We’ve all seen that little box about why Denmark is the happiest place on Earth (which I think is less than completely scientific – how can you measure happiness?) and they list all the reasons why, like health insurance and stuff (my wife thinks it’s because they have Legoland). We’ve all seen the memes about how Iceland jailed all the bankers and Germany and Norway have free Universities, and how American police kill as many people in a day as British police do in a year.
They seem like a pretty reasonable argument that these social policies work and the USA should learn from them a bit. They do to me, anyway, and I think they do to most logical, reasonable people. But right-wingers, progress blockers and moaning defeatists always object: “But those countries are much smaller than America and they have different cultures.”
Well, the different culture thing is partly true, but that’s sort of the point – their cultures are superior.
They say “America is so much bigger. Those things just wouldn’t work.” I don’t see what size has to do with it. If country X has 10 million people and country Y has 100 million people, and they tax their citizenry at the same rate, country Y will raise 10 times as much revenue as country X, so they will be able to spend 10 times as much on social programs, which they will need to, because they have ten times as many people.
They say “But the USA is such a diverse country.” So what? No matter how diverse people are, everybody needs the same vitamins and minerals and daily number of calories. Everybody has two arms and two legs and takes up one seat on public transportation. People may have different races, religions, and tastes in music, but we all have the same basic needs.
They say “America has a gun culture. We can’t give that up.” Culture, shmulture. When you have a culture that actually threatens the lives of the people living in that culture, then that culture needs to change.