– Some sugar in your cappuccino?
Two people who met on LinkedIn, are having a conversation about economic growth in a coffee shop in the center of Paris. One is a French journalist and the other is a 62 years American who left Romania and communism in his 20’s.
– No, thanks. But I have something very sweet to say: America will fail while Europe and France will ultimately succeed, the data is very clear and indisputable, said Alex Gray from NY.
And he started his argumentation.
– There is no doubt that Europe, and France in particular, has problems. It is inevitable for any people to develop problems with their economy, politics, and almost every aspect of any sovereign nation. Every nation continues to progress or regress, which makes change, and its consequential challenges, inevitable, and a fact of life. However, there are long term historical trends, which make the propensity of one culture to move in a certain direction. And of course there is basic data, which describes any country in comparison to another, and no matter how hard we try to interpret that data in a way convenient to one’s argument, there are basic facts whish are indisputable.
In France the life expectancy is 82.57 years. In the United States, it’s 78.74 (both 2012 data). France has a national medical health care system, which is universally accepted as the best medical system in the world. In the United States, which has a for-profit medical system, 40 million people, mostly children, are without any access to medical services. The recent passage of “Obamacare” has reduced this number by 14 million, yet still leaving more than 26 million people without any medical care. In the US, bankruptcy is the most likely reality for anyone diagnosed with a catastrophic illness such as cancer.
In the US 32 million Americans can’t read. That’s 14% of the population. 34% of the American populace has never owned a passport, and only 18% speak a language other than English. In France 99% of the population can read and write. In Norway, literacy is 100%! In Europe only 46% of the population speaks only one language, 25% are trilingual and more that 10% speak four or more languages. In Norway almost 99% of the population speaks English.
UK has enacted legislation, which prohibits the teaching of creationism as science in public and private schools. In the US there are public schools, which actually teach creationism as science. In US 40% of the population believes that the Earth is 6,000 years old and that humans lived on the planet at the same time dinosaurs populated the Earth. It is difficult to correctly express the profound religious fanaticism that has propagated in America unless one lives there and happens to be educated enough to correctly understand both theology and science. And the astonishing truth is that religious fanaticism has been growing every year as the level of education and its quality gradually decreases. In 21st century America, school boards are actively fighting to force public schools to include creationism dogma in science books to be taught together with genetic science. America is rapidly becoming non-sectarian plutocracy.
America has 4% of the world population and 25% of the world inmate population into jails. More than 60% of the prison inmates in America are minority and more than 95% come from families in deep poverty. America is the only country, which has private correctional institutions operated and owned by private for-profit corporations. In 2008 in the state of Pennsylvania, judge Mark Ciavarella and senior Judge Michael Conahan were convicted for receiving money from a private company, which operated juvenile prisons, to which said judges had sent monirs for minor offenses to increase their profits. And astonishingly since 2008 the number of private correction institutions in America has continued to grow. No other nation contemplates or allows for-profit private correctional institutions to exist in their country. Imagine being the parent of a teenager in America today! Imagine being the parent of a black teenager in Florida, New York, city of Chicago or St. Louis!
When asked whether the United States could repair the damage it has suffered to its reputation during the Bush presidency and especially since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Bernard Kouchner replied, “It will never be as it was before.” Regarding America, says Mr. Kouchner, “I think the magic is over.”
It has been over for 30 years but nobody seems to want to notice. However, what Mr. Kouchner did not mentioned, is the hidden story of how America helped build the foundation of what we mistakenly refer to today “the American Dream” in every country which was destroyed by WWII, and how it has been systematically disassembled in United States commencing in the second half of the 1960s.
And finally, before my cappuccino becomes cold, let me quote the 2011 documentary called ‘The Flaw’. “We need to have capitalism work for us, not work us over. We need to figure out a way to make profits create jobs and wealth for everybody, not profits to create huge wealth for very few. If that’s the case than, capitalism will no logger work, because people will not stand for it. And what has made capitalism great for the last 500 years is that it actually created a better standard of living for everyone. The capitalism of the last 30 years, has decreased the standard of living for everyone, except those at the very top.”
credit: hjjanisch, la tour eiffel II