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One striking observation I made while working in America during Hilary Clinton's first attempt at reforming US Health Care is Americans' somewhat irrational fear of any major social reforms contemplated by the US government. The cost of social security, abuses of it seem to be big concern, further amplified by perceived prospect of US Government becoming "socialist". From my experience (I have grown up in Communist Poland, and live now in Australia) the social security is wasteful and open to frauds as anything else administered by government bureaucracy. One should not however look at the cost of the social security alone. It is necessary understand that social security is there to remove desperation from people's lives. I mean the kind of desperation which historically has proven to lead to major social upheavals and crime. That is why I am happily paying my high taxes in Australia and enjoying social stability and low level of crime, and above all universal health insurance. While US experience was exciting and stimulating for me I think all Americans could do with a little less crime and riots and the ones among them without health insurance should not be made to wait for the next Democratic Government. Viewed as a necessary cost of social stability and low crime the social security actually makes good business sense.
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May 16, 2011