A Country's Mindset
Lessons from the 60's
About 48 years ago, in the 1960's when I was in what was known as junior high school. Today it is known as Middle school. I may have been in high school. Either way it was then that the fascinating worlds of history, politics, and government was opened to me by a very insightful Social Studies teacher. This teacher demonstrated that no country can really be said to be better than any other country for a number of reasons mainly their: culture. geography, history and size.,
He also demonstrated that on the vast spectrum government, Capitalism is at one end and Communism is at the other.Another way to look at it is that total freedom is at one end of the spectrum and total government control is at the other. The most efficient and ideal form of government exists somewhere in the middle. A marriage of capitalism and Socialism, a marriage in which the extreme of one can and may be countered by the extreme of the other. Like all marriages, though, forging such a marriage takes time and effort for both forms of government are as corrupting as they are demanding to have full control.. .
A couple of years ago the idea that America was somehow exceptional caused a lot of fuss, especially along political lines. The idea of exceptionalism seems to call up an image that somehow one country is better than another. The fact is that each country is unique in its own way. Each country in Europe is unique in its size, its geographical placement and he people and culture that brought that country into existence. America is unique because of it's size, where it is geographically located, and the diversity of people, and cultures that brought it into existence.
In Europe, each country developed largely because of the dominate people that lived in that particular geographical area. The borders of those countries developing over time through migrations and wars.
America on the other hand, came about through various people groups migrating to the North American continent, for one reason or other, including Native Americans. Including African Americans who were initially brought to the continent when slavery was a necessary evil. The various people groups seeking ways to blend into one unique people group. It's borders largely already determined by geography.
It is the geographical placement of the North American continent that also contribute to America's uniqueness in that it's vastness contains an abundance of natural resources un-matched by any other single country.
US to Europe
A bit of History
I have heard it said that compared to Europe, America is among the youngest supers power in the world. America probably is and for that reason America may not have learned the same lessons that those in Europe have learned. For the most part, it's people has not lived under the rule of one tribal leader/ emperor/ king/ queen or anther. It's people have not gone through the hardships of being invaded time and time again either by another kingdom,or by some foreign power or other. It's people have not learned the necessity to unite for a common good to the degree that Europeans have. The degree to which everyone must sacrifice so that their country, their government could meet the challenge that all countries and governments must meet-the national defense of its country, and the general welfare of its people.
Now, America may not have learned the same lessons as Europe, but it has learned other lessons. It has learned, and continues to learn the necessity for various people groups to accept and learn from each other.in order to build and maintain a strong identity and country. It has learned the value of encouraging and granting individual freedom so that individuals may contribute to the success of the country. These lessons, like the wars in Europe, were learned the hard way and over time. In this process America has largely learned that in order for it to meet the challenge of national defense and the general welfare of Americans, there needs to be a great deal of discussion and contribution from individuals and groups.
Government and Healthcare
Within the challenge of a country or government meeting the challenge providing for the general welfare of it's people, perhaps the greatest need to be met is in the area of healthcare. If the citizens of a country are unable to take care of themselves, neither they nor their country can pros[er. However, healthcare encompasses a wide variety of illnesses both physical and mental which leads to a massive expenditures. especially if it becomes necessary for individuals to be cared for from the cradle to the grave.
As indicated earlier,most Europeans have learned that they need each other and they need to sacrifice for the greater good of their fellow countrymen, and their country, In return, the country and government of these European countries have learned that they need to make sure that the taxes they collect from their people are used for the greatest effect, and that that money needs to be protected from those that would abuse their welfare/healthcare system. For this reason, European countries have adopted various degrees of socialism.
This is not to say that America has not learned anything about the need for some degree of centralization of healthcare in regard to the governments's challenge and responsibility to look after the welfare of it's citizens. In America, though, there still exists a legitimate fear of the government having a great degree of control over the healthcare "industry" and the lives of it's citizens. It's involvement in the lives of it's citizens. It's ability to protect the vast sums of money needed to provide healthcare for everyone.
It is not that Americans do not realize the need for everyone sacrifice for the greater good of all. It is that Americans may tend to see voluntary donations to specific healthcare issues as being better protected and utilized. They question how effective the government can use the money they receive for research of illnesses, development of equipment and procedures to treat various illnesses, while serving all their citizens. For this reason, America has chosen not to move to some degree of socialism. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the American government must take a greater role and to some degree introduce some sort of socialism.
Comparisons as far as healthcare
Over recent years many try to compare America to European countries either individually or collectively under the umbrella statement of "developed Western countries". They tend to do this because they feel that America lags far behind those countries in the way it meets the challenge of providing for the general welfare of its people. They are probably right.
America should not be lagging behind smaller countries in seeking to care for its people. With all the resources America has, and it's diversity of people, America should be leading the world in assuring it's people are generally cared for in a number of ways, especially when the people can not take care of themselves. One of the most important areas of concern being healthcare.
To some degree America does meet the challenge of looking after the welfare of it's people when it comes to healthcare. That is not to say that it can not do better, and it strives to do better, but there are problems. The is a problem that lies in the diversity of the American people, and the size of the country. There is a problem that lies in the expectations of the American people when it comes to healthcare. There is a problem that lies in the diversity of medical issues that must be faced. Medical issues that may not exist in Europe or do exist in Europe to greater or lesser degrees.
Reasons for high Cost of Healthcare
What/ Who is more responsible for the high cost of healthcare in America?
Which is the best approach for America to provide affordable healthcare to all of its people?
US healthcare Explained
When I was in the military, I was stationed in Germany. While there I got to hear much about their "cradle to the grave" system. I also knew of someone who had to go to a German hospital because the local military hospital was full. I soon came to the conclusion that though it seems to be as close as we humans could come to assuring that all of the citizens are taken care of most economically and efficiently, it is also a system that needs work for hospital patients seem to get only the most basics of care. For America to adopt something similar to the socialist/ universal health care system, Americans need to change their conceptions and expectations of healthcare.
US healthcare system is in critical condition