Friday, January 11, 2008

Not That Dead After All !

The fact is sufficiently rare for it to deserve a post from me.

An opinion piece in a major US newspaper dares to dispel one of the Great Truths spewed out by many in the US: no matter how many love to badmouth us, bash us, call us withered and old, obsolete, Europe is alive and kicking.

Europe is well and good, and a much nicer place to live in than the US. Yes, that shocking truth has been revealed for American eyes to read, written by one of their own, a very much renowned economist.

Thank you very much, Mr Krugman, for daring to come out with a reality that runs counter all the fools who believe they're the alpha and omega of the universe in your country.

Check out the article in today's edition of the New York Times: The Comeback Continent, by Paul Krugman.

See, no only do we have fridges, electricity, but what's more we have TV, DVDs, mobiles, and even broadband internet access, but we live in a much more secure place. Because we pay our taxes, and give money so it can be redistributed to all. We're not Robin Hood and Europe isn't Sherwood, but at least here, there is something to catch you when you fall, and we don't spit our contempt on people who have accidents, who lose their jobs, who get sick or who're less lucky. It's no charity dictated by some god's moral, it's a choice made by citizens. A choice of a society in which the pursuit of happiness isn't racing to die working, and self-development and self-fulfillment can exist outside of the office.

A choice of a society where we don't go around claiming we'll never get sick or old, or we'll never lose our jobs unless we're losers. We don't claim we're all individually self-sufficient, and free to choose more or less health care if we want (which really means: whether we can afford it, it never has anything to do with "want").

We're a society that says: we'll get old, we'll get sick, and we can lose our jobs. And we must do something to insure we can live on, and live as well as possible. And to ensure this, we empower the state, and we pay our taxes. And we remember that the states are the only institutions where we have a say, that's called elections. We have a true power, that is called the right to vote.

We're a society that knows very well that companies and corporations are not philanthropic by nature, that they're there for profit only, and that they're anything but democracies. That we have no say, no true power in them. And that we cannot trust them, because it makes no sense to trust into institutions which do not exist to serve people, but to serve a goal named profit.

So we give power to the state, the one institution we can control. We pay taxes. And we live a better life.

Oh, and we do not delude ourselves into thinking we're above old age, sickness, or other accidents.

In short, we are adult enough to recognize we're only human.

No comments: