To go back to that posting about Western Europe vs. the United States, I have another thought about it.
If people who actually thought about the question would respond about one versus the other, you'd hear a lot about how the American system is better because our lower taxes and less regulatory rules creates an economy that fosters more flexibility and innovation....blah...blah...blah..... This is all shorthand for "You Can Get Really Fucking Rich." Greed, we are told, is good, and the American system works it so that greed girds the great economic wheel much more effectively than then the European model. That's fine if you really want to get rich, but while it would be nice to be rich, I'm quite okay with not. All I want is a nice, somewhat high-paying job that isn't too stressful, doesn't force me to work long hours, and has four weeks of vacation (actually, all things considering all I want is a job, but that's another matter). In other words, all those supposed benefits to the American system of capitalism doesn't really matter to me because none of it really matters to me.
There was a story once on "60 Minutes" about a recent study that showed that the country that had the highest amount of satisfied citizens was Denmark. The reason why is that the Danes never had any delusions of grandeur about their country and don't have any delusions of grandeur about the future of their country. They're just happy being what they are-- a nice, somewhat cold, European country whose biggest claim to fame is a pastry. The best way to describe how they feel about their country is that "it's fine" and everybody fine with it. Seeing as they have no great expectation for themselves or their country, they all have the kind of lifestyles I've mentioned up above and are quite okay with it.
So does this mean that I hate America? Now, I appreciate and love this country as anyone who isn't one of those moronic GI Joe, "America, Fuck Yeah" types. Like a lot of people who came to this country, my family was one of those great huddled masses who wound up here because they were being persecuted elsewhere and came here for safety. I totally appreciate the meaning of that. It also says a lot about a country because there's not many countries that would elect as President someone who is of mixed race and whose father came from Africa. It's one of the reasons why I drank the Obama Kool-Aid, because he represented everything that's great about this country and I saw in him the possibility of this country's redemption.
But still, there's something to be said about how the Danes see things and how they're quite happy with having diminished expectations. Considering how things are going in this country, we should probably start getting used to it.
Get Me a Bucket
4 years ago