7 February 2005

Bushwhacking the American dream

A Common Dreams article (found via 12th Harmonic) has some interesting stats to reflect on as we ponder the new Bush budget:

  • In the EU, there are 322 physicians per 100,00 people; in the United States, 279.
  • The U.S. ranks 26th among the industrial nations in infant mortality.
  • The U.S. ranks 24th among the industrial nations in terms of economic equality. (All 18 of the most developed European countries have less income inequality between rich and poor.)
  • The U.S. homicide rate is four times higher than the EU's with the rates of childhood homicides, suicides and firearms-related deaths in the United States exceed those of the other 25 wealthiest nations.
  • The United States has only 4% of the world's population but contains one-quarter of the world's entire prison population.
  • The average paid vacation time in Europe is now six weeks a year compared to two weeks in the U.S.

And yet the U.S. continues to dump massive amounts of money in its military, ignoring programs that could reduce crime. Under Bush, the U.S. tax structure has been revised to make the rich-poor gap even wider. The Bush budget includes a 10% increase over FY 2004 for the Department of Homeland Security and $2.6 billion for Department of Justice counterterrorism operations (a 19% increase over FY 2004 levels) while gutting social programs. The new budget would slice a $600 million grant program for local police agencies to $60 million next year and grants to local firefighters to $500 million. The Environmental Protection Agency's $8.1 billion would drop by about 6 percent and the $2.2 billion program that provides low-income people with home-heating aid would be cut to $2 billion.

Other blogments on the Bush can be found at: Daily Kos, Nick Douglas, At Ease, and Talk Left.

5 comments:

Cosa Nostradamus said...

.
For the rich, the American Dream is a nightmare: If we all get a fair shot, and help each other get it, they lose, or so they think. So they're dedicated to making life for rest of us a living nightmare, under constant threat to our jobs, our homes, or health, and our families. I know from personal experience.
.

Karlo said...

If it means an extra serving of caviar, what's an extra life of two.

Anonymous said...

There is one word that is missing from the American vocabulary: compassion. We've demonstrated it abroad and the figures above reveal that we certainly lack compassion for those within our own borders, too.

- Robert

delftsman3 said...

BS
In the EU, there are 322 physicians per 100,00 people; in the United States, 279.

Yes, they have more registered physicians...and it still takes an average of three times longer to get in to see any of them on a non-emergency basis...BTW, EU also considers some areas(such as chiropracty(sic)) to be medicine, while we license these fields as NON medical, so that figure is misleading.

The U.S. ranks 26th among the industrial nations in infant mortality.

Your right, this is something we need to improve. However, it must be noted that in the US we have the medical care to deliver a much higher number of "at risk" infants that would never have survived birth, or for very long after, in many other countries. We have a much higher per capita rate of births to older and younger women than in those other countries, and these births are inherently more prone to higher motality rates. We also have a higher average of births per mother than in these other countries, higher number of births, higher number of deaths. one other factor to consider is that we have a much higher number of mothers that would not have survived themselves as infants had they been born in some of those other countries, and weakness tend to multiply over generations IE, a child born of a mother that would not have lived herself without advanced medical care at bith, born of a mother that would have died at birth in those other countries in the 50's. The latest infant carries a much higher risk of mortality from the outset. You might call it reverse evolution.

The U.S. ranks 24th among the industrial nations in terms of economic equality. (All 18 of the most developed European countries have less income inequality between rich and poor.)

Yeah, as Churchill said:"socialism is a system that spreads the most misery among the most people" Glad you agree he was right.

You forget to mention that while the total number of the Rich in europe is MUCH smaller than in the US, those that ARE rich are in the SUPER rich class, and the poor are all wards of the state on a dole. On a graph it balances out, with the huge percentage of people in the middle.

The U.S. homicide rate is four times higher than the EU's

Source for this please?

with the rates of childhood homicides, suicides....

Again, source?

and firearms-related deaths in the United States exceed those of the other 25 wealthiest nations.

This last one I'll grant you. The simple facts are that firearms are nigh to impossible to obtain in those other countries, so naturally our F/A mortality will be higher simply on the basis of availibilty. (as a little side note..the firearms mortality rate here is HIGHEST in those areas with the Strictest gun control laws) You MIGHT take note however...OUR violent crime rate has steadily decreased in the last decade, while crime rates in those countries your touting has steadily INCREASED.
Personally, I'd rather be on the downward slope in that equation.

The United States has only 4% of the world's population but contains one-quarter of the world's entire prison population.

See above...as our incarceration rate for VIOLENT criminals rises, the VIOLENT crime rate decreases....
and another reason for the high population are our outdated drug laws. Fully one fourth of our prison population are there for nonviolent drug use/possesssion. The so called "War against Drugs" is the war you should really be protesting. Legalize all drugs. Let the users take themselves out of the gene pool.

The average paid vacation time in Europe is now six weeks a year compared to two weeks in the U.S.

And that is one reason that, with the exception of Luxembourgh, all the other EU countries rate lower in GNP than all but FIVE of the STATES in the U.S.

I recall that when I was stationed in Germany in 1973, there was a factory about a mile from our barracks where the workers went on strike because the management had proposed cutting their lunch period to one hour from two and cutting out the two 20 minute beer breaks the workers were allowed. It took 3 months to come to an agreement. The strike was settled with the workers keeping their beer breaks and giving up a half hour of lunch, with a 2% raise in their annual bonus check. The factory closed the next year due to unpofitablity issues. I wonder why?

Karlo said...

I must complement you on your rebuttal--which carries more weight since you've lived in Europe. And I agree with your comments on drugs. I think I'd still keep meth illegal (it's simply too addicting and damaging) but for the most part the war on drugs is a big waste of time.