Number of Americans without Health Insurance on the Rise
Of the 59 million who don’t happen to be covered with a health insurance, a majority of the people happen to be suffering from a lot of chronic health conditions.

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