Moral Outrage
Whew! God help us!

America in decline through European eyes

The estimated 2 million unemployed Americans who almost had no benefits this Christmas seems a horror show to Europeans, made worse by the fact that the U.S. government does not provide any medical insurance to American unemployment recipients. Europeans routinely recoil at that in disbelief and disgust.

The European Union has a larger economy and more people than America does. However it spends less — right around 9 percent of GNP on medical, whereas we in the U.S. spend close to between 15 to 16 percent of GNP on medical – and the EU pretty much insures 100 percent of its population.

The U.S. has 59 million people medically uninsured; 132 million without dental insurance; 60 million without paid sick leave; 40 million on food stamps.

Everybody in the European Union has cradle-to-grave access to universal medical and a dental plan by law. The law also requires paid sick leave; paid annual leave; paid maternity leave. When you realize all of that, it becomes easy to understand why many Europeans think America has gone insane.

Unlike here, in Germany jobless benefits never run out. Not only that — as part of their social safety net, all job seekers continue to be medically insured, as are their families.

Perhaps the only way for us to remember what we really look like in America is to see ourselves through the eyes of others.

[AlterNet]

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