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Why are europeans so clueless?

alphacat

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Reading through this site and others, in conversations and in the the press, it is startling apparent to me that Europeans who regard themselves as well informed are actually amazing misinformed about so many issues.

This is a thread to dispel so of the misunderstood ideas and facts I have which hare out there.

To begin, economics. I am amazed by the fact that until very recently, no European I talked to seemed aware of the precarious situation in Europe with regard to the impending bankruptcy of the nanny state. Even though this has begun to seep into the public consciousness, the stark and extreme nature of this problem are still unknown in Europe.

For purposes of reference, here are the figures expressed as a percentage of GDP which some selected states owe in unfunded public pension liabilities, just one aspect of social services:

U.S. 14%
G.B. 18%
France 79%
Germany 87%
Italy 195%
Belgium 264%
Denmark 350%
Sweden 475%

Now, remember, debt is always to be measured vis a vie economic and population growth. The U.S. economy is growing briskly while the E.U. is stagnant. U.S. population is expected to rise to 500 million by 2100 while the E.U.'s is expected to fall to 370 million.
 

josh

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The economy isn't everything. No matter how poor you are at least you can get free healthcare.
 

Schweddy

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alphacat,

Welcome to Debate Politics.

Mind posting a link to validate those digits?
 

alphacat

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josh said:
The economy isn't everything. No matter how poor you are at least you can get free healthcare.
I don't know if it has occurred to you, but the "free" healthcare isn't free.
 

alphacat

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vauge said:
alphacat,

Welcome to Debate Politics.

Mind posting a link to validate those digits?
Certainly:

http://www.westbournemouthukip.com/pensions.htm
http://www.cepr.org/press/LM3502_Disney.htm
http://http://www.monitor.com/cgi-bin/iowa/ideas/?article=64
http://http://www.eei.org/magazine/editorial_content/nonav_stories/2000-09-01-aging.htm http://www.brookings.edu/press/review/summer97/bosworth.htm

Remember, Europe has the added burdens of much higher social safety net cost, lower birth rates, much lower GDP growth rates, less ability to compete with emerging economies and much more rigid labor markets when compared with the U.S..
 

josh

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"I don't know if it has occurred to you, but the "free" healthcare isn't free."

Although the rich aren't taxed enough, the basic model is that those who have the most pay the most tax. Everyone should be have a right to healthcare no matter how much they're earning.
 

Imudman

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josh said:
"I don't know if it has occurred to you, but the "free" healthcare isn't free."

Although the rich aren't taxed enough, the basic model is that those who have the most pay the most tax. Everyone should be have a right to healthcare no matter how much they're earning.
Should everyone have the right to expect someone else to pay for their healthcare?
 

Imudman

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galenrox said:
If they can't afford it themselves, yes.

I'm not speaking of you in particular, but I find it ironic that people who claim to be for a "culture of life" are opposed to abortion, or letting people in comas die, but support the death penalty and think that poor people who can't afford health care should be rather left to die than be given a handout. I mean, does the culture of life only apply to those who either aren't born or aren't functioning?
For starters, I don't support the death penalty. Nor do I support letting people die in the streets. But I don't think it's the government's job to rob Peter in order to pay Paul. Acts of charity should be acts of charity, not acts of larceny. Taking care of people in need should be left to the private sphere where money and resources are collected from voluntary donations, not confiscated at the end of the government gun.
 

Imudman

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galenrox said:
But don't you think it should be more important to take care of the already born before you worry about the unborn?
When my wife was pregnant the first time, she had a very difficult pregnancy. I had to confront this question in my mind when I considered it might come down to choosing between the life of the baby, or the life of my wife. I resolved to choose my wife. Thankfully it didn't come to that.

But your question is in the context of whether there should be public funding for health care. In that event, since I believe the unborn are people too, all people should have the same oppportunity to live. That means the baby in the womb should have the same opportunity to recieve treatment as the mother. Now, why should I be forced to contribute dollars to a procedure that would unjustly end the life of the baby? At least I'm doing it involuntarily, so I have an excuse to assuage my conscience...
 

Naughty Nurse

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Imudman said:
Taking care of people in need should be left to the private sphere where money and resources are collected from voluntary donations, not confiscated at the end of the government gun.
Perhaps you should apply the same to the military and war?
 

Naughty Nurse

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galenrox said:
Oh ho ho! You're a crafty little bugger (no pun intended...or is it?) aren't you!
Indeed, cuddly sir, indeed.
 

Imudman

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galenrox said:
So you view a fetus as valuable as a born and raised human?
Depends on what you mean by valuable. I believe an unborn child has the same human dignity as we do. The same rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...
 

Naughty Nurse

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Imudman said:
Depends on what you mean by valuable. I believe an unborn child has the same human dignity as we do. The same rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...
... that a poor person without health insurance doesn't have?
 

Imudman

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Naughty Nurse said:
... that a poor person without health insurance doesn't have?
In America, even poor people enjoy these rights (except now private property is no longer allowed if your city wants it so it can give it to a mall developer)...
 

debate_junkie

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Imudman said:
Depends on what you mean by valuable. I believe an unborn child has the same human dignity as we do. The same rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...

Wow... Imud and Galen... good points on this topic. I fall in the midst of both of you I suppose. While I believe abortion should be left strictly as a medical procedure (life and death choices needing to be made), I also believe that we do need to do a bit more worrying about those already born.

The reason I bring this up, is because many of those who are anti-abortion say "There's always adoption." And while this is true, we still have hundreds of thousands of children wasting away in a foster care system that is inept in alot of ways. They are overlooked, repeatedly, because we as a society have put so much emphasis on "babies". Hollywood goes to poor countries to adopt children, and we've many that need the same here.

I guess what it boils down too, is there has to come a point in time where tough decisions need to be made. I would sooner see NO child suffer in foster care, but the reality is they are. Do they not deserve the right also, to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Just some food for thought.
 

Imudman

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galenrox said:
But which do you view as more important, the life of someone who was fully developed, born, and started a life (however shitty it may be) to stay alive, or a fetus to become alive (or to stay alive in your opinion)?
You're asking me to assume the role of Creator and decide which life is more important to me. It's out of my job description. Only God has that authority. For those people, say, doctors in a triage unit who have to choose which patients to save, they have a heavy burden. But notice they're trying to save lives, not end them.

Forcing me to pay for a procedure that ends life is immoral on more than one point. Not only does it rob me of my livelyhood, it makes me an accessory to the crime of murder. It also elevates the role of government in our society to the role of Creator God. The whole process devalues human life, which is undignified to humanity...
 

Imudman

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debate_junkie said:
...I guess what it boils down too, is there has to come a point in time where tough decisions need to be made. I would sooner see NO child suffer in foster care, but the reality is they are. Do they not deserve the right also, to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Just some food for thought.
Yes they do. More importantly, it goes against the laws of nature to kill unborn children. Just because it's within someone's power to end the life of an unborn, it doesn't mean they have the right to end it. Suffering? Ever see a video clip of an unborn baby trying to escape surgical instruments? It ain't a pretty sight...
 

Urethra Franklin

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Imudman said:
Yes they do. More importantly, it goes against the laws of nature to kill unborn children. Just because it's within someone's power to end the life of an unborn, it doesn't mean they have the right to end it. Suffering? Ever see a video clip of an unborn baby trying to escape surgical instruments? It ain't a pretty sight...

And have you ever seen the real thing as opposed to one of those propoaganda videos the religious freaks put out? It's quick, suffering-free, and doesn't kill anybody as it's done on foetuses, not babies.

As for Europeans being cluseless, the starter of this thread is highly blinkered. It is United Statesians who are largely cluless to the principles of a civilised society (welfare state, available health care etc.) By measuring 'success' purely on economic, capitalistic outcomes one ignores the things which reallly improve the life of the people, and that isn't being able to afford those extra fries at McDonalds or having a bigger, shinier car.

I'd rather live in "clueless" Europe with our human rights, help for the needy, health care and social protection, than in the land of ghettos, an apalling rich/poor divide, and Hollywood stars who can afford plastic t*ts while their neighbours in South Central can't afford to take their sick and needy to the doctor's office.
 

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:applaud Well said, Urethra.


And welcom back. Where have you been? Missed you!
 

Urethra Franklin

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Naughty Nurse said:
:applaud Well said, Urethra.


And welcom back. Where have you been? Missed you!
Thank-you sweet-pea.

I've been in civilised Spain, where under their new law the first homosexual couple got married yesterday. Get yourself over there Naughty, and find a jorny jung José!
 

Naughty Nurse

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Urethra Franklin said:
Thank-you sweet-pea.

I've been in civilised Spain, where under their new law the first homosexual couple got married yesterday. Get yourself over there Naughty, and find a jorny jung José!
Packing my case as I type!

Europe still leading the way in social progress.
 

Urethra Franklin

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Naughty Nurse said:
Packing my case as I type!

Europe still leading the way in social progress.
Isn't it amazing that the vatican urged Spanish priests, nuns and other assorted paedophiles onto the streets to protest about this law, yet the week previously in a demonstration in support of the world's poorest communities, there wasn't a habit or a priest's frock to be seen. Does this demonstrate the priorities of the church, hatred before love for the poor?
 

Naughty Nurse

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Urethra Franklin said:
Isn't it amazing that the vatican urged Spanish priests, nuns and other assorted paedophiles onto the streets to protest about this law, yet the week previously in a demonstration in support of the world's poorest communities, there wasn't a habit or a priest's frock to be seen. Does this demonstrate the priorities of the church, hatred before love for the poor?
Urethra, honey, helping the poor is not in the best interests of the Catholic church:

"I'll give you a meagre portion of rice if you'll convert to Catholicism" will only work on those who are really starving.
 

Imudman

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Urethra Franklin said:
And have you ever seen the real thing as opposed to one of those propoaganda videos the religious freaks put out? It's quick, suffering-free, and doesn't kill anybody as it's done on foetuses, not babies.
You know what? It's baby killing because babies are killed during an abortion. Look up the definition of fetus sometime. And I wasn't born yesterday; I know the difference between a video clip and reality.

As for Europeans being cluseless, the starter of this thread is highly blinkered. It is United Statesians who are largely cluless to the principles of a civilised society (welfare state, available health care etc.) By measuring 'success' purely on economic, capitalistic outcomes one ignores the things which reallly improve the life of the people, and that isn't being able to afford those extra fries at McDonalds or having a bigger, shinier car.
Over here, we refer to ourselves as Americans. And if Americans are clueless to the principles of civilized society, then I say good. At least we won't end up where you're going to be in about 30 years, completley and utterly financially bankrupt and wondering where your native population went.
I'd rather live in "clueless" Europe with our human rights, help for the needy, health care and social protection, than in the land of ghettos, an apalling rich/poor divide, and Hollywood stars who can afford plastic t*ts while their neighbours in South Central can't afford to take their sick and needy to the doctor's office.
You really are clueless, if you think that's what America's all about. Hmmm, oh well, I could enlighten you on a few things, but what's the point? You'd just continue looking down you nose at the very people who saved your asses several times over the last century...
 
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