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U.S. domestic shortcomings

Reader comment on item: Europeans: From Venus?

Submitted by Ron Goldstein (United States), Jul 17, 2002 at 13:13

While I usually enthusiastically agree with most of what Dr. Pipes has to say about U. S. foreign policy and about European pusillanimity, I think this particular offering is at best a stretch. More apposite would be an analysis of U.S. domestic shortcomings which paralleled his incisive testimony before congress on the subject of Saudi influence buying.

The reason we have such abominable social services relative to the Europeans is not because of choices made regarding the allocation of scarce resources. For example, according to the World Health Organization, in 2000 the United States spent more per capita on health care than did any other nation on Earth. Yet in that year we ranked 37th in the quality of the health care we received. France ranked number one and Italy, number two. Both countries had far smaller expenditures per capita than did the U.S. When I was in Spain (ranked number seven by the WHO) on vacation two years ago, I had occassion to avail myself of their system twice for minor health problems. It was so simple to do and at the same time the attention I received so superior to what was available in the U. S. that each time it was hard for me not to weep when I thought of what I would have had to go through back home. And I live in Berkeley and receive the best care that can be obtained by most Americans.

I enthusiastically endorse Dr. Pipe's phillipics on the threat posed to the world by radical Islam. There is no matter more urgent that faces civilization at the present time. However, there is a long-term threat to us all which is more insidious. That is the threat to the social health of the United States posed by extreme inequities in the delivery of basic services. These inequities should be addressed intelligently and not be brushed over by inane analogies and shibboleths that are based on ideology and superstition.
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