Showing posts from February, 2012

We're not like Europe

"We're not like Europe" is a phrase I've heard a lot in recent years. It seems to have become the standard excuse for not getting things done in this country. Take health care, for example. Pretty much everybody in Europe, rich or poor, is covered by some sort of health care program, and they spend about half as much per capita on health care as we do. It may not be perfect, no humanly organized system is, but it seems to work pretty well overall. Yet for some reason we can't do it here because "We're not like Europe." European health care, we're sternly told, is a heartless socialist program, and we're not socialists, so we can't do it here. Or how about intercity rail transportation? Europeans enjoy a wonderful system - a mix of modern high speed trains between major cities along with scores of conventional trains serving smaller communities. These enable people to travel quickly, comfortably, and reliably from town to town, skip