The Horrors Of Socialism
Why right-thinking voters in the USA are terrified of what socialism would mean for the nation
Every Republican voter knows that unless they stand firm, lib’ruls will turn the USA into a socialist quagmire in which welfare queens will live off the taxes of hard-working Americans and the United Nations will come to take away everyone’s guns.
In real life, however, things are rather different and it’s instructive to see just how backward the USA truly is compared to evil socialist European countries.
Let’s begin with unemployment. Everyone knows Europe has trillions of unemployed people because taxes have destroyed jobs, whereas in the USA everyone can become a trillionaire provided they’re willing to work hard.
Except for the fact that for more than twenty years now, Europeans have enjoyed far greater upward social mobility than citizens of the USA, who’ve actually experienced a net downward social mobility. Translated: in Europe more people have risen into middle class income brackets over the last 20 years while in the USA more people have fallen out of the middle class into blue-collar income brackets.
Oh, and that includes becoming very rich. In the USA it’s now nearly impossible to attain great wealth unless you were born into an already-wealthy family with plenty of helpful personal connections. In Europe a surprising number of very wealthy people genuinely started out at the bottom. But who cares about facts? Let’s stick to the fantasy! As for unemployment, that’s another “oops, oh dear” moment for the USA, where the true unemployment rate has been consistently higher in the USA than in Europe for the last 20 years. The true unemployment rate isn’t the official figure; it’s the official figure plus all the people the US government prefers not to count because they’ve been unemployed for more than 12 months and thus don’t matter. Those silly Europeans keep counting them, and keep trying to help them back into work.
How funny and silly those Europeans are, right?
Now let’s look at something you may want to get if you’re thinking you may like a job some day: education. Those silly Europeans pour a lot of money into education because they have this really dumb idea that children who receive an adequate education will become happier and more productive citizens. Now this doesn’t always work: the UK is a very mixed bag, France struggles with children of Algerian descent, and Italy is, well, Italy. But even in places as chaotic and corrupt as Italy, the hard fact is that educational outcomes are dramatically superior to US outcomes even in rich States like California, where 25% of High School graduates are functionally illiterate and a stunning 40% are functionally innumerate.
But hey, who needs an education? If you’ve got wealthy parents, life’s a breeze.
Now let’s look at health care provision. In Europe literally no one goes bankrupt, loses their home, and becomes destitute because of illness. But in the USA it’s commonplace. In Europe, governments make an attempt to ensure that money goes to hospitals and doctors and nurses; in the USA the system ensures that an enormous amount of money goes to health insurance companies, who then kindly deny patients the treatments they need because, well, that would reduce their profits.
Republican politicians, who are famous for always telling the truth and never ever lying, except all of the time, know that if ever socialized medicine was permitted in the USA (which fortunately it never will be) then Death Panels would decide who lives and who dies. The fact that no European country has anything remotely approaching a Death Panel is totally irrelevant, as is the fact that US health insurance companies condemn paying customers to death on a daily basis in order to maintain their net margins.
Who needs facts when slogans are so much nicer and so very much easier to chant?
On the subject of slogans, everyone knows Europeans are taxed up the wazoo and also up other equally painful places whereas the USA is the land of low taxes and opportunity. Except, once again, it turns out that in reality (as opposed to the amusing fantasy-world occupied by Republican voters) the story is different when we look at facts. In the USA the top rate of tax is presently 39.6% whereas the top rate of tax in Spain is 43.5%, the top rate in Germany is 47.5% and the top rate in Sweden is an eye-watering 60.1%. Unfortunately the story doesn’t stop there. Several States in the USA impose their own State income taxes; California and Oregon, for example, levy a 10% rate. So now we’re looking at a top US combined rate of 49.5%. But that’s still not the whole story.
Most people don’t want to die because they get an infection or because they break a bone. Therefore, if it’s at all possible, most people would rather like to have access to health care services. In Europe this is all paid for out of those pesky taxes we mentioned a moment ago but in the USA, land of freedom, mom, and high-fructose corn syrup pies, it’s something additional. In the USA that’s an average of over $1,420 per month for a family of four. That means the average US family has to earn $22,150 before tax just in order to pay for their health insurance. As the average US household income is around $62,200 that means an astonishing 36% of the average US household’s earnings is spent on healthcare. In other words, if we add the cost of healthcare to the tax rate, US citizens end up paying much, much more than their European counterparts.
Luckily for US exceptionalism, US citizens get far less for their healthcare dollar than Europeans. While the USA spends more than twice as much per person on healthcare than the next-highest spender, they get terrible outcomes. Europeans are far healthier than US citizens, their medicines are far cheaper, and — this is important to everyone except Republican voters — nobody ever goes untreated because their regular taxes pay for all healthcare services.
Moving on to trivial matters like gender equality and sexual violence, it’s not surprising that the USA scores relatively low on the equality index but relatively high on the sexual violence index. Furthermore, the USA scores highly on religiosity while much of Europe scores low. As gender inequality and religiosity both correlate strongly with sexual violence, we can see that the USA has a strong advantage here. Those poor Europeans with their attempts to make men and women more equal and their low levels of religiosity can’t really compete when it comes to wholesome things like rape and child abuse. Score big time for the USA, where these things are astonishingly prevalent for a supposedly developed nation!
Oh dear, it’s almost starting to look as if Europeans have a much better deal than US citizens. But it’s not all doom and gloom for those addicted to fantasy. In the USA corporations are allowed to screw their employees, paying them as little as possible and providing zero job security. US workers work an average of 1,800 hours per year in order to earn their pittance and are expected to work overtime either for free or for the same minimum wage as always, whereas those awful French work around 300 hours per year fewer and get 25% extra for the first 8 hours per month of overtime and 50% extra for every hour after that. No wonder the French enjoy life infinitely more than their US counterparts. Not only do they have more leisure time but they have more money to spend when they’re not working! Germans, those paragons of industry, work… 400 fewer hours per year than US workers. They actually get to go on vacations without being terrified they’ll be fired while they’re away from the office!
Damn those socialist European countries!
OK. So to paraphrase the famous Monty Python sketch in The Life Of Brian, apart from better education and better healthcare and better health outcomes and better quality of life and better upward mobility and better incomes and better job protection and lower overall essential expenses than US workers, what has Europe ever done for its people?
The USA can stand proud as a country where millions of people of modest income proudly vote for a Party that’s consistently slashed taxes for large corporations and the ultra-rich while closing clinical facilities, diverting funds from schools, allowing essential infrastructure to collapse, and maintaining the world’s most elaborate and expensive military-industrial complex that sucks in more money per year than any other single element of government spending. Oh, and the USA has also ensured that all those hard-working families will be paying off the National Debt for the next eight hundred and seventy-six years.
But all is not lost for our dear US Republican voters. Who needs job security, health care, or even money to pay the bills when what really truly counts is abortion? Yes folks, vote Republican to stop those baby-killing lib’ruls from killing babies everywhere! We’re all strongly pro-life in Republican World. Never mind our strong support for guns that kill more than 32,000 US citizens every year, and never mind the fact that we incarcerate more people than any other Western nation, and never mind that we’re happy to let people literally starve to death on the streets. It’s all about abortion. Abortion is evil. Because baby Jesus (or is it baby Cheesewhiz?) tells us so.
Now, what about bad old Europe? Oh, ah, um… almost all of those evil European countries actually provide proper sex education and provide contraception. So while the US Republican Party has closed down family planning clinics and made it very difficult or impossible for young people to obtain reliable contraception, Europe has gone the other way. Which means the USA has the OECD’s highest rate of unwanted teen pregnancies. Maybe that’s why the demand for abortion is so high? Because the Republican Party has eliminated any other choice? But wait! Just Say No! Who doesn’t love a snappy slogan? It’s a totally smart and stable genius idea to say to hormone-raddled teens, “sorry guys, you’ll have to wait until you have a job, get married, and then you can have sex.”
That’s totally worked every time it’s been tried!
Shame those evil Europeans think that it’s better to provide adequate sex education, make contraception freely available (and often free) and thereby enable millions of young girls to finish their education instead of getting accidentally pregnant and then having a backstreet abortion which leaves them sterile or dead.
Thank goodness the USA knows the (far) right thing to do!
All in all it’s easy to see why Republican voters are terrified of socialism. Imagine having to live in a world where your kids get a good education, where the roads and bridges and power supply is kept in good repair and where you can drink the water without being poisoned! Imagine having a secure decently-paid job and sufficient time off! Imagine buying food that’s not full of artificial chemicals or made from animals so sick they can’t stand up. Yuck! Who’d want that, right?
Imagine being forced to have good healthcare services paid for out of your taxes! Shame, Europe, shame! And imagine not having the OECD’s highest rate of unwanted teen pregnancies! Worse still, imagine having lower rates of unemployment and nearly zero homelessness! Thank goodness the USA leads the way here, with well over half a million people officially homeless but fortunately the true figure (as estimated by various non-governmental organizations) could be three times as high, thus restoring honor to US aspirations.
It would be truly awful if we didn’t see homeless people everywhere. Imagine how yucky it must be in Europe, where they try to look after people who can’t look after themselves.
Such a horrifying, dark, hopeless world is nearly unimaginable. Well, except for the 450,000,000 people in Europe who actually experience such a world. They’re healthier, happier, more safe and more secure than their US equivalents.
Oh, and those famous welfare queens? Turns out the US government’s own accounting office reports that in 2017 (the latest available data) under 3% of social security claims were considered “potentially questionable.” But more than 22% of invoices from large corporations to the US government were considered “potentially or likely fraudulent.”
Fortunately those large corporations pay juicy and regular campaign contributions to needy politicians, which makes everything all right.
It almost makes a person wonder if a bit of socialism wouldn’t be such a bad thing for the USA to consider.
Nah — just kidding.
Let’s continue to keep the USA free from the scourge of socialism, for otherwise it really wouldn’t be the same nation at all.